This paper discusses the case study of Jasmine Mack. Jasmine was an 18 year old college student who began having mental health issues during her first semester. Her fellow classmates, resident dorm assistant, and parents began to notice changes in her mood and behaviors that alarmed them. After a call from the college, her mother brought her into my mental health clinic for an initial appointment.
This first session led me to believe that Jasmine was suffering from schizoaffective disorder which is a type of personality disorder. This paper discusses personality disorder, the symptoms that led me to the diagnosis, and also specifies the treatments and resources that should be provided for Jasmine as well as for her parents to help in her recovery. A Diagnosis and Treatment for JasmineA personality disorder is a pattern of cognitions, behaviors, and emotions which results in emotional distress for the individual or those who are around them (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018). These patterns affect the individuals daily life and relationships.
Personality disorders are divided into three groups, which are called Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C. Cluster A, the odd or eccentric cluster, consists of personality disorders such as paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal. Cluster B, the dramatic, emotional, or erratic cluster, consists of the borderline, antisocial, histrionic, and narcissistic disorders. Cluster C, the anxious and fearful cluster, consists of the avoidant, obsessive-compulsive, and dependent disorders. The DiagnosisIn the case of Jasmine I would consider assigning her a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, a Cluster A disorder. The individual with schizoaffective disorder will exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood disorders (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018). The criteria for this disorder also requires the individual exhibit symptoms of delusions and hallucinations for at least two weeks without prominent mood symptoms. The list of symptoms is extensive but may vary between individuals. Her SymptomsThere are three types of symptoms which relate to schizophrenia. They are the positive, negative, and disorganized symptoms. Positive. The positive symptoms are the more obvious and include movement disorders, delusions, and hallucinations (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018, p. 489). Jasmine had delusions of persecution. She believed that others were in on a scheme to spy on her with cameras, confuse her to make her leave school, and were setting up a network at her parents house as well. She said, “School isn’t the point, you know. My room was the center of it all and everyone was involved. They tried to confuse me in those classes. It wasn’t safe, I had to stop going,” (Jasmine Case Study, n. d. ).
She also had auditory hallucinations. In the interview she described voices coming from a voice machine which was planted by her fellow students. The gentle rocking of her body is attributed to movement disorder which is a positive symptom of schizophrenia. Negative. The negative symptoms indicate the lack of or insufficient normal behavior. Apathy, limited thought and speech, and withdrawal are included in these symptoms (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018, p. 491). Avolition, also called apathy, is the inability or lack of desire to participate in activities. Jasmine showed avolition when she discontinued any interaction with others and her quit attending her classes. She chose to stay in her room because she “couldn’t do anything” due to her delusions. Thess also could be signs of depression. Jasmine also showed symptoms of anhedonia which is the lack of pleasure and an indifference to activities she once enjoyed (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018, p. 492). Jasmine came home over her Thanksgiving break but hardly spoke to her family. A holiday she once enjoyed was no longer a pleasurable experience. Another symptom is asociality. Individuals with this symptom no longer maintain an interest to socialize and interact with others. Jasmine stayed in her dorm room alone, spoke little with her parents or the counselor. Jasmine also experienced flat affect which is the lack of showing emotion. During the interview with the counselor she had no facial expression and spoke in a monotone voice. Disorganized. Disorganized symptoms are the least understood out of the three types of symptoms (Durand, Barlow, & Hofmann, 2018, p. 492).
They include behaviors that affect speech, emotional reactions, as well as motor behaviors. She exhibited unclear thinking which was evident by her statement “I couldn’t keep anything straight anymore. I couldn’t pay attention to anything” (Jasmine Case Study, n. d. ). Her speech also seemed to be disorganized because she made little sense when talking about the events at school. She skipped around from talking about the planted cameras to not being safe in her classes. Jasmine was also catatonic in that she was agitated for no apparent reason and had poor temper control. She became angry with her parents, shook her head, and sighed deeply during the interview. The combination of positive, negative, and disorganized symptoms that Jasmine exhibited are signs of schizoaffective disorder. The symptoms that Jasmine exhibited led me to give her a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder instead of schizophrenia. Treatment & ResourcesTo begin Jasmine’s road to wellness I would refer her for an appointment with a psychiatrist. She should be treated with antipsychotic medications to help reduce her positive symptoms. With the reduction in delusions and hallucinations she will be less frightened and become more willing and able to regain her life. Jasmine should also undergo psychosocial treatments to learn ways of managing her emotions, thoughts, and behaviors (National Institute of Mental Health, 2016). Family, individual, and group therapy sessions may be helpful to help the family and Jasmine foster a healthier relationship, problem-solve, and learn coping mechanisms. They will be connected with others who also have a loved one with the disorder. This will help them feel that they are not alone as well as learn more about the disorder and any treatments or coping mechanisms that may help Jasmine. Her parents will need resources to learn how to care for Jasmine and to recognize a relapse.
They will also need a phone contact to a hotline or mental health facility in case a situation arises where they need advice or assistance. Once Jasmine is stabilized she will require vocational rehabilitation to help her enter the workforce and complete her college educational goals. StrengthsJasmine was motivated to pursue an education by attending college. Through medication and treatments that determination can be used to help in her recovery. Revisiting and establishing her educational and life goals can help her regain her self-esteem and drive to overcome her disorder. She also has a mother who is very concerned about her. Jasmine seems to fully trust her mother to make decisions concerning her care when she stated that she would see a doctor if it was okay with her mother. Her mother could be her advocate as well as legal guardian to approve and seek any medical care that is needed. Her mother could also be present during therapy at times to help coax Jasmine to talk or be cooperative. She could also make sure that Jasmine takes her medication and attends any therapy or counseling sessions. ConclusionJasmine was a bright and motivated young woman who began having issues which led to my diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Many individuals live with this disorder and through treatment they go on to live a successful life. With proper treatment and support from her family Jasmine can also once again regain her quality of life that she once enjoyed.
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