Psychology Disorders/Psychotherapy Activity

Part A: Write a case study!  Pick one of the mood or anxiety disorders that we go over in class (major depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder,

social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or PTSD), and come up with a brief case study of a person who suffers from it.  Look

up the DSM-IV-TR criteria of your disorder to make sure that your character actually meets the diagnosis you’re shooting for; you should be able to find these criteria

on the internet.

Give a brief synopsis of your character’s life: family, occupation, and any other background information you think could be relevant. Then, describe what symptoms this

person specifically has, and how you think the disorder will affect their day-to-day functioning.

Once you’re done, try diagnosing your character using all 5 axes of the DSM.  Here’s an example:

Axis I:         Generalized anxiety disorder
Axis II:        No personality disorder or mental retardation present
Axis III:     Diabetes
Axis IV:     Recently lost job
Axis V:      (GAF rating*) 73 (Remember, 100 = no problems; the closer to 0, the worse it is!)

*You can find a pretty detailed description of what GAF ratings are online.

For simplicity’s sake, you probably shouldn’t actually put anything on axis II (unless, of course, you want to get really creative!). As for axes III and IV, you do

not have to include a medical condition or a psychosocial stressor, but feel free to incorporate them if you want.  Above all else, have fun and be creative!

This section should be about 1½ – 2 pages.

Part B: For the person you just described, what type of treatment(s) do you think they should receive? What would you specifically recommend? Is medication or

psychotherapy better? Or does the combination make more sense? Why? HINT: Research shows that depress


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