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PSYC FPX 3110 Assessment 2 Diagnosing Using the DSM


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3110 Abnormal Psychology

Prof. Name


Case Study Analysis: Major Depressive Disorder in Jenny

Jenny, a 35-year-old single woman, exhibited symptoms consistent with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) according to the DSM-5 criteria. Per the DSM-5, a diagnosis of MDD requires the presence of at least five out of nine specific symptoms over a continuous two-week period (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Jenny’s symptoms, which included insomnia, fatigue, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, significant weight loss, and difficulty concentrating, aligned with the diagnostic criteria for MDD (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Furthermore, there were no physiological or medical explanations for her symptoms, thus supporting the diagnosis of MDD.

Case Study Analysis: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Fred

Fred, a single man, experienced daily panic attacks following a traumatic event where he was robbed at gunpoint. His symptoms, including intrusive memories, avoidance of triggering stimuli, detachment from others, hypervigilance, and reckless behavior, corresponded to the criteria outlined in the DSM-5 for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Fred’s avoidance of public transportation and reckless biking behavior demonstrated marked alterations in arousal and reactivity, characteristic of PTSD (Neil Greenberg et al., 2015). The absence of physiological or substance-related explanations for his symptoms supported the diagnosis of PTSD.

Case Study Analysis: Bipolar I Disorder in Sally

Sally, a 23-year-old woman, displayed symptoms consistent with Bipolar I Disorder, characterized by distinct manic episodes. Her inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, and engagement in high-risk activities aligned with the criteria for a manic episode as outlined in the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Sally’s symptoms, such as excessive writing, impulsive vehicle purchase, and delusions of grandeur regarding her novel, indicated significant impairment in social and occupational functioning, supporting the diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder. No physiological or substance-related factors contributed to her symptoms, reinforcing the diagnosis.

Treatment Recommendations for Fred: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy

For Fred’s PTSD, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) are recommended treatments. CBT aims to address trauma-related thoughts and behaviors over a 12-week course, assisting individuals in developing coping strategies and reframing traumatic experiences (Fortin et al., 2021). IPT focuses on enhancing interpersonal relationships and addressing current stressors (Bleiberg & Markowitz, 2019). Both CBT and IPT have demonstrated efficacy in treating PTSD symptoms and improving overall functioning (Mayranezouli et al., 2020). By addressing Fred’s avoidance behaviors and interpersonal difficulties, these therapies can alleviate his symptoms and enhance his quality of life.

PSYC FPX 3110 Assessment 2 Diagnosing Using the DSM


In conclusion, these case studies underscore the importance of accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment approaches in managing mental health disorders. By utilizing the DSM-5 criteria and evidence-based interventions such as CBT and IPT, clinicians can effectively support individuals like Jenny, Fred, and Sally in managing their symptoms and improving their well-being.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Bleiberg, K. L., & Markowitz, J. C. (2019). Interpersonal psychotherapy for PTSD: Treating trauma without exposure. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 29(1), 15–22.

Fortin, M., Fortin, C., Savard-Kelly, P., Guay, S., & El-Baalbaki, G. (2021). The effects of psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder on quality of life in the civilian population: A meta-analysis of RCTs. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 13(6), 673–683.

Mayranezouli, I., Megnin-Viggars, O., Daly, C., Dias, S., Welton, N. J., Stockton, S., Bhutani, G., Grey, N., Leach, J., Greenberg, N., Katona, C., El-Leithy, S., & Pilling, S. (2020). Psychological treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder in adults: A network meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 50(4), 542–555.

PSYC FPX 3110 Assessment 2 Diagnosing Using the DSM

Neil Greenberg, Samantha Brooks, Rebecca Dunn. (2015). Latest developments in post-traumatic stress disorder: diagnosis and treatment. British Medical Bulletin, Volume 114(1), 147-155.

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