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Psychological Disorder Analysis

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Psychological Disorder Analysis
Tammey Sweezer
PSY/270
1 September 2013
Joan Rachmel

Psychological Disorder Analysis
Today we are going to meet Marla, a 42 year old, Hispanic, female. Her chief complaints are having trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy all of the time”, and experiencing an inability to concentrate. Marla is an accountant, and these issues are causing problems at work for her.
Hi Marla, How are you doing today? I am here, nothing to write home about. Thank you. Have you talked to your children lately? No, not for a while now, like they say got to have patience of Job. Why do you think that your children are acting this way? I could name a number of reasons, or blame their dad and stepmom. But to tell you the truth, I really do not know. I wish I did. I miss them and love them with all of my heart. I know that sooner or later they will come around and start talking to me again; and I will be here waiting for them.
How is your sex life? *Laughing* Oh you are so funny. Am I supposed to have one of those? Is Frank still staying with you? Yes, but we are not doing anything. I do not trust him, so I do not see anything happening in the near future. I have been having some very vivid dreams, more like nightmares. Are you having nightmares because you do not trust Frank? No, I do not think so. Well, maybe I do not know. Danny used to cheat on my mom with anything that wore a skirt. I know this from firsthand experience. Are you okay? Do you need a Kleenex? Do you need a moment?
Thank you, I think I can go on. When I was six years old; Danny (my stepdad) told me to sit behind him on the floorboard of the car. He wanted you to set on the floorboard of the car? This was a different time, we did not use seatbelts. *Smile* Danny would reach around with his left arm, and play with me. I am sorry, Marla; when you say play with you, could you please, explain it to me. *Sniff* Danny, would move my underwear around and play with my clitoris. He told me not to tell mom or anyone else, this was our little secret.
Marla, you know this is not your fault. Yes, I know this. What made you start thinking about Danny and having such vivid nightmares? That is not all of it. There is more. Okay, we will get to it. I want to know what trigged this first, before we explore more of what is going on. Does that sound good with you? Yes, that makes sense. *Smile* I guess that is why you make the big bucks. I was walking Oh Gee, and I saw this car coming up really slow. It looked like Danny. He sat at the stop sign for a couple minutes. Than go up the street really slow. It freaked me out, so I called mom and asked her if she told Danny where I lived and what my new last name is. She said no, than asked me some questions. I saw this car driving up the road really slowly and stop at the stop sign. Said my name, watched me walk across the street. This guy turned the corner, drove up the street really slowly. Turned the next corner, came back down the street slowly again and just watched me. Really gave me the creeps, just talking about it reminds me of the way he used to touch me. I am not a violent person, but I just want to castrate him with my bare hands. *Crying*.
Marla, take your time. I know this is hard. Marla is this why you are having suicidal thoughts? Yes, partly I do not know if it is because I want to castrate him with my bare hands or from what he did. Maybe it was the death of Zackery. I just feel so guilty. Why, in the world do you feel guilty? You did nothing wrong. I feel like if I would have told someone, or made someone listen than maybe his future daughters, or stepdaughters would not maybe be victims. I sometimes feel like maybe I did something to make him want me. Then I realize I was six years old when it started, how I could do something to make him want me. I am just, feeling so guilty over something I have no control over at the moment.
Why do you feel guilty over Zackery, you did everything a mother could do for your child? I feel like I could have done more. I feel like when he passed away the first time when he was three and half months old; instead of making him suffer additional 15 months. Why are you thinking that you made him suffer for additional 15 months? I just wonder was he in pain, did I make him suffer more, or did I enrich his life? It seems that at work all the ladies around me is either having babies or grandbabies. Is this why you cannot concentrate at work right now? Why, are you so jumpy? Between the thing with Danny, and all the babies and grandbabies who I swear look like Zackery. Every time the phone rings I think it is Danny calling me. Every time someone touches my shoulder, I believe it is someone telling me about one of my children, or my granddaughter.
Marla, have you talked to Brian lately? I know he knows about Danny and Zackery. Yes, Brian and I talk two or three times a week. I have not told him about Danny or Zackery. I figure he has enough on his plate already. I really do not understand how you can still talk and be friends with your ex’s. Why, have you not talked to him about what is going on? Just because our marriage, or we broke up from dating does not mean we cannot be friends. Everyone needs a friend, so why not be friends with someone you already you know. As for talking to Brian, he has a lot going on with his mental health, his mom, and Melissa (his girlfriend). I do not want him to worry about me.
I believe that Marla is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a “debilitating anxiety disorder which is experienced by many people who have been subjected to traumatic events.” (Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive, 2007). The “symptoms include flashbacks, emotional numbing, and hyper-vigilance.” She shows no emotion at all when she talks about her son, Zackery. Not very often does she show any kind of feelings about Danny. When that guy in the car drove by, it must have caught her by surprise to give her flashbacks and make her “jumpy” or hyper-vigilance.
A person(s) with PTSD may express three principle types of symptoms. “First, people with PTSD re-experience the event though involuntary flashbacks and dreams. Second, individuals express a generalized emotional detachment or numbing. Third, people with PTSD are likely to become hyper-vigilant and chronically on-alert. They can become startled very easily and have difficulty falling asleep.” (Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive, 2007).
Let us look at the factors to diagnose PTSD. “A person(s) has been exposed to one or more traumatic events in which he or she is confronted with events that involved the threat of death or serious injury to themselves or others and the person(s)’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced by distressing recollection or dreams of the event. Avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness including avoiding thoughts and activities associated with the trauma, feelings of detachment and diminished interest in significant activities. A person(s) may experience this along with increased levels of arousal including insomnia, irritability, and hyper-vigilance.” (Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive, 2007).
PTSD is not a single layer condition, it is like a seven layer dip, and it is multifaceted disorder. “There are three primary goals for therapy: reducing the person(s)’s fear of provoking stimuli, helping the client modifies counterproductive thoughts, and reducing stress in the client’s life.” (Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive, 2007). When you are working on reducing a person(s)’s fear of provoking stimuli, this would depend on what the person(s) stimuli is. If the person(s) stimuli are loud noises; you would want them to avoid parades. If you are helping a client modify counterproductive thoughts, it would depend on what the client’s thoughts are. If they are thinking about egging a person(s) house because they do not like their car, direct their counterproductive thoughts into something productive, by donating their time at a soup kitchen. If you are trying to reduce your client’s stress; talk to them about doing relaxation training. The idea behind this “approach is that physical relaxation will lead to a state psychological relaxation. In one version, therapists teach clients to identify individual muscle groups, tense them, release the tension, and ultimately relax the whole body. With continued practice, they can bring on a state of deep muscle relaxation at will, reducing their state of anxiety. “(Indd, 2009).
We have learned about Marla, a 42 year old, Hispanic, female. Whose main complaints are the following having trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy all the time”, and experiencing an inability to concentrate. This is causing problems at her job as an accountant. We talked to Marla, discovered that she has been on edge since she thought she had an encounter with Danny, her stepdad who molested her as a child. Later on we talked about the loss of her son, Zackery. It is my belief that Marla is suffering from PTSD.

References
Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive. (2007). POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. Retrieved from http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/psychology/faces/bigvid.swf
Indd, C. (2009, December 10). The Biological Perspective. Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 6e(ch.4), pg 104.

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