Case Study on Anger

  • Review the case studies in Chapters 5 and 6 of Abnormal Psychology.
  • Select a case (other than a case of PTSD) from one of those chapters.
  • Consider how culture or ethnicity could influence the diagnosis or treatment planning.

The Assignment: (1–2 pages)

  • Compare an anxiety disorder with an adjustment disorder (similarities and differences).
  • Explain factors that complicate a diagnosis of anxiety versus an adjustment disorder.
  • Using the cases you selected, explain how ethnicity and background may affect the diagnosis.

Selected Case Study:

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Dr. M was a 44-year-old physician. The middle son of parents who had emigrated from Italy, he was ambitious and determined to make a successful life for himself and his family. He worked long hours helping patients with cancer, and he was caring and compassionate. His patients loved him. But his job was also very stressful. Added to the many demands of maintaining a busy medical practice was the great sadness that he felt when (inevitably) many of his terminally ill patients died. At home Dr. M was a loyal husband and devoted father to his three children. But he was not an easy person to live with. He found it hard to relax, and he had a very volatile disposition. He was frequently angry and would shout at everyone whenever he had had a bad day. Often his moods were caused by his feeling that he was not fully appreciated by the other doctors with whom he worked. Although his wife realized that he “just needed to vent,” his moods took a toll on the family. His children distanced themselves from him much of the time, and his wife became less and less happy in the marriage. One day at work, Dr. M started to feel unwell. He began to sweat and experienced a heavy pressure in his chest. It was difficult for him to breathe. Dr. M recognized the severity of his symptoms and called out for medical help. He had a sudden and severe heart attack and survived only because he was working in a hospital at the time of the attack. If he had not received prompt medical attention, he almost certainly would have died. After his heart attack Dr. M became very depressed. It was almost as though he could not accept that he, a physician, had a severe medical problem. Although he lived in fear of having another heart attack, his efforts to lose weight (which his doctor had told him to do) were sabotaged by his unwillingness to follow any diet. He would try and then give up, coming back from the Italian bakery with bags of pastries. Making the problem worse was the fact that because he was a doctor, his own doctors were somewhat reticent about telling him what he had to do to manage his illness. He went back to work, and his family walked on eggshells, afraid to do or say anything that might stress him. His wife tried to encourage him to follow the doctors’ recommendations. However, Dr. M’s attitude was that if he was going to die anyway, he might as well enjoy himself until he did.

Hooley, Jill M. Abnormal Psychology (p. 140). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

APA Format with 3 references

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