Case Study

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PSY-570- Psychopathology

Topic 2 Case Study


Patient: A 35-year-old male who is married and has two school-aged children (8 and 10 years old).

Job History: Patient joined the military upon graduating from high school. He was unsure of a profession/career to pursue. Patient was in the United States Marines for 8 years. He reports two tours of duty overseas; one of those tours being spent in Iraq. While in the military, patient earned his bachelor’s degree in business. Patient currently works as a manager in a bank. He reports moderate levels of stress in his job, which sometimes results in him staying home from work to avoid the stress. The patient reports that while he does not dislike his job, it is not a career he can see remaining in until retirement.

Medical Background: Patient reports that he was healthy for the majority of his life. He is active and physically fit. He eats well and does not abuse drugs or alcohol. In his early 20s, he smoked but he “cleaned up his act” when he learned he and his wife were expecting their first child. Recently, he has been experiencing a variety of unexplained physical symptoms including back pain, headaches, and chest pain. He has sought medical help for these problems several times. He reports that he often goes to the ER due to experiencing chest pain, but after numerous tests are run, he is discharged upon finding nothing wrong.

Complaint: In addition to the physical symptoms listed above, the patient also states he feels scared and anxious. He has difficulty sleeping. He reports difficulty in controlling his anger and that outbursts are often directed at loved ones (wife and children).

Based on the above information, complete the following:

(Make sure to use scholarly sources to back up your responses)


  1. Record developmental, gender, or culturally relevant factors to consider in making a diagnosis from the case study.  A 35-year-old male, married, 8 years in the Marines, served two duty overseas and one of those overseas tours were spent in Iraq.
  2. What additional information is needed?

Additional information needed is how long the patient has been suffering from these symptoms.  How long has the patient worked at his current job?  Why did he leave the marines?  Being overseas what events did the patient be exposed too?  Any traumatic experiences?  Is the patient being transparent?

  1. How do the symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria for the selected diagnosis?

Based on the factors the patient display acute stress disorder and anxiety.  Acute stress disorder refers mental disorder marked by anxiety and dissociative symptoms following a traumatic experience (Kearney & Trull, 2018).  Anxiety due to his levels of “emotional stat that occurs as a threatening event draws close and is marked by aversive physical feelings, troublesome thoughts, and avoidance and other maladaptive behaviors”.  Stress due to demanding events within his schedule that lead him to feel physical symptoms.  The patient may also be suffering from post traumatic stress because of his outburst of angry that is uncontrolled.

  1. What similar conditions did you rule out in order to determine the diagnosis you selected?

The physical symtoms as experience chest pain, scared, anxious, and outburst of angry.

  1. Based upon the factors listed, what is your diagnosis?

The patient suffers from Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) due to the experiences of traumatic event through images, memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and other ways (Kearney, et al., 2018).  The patient has outburst of anger tours his loves ones that he cannot control.

  1. Based on the selected diagnosis, what therapy treatment/intervention would you recommend to this patient based upon the factors you have to consider?

Due to the level there is a need for cognitive therapy.  It is important to intervene and use medication to control the anxiety levels.

  1. What psychological theoretical orientation would you use to drive the treatment of this patient?
  2. Ensure you have cited tools that you used in your assessment and diagnosis, including the current version of the DSM.

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