Psychological Disorder Analysis Essay

Psychological Disorder Analysis Iris Sally July 19, 2010 PSY/270 Joan Rachmel Many people suffer from psychological disorders. Psychological disorders interfere with an individual’s ability to function normally in society. Marla is a 42-year-old Hispanic female who comes to the mental health clinic complaining of trouble sleeping, feeling “jumpy all of the time,” and an inability to concentrate. These symptoms are causing problems for her at work, where she is an accountant. Based on the background information that Marla provided, Marla appears to be suffering from adult ADHD.

ADHD, usually occurs in begins in childhood, but some children who suffer from ADHD have symptoms that persist into adulthood. People who suffer from ADHD are characterized as having “great difficulty attending to tasks or [they] behave over actively and impulsively, or both” (Comer, 2007, p. 428). Marla’s feelings of being “jumpy all the time” is a major symptom of ADHD, which characterizes her as being overactive and impulsive. She also has trouble concentrating because of constant movement and an inability to pay attention. In arriving at a diagnosis, I considered the following questions: 1.

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Please tell me about yourself including your social environment and any other important aspects of your life? While Marla’s social environment is unknown, many adults who suffer from ADHD have friends and family. Marla has trouble coping with daily life because her ADHD has been hindering her ability to focus, and therefore interrupting the things that are important in her life. 2. What prompted you to seek therapy? Marla, like many individuals who decide to seek therapy, decide to seek therapy because of their inability to concentrate and the impulsivity/hyperactivity is affecting their work life.

Also, Marla has difficulty sleeping, sometimes a symptom of ADHD, which may be caused by her hyperactivity or impulsivity. It is difficult for many individuals with ADHD to lie still and get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep, because of the incessant urge to constantly move around or fidget excessively, a common symptom of ADHD. 3. How would you describe yourself growing up? As a child, Marla may have suffered from many of the same symptoms she is currently battling in adulthood because ADHD usually begins in childhood and progresses to adolescence and in Marla’s case, into adulthood.

For the diagnosis to be given to an adult, the individual must have symptoms which began in childhood and are ongoing up to the present (Martin, 2007). Therefore, all adults who suffer from ADHD developed the symptoms in childhood. As an individual like Marla grows into adolescence and even further into adulthood, the symptoms of over activity and impulsivity become less apparent. The decrease of intensity in the ADHD symptoms may make the symptoms easier for individuals like Marla to handle, but they still affect the person’s life. . What are your expectations of therapy? Marla is probably hoping that therapy will help her to overcome the issues she is currently facing because she can learn new techniques that will help her feel less “jumpy” and be able to concentrate more when she is at work. Techniques taught in behavioral therapies can help Marla gain more control over her actions, so that she can better deal with her hyperactivity or impulsivity. 5. Can you think of any one event that precipitated this onslaught?

Marla’s current state of mind can reveal several things including that she may be stressed with some of the events that are occurring in her life. Even though the onset of ADHD is in childhood, high levels of stress have been cited as one of the major contributing factors of ADHD, along with “biological causes (abnormalities in certain regions of the brain have been implicated most often) and family dysfunction” (Comer, 2007, p. 429). Certain events may have occurred in Marla’s personal or professional life that has made her abnormal behavior more apparent to her. 6. What made you anxious today, yesterday?

Since ADHD is often times brought on by stress, something dramatic and stress inducing such as daily life hassles, including working, dealing with her family, and taking care of herself, could all have raised Marla’s stress levels. 7. Does anyone else in your family suffer from feelings such as you are experiencing? More and more adults are starting to realize that the symptoms of ADHD they see in their children are behaviors they’ve been living with since their own childhood. ADHD can run in families. Some studies indicate that 25% of close relatives of kids with ADHD also have this neurological disorder.

For parents, that number is even higher: In children with ADHD, more than 50% of the time at least one parent has ADHD, too. 8. Do you think badly of yourself for being this way? Children with ADHD often feel badly about themselves. They might think they’re stupid, naughty, bad or a failure. Not surprisingly, their self-esteem takes a battering and they find it hard to think anything positive or good about him or her self. Most people who discover they have ADHD, whether children or adults, have suffered a great deal of pain. The emotional experience of ADHD is filled with embarrassment, humiliation, and self-castigation.

By the time the diagnosis is made, many adults with ADHD have lost confidence in themselves. 9. Is there anyone in your life that you confide in, or have opened up to in the past? Educating your loved ones about ADD/ADHD and the ways in which it affects your social skills and interpersonal behaviors can help alleviate a lot of conflict and blame. If you are working hard at your end to learn strategies to improve your social skills, your friends and family may be more willing to give you a little extra wiggle room if they know what you’re dealing with. 0. Please tell me about your upbringing. Did you think you were “popular” growing up? People like Marla, who suffer from adult ADHD usually reports feelings of isolation in childhood because they had few friends. Their hyperactivity and their inability to focus for long periods at a time on a given task made it difficult to form lasting friendships. These individuals like Marla, also felt disconnected from their peers as they were ridiculed and were often scolded by their teachers for being difficult pupils.

Children with ADHD do not sit down for long periods at a time in the classroom and their constant movements make them disruptive in class. Often, these children are reported by their teachers to their mothers. Also, they feel like they are not smart in school because they may have gotten bad grades because of their disruptive behavior and their inability to focus on schoolwork. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that interferes with an individual’s ability to focus, to be quiet or sit still, and to be calm.

Children or adults who have ADHD are constantly on the move and they are unable to sit quietly or “relax. ” Research suggests that 3-7% of children suffer from ADHD (Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interaction, 2007). Most of the children that suffer from ADHD are males. A diagnosis of ADHD requires that the symptoms of the disorder are interfering with a person’s ability to be productive or effective in their life. There are three subcategories of ADHD that include: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, predominantly inattentive type, and the combined type.

Individuals who suffer from the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD are overactive, spontaneous, speak and move excessively, and have difficulties following instructions. Individuals who suffer from the predominantly inattentive kind of ADHD have difficulties concentrating, focusing on tasks, and avoiding distractions. With the combined type of ADHD, individuals display both the impulsive-hyperactive symptoms and the inattention symptoms. ADHD makes it difficult for children and adults to have solid social lives.

Sufferers of the disorder often report that they have few friends and that they are harassed at school. Research shows that ADHD is excessively diagnosed in the U. SA, which may lead to children and even adults being over-medicated. The use of Ritalin, the main drug used to treat ADHD, has risen tremendously since the early nineties. To combat problems of over-diagnosis, it is recommended that children are well observed by medical and mental health professionals. The use of other therapy procedures involves teaching both the parents of ADHD children and the children themselves how to cope with ADHD.

For instance, behavioral therapy procedures are teaching parents how to use “good” and “bad” reward techniques to “train” their children how to behave appropriately. For instance, when children sit and behave themselves, they will be receive “good” rewards from their parents and when they are overactive and disruptive, they will not be rewarded because of their display of bad behavior. The most effective drugs used to treat ADHD are stimulants, which include Ritalin and other stimulant drugs, like Aderall and Concerta. Ritalin is the most popular drug used to treat ADHD.

Ritalin has a calming effect in children and adults, making it easier for them to complete certain tasks and decreasing hyperactivity or impulsivity. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding Ritalin with many clinicians arguing that it is over prescribed because of its effectiveness against ADHD. Marla, who suffers from adult ADHD, which is very similar to childhood ADHD, would also be prescribed a stimulant, like Strattera, a newer drug used to treat ADHD, which would decrease her over activity and help lessen her insomnia.

ADHD is a difficult disorder to live with. Anyone who suffers from this disorder may have difficulty in their social life and is unable to complete simple tasks because they cannot focus, or even sit still long enough to focus. However, modern drug therapies, like Ritalin are available to help and give young children and adults the ability to gain some control of their life. Also, therapies combined with prescription drugs are an even more effective treatment method to combat the problems of impulsivity, over activity, and inattention. References: Comer, R.

J. (2005). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (4th ed. ). New York: Worth. (Chapter 2). Faces of Abnormal Psychology Interactive Application from: http://www. mhhe. com/socscience/psychology/faces/# Martin, B. (2007). ADHD in Adults. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from: http://psychcentral. com/lib/2007/adhd-in-adults/ Martin, B. (2007). Causes of Attention Deficit Disorder. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from: http://psychcentral. com/lib/2007/causes-of-attention-deficit-disorder-adhd/ Block, Jocelyn M. A. , and Smith, Melinda M. A. (2010). Self-Help for Adult ADD


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