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Discussion: Applying Differential Diagnosis to Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

What is it truly like to have a mental illness? By considering clients’ lived experiences, a social worker becomes more empathetic and therefore better equipped to treat them. In this Discussion, you analyze a case study focused on a depressive disorder or bipolar disorder using the steps of differential diagnosis.

To prepare: View the TED Talk “Depression, the Secret We Share” (TED Conferences, LLC, 2013) https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share#t-23422 and compare the description of Andrew Solomon’s symptoms to the criteria for depressive disorders in the DSM-5. Next review the steps in diagnosis detailed in the Morrison (2014) reading pgs. (129-166), and then read the case provided by your instructor for this week’s Discussion (Case of Anastasia), considering the client against the various DSM-5 criteria for depressive disorders and bipolar disorders.

By Day 3

Post a 300- to 500-word response in which you address the following: (PLEASE LIST DIAGNOSIS FIRST BEFORE DISCUSSION)

  • Provide the full DSM-5 diagnosis for the client. For any diagnosis that you choose, be sure to concisely explain how the client fits that diagnostic criteria. Remember, a full diagnosis should include the name of the disorder, ICD-10-CM code, specifiers, severity, medical needs, and the Z codes (other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention). Keep in mind a diagnosis covers the most recent 12 months.
  • Explain the diagnosis by matching the symptoms identified in the case to the specific criteria for the diagnosis.
  • Recommend a specific evidence-based measurement instrument to validate the diagnosis and assess outcomes of treatment.
  • Describe your treatment recommendations, including the type of treatment modality and whether or not you would refer the client to a medical provider for psychotropic medications.
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