Anxiety Disorders

After reading the three scenarios about anxiety-based disorders, your assignment is to provide a diagnosis for each scenario along with a brief (one paragraph) explanation for each diagnosis. You do not have to provide a complete, five-axis diagnosis for each scenario; rather, simply name the disorder and write your explanation as to why this may be the correct diagnosis.

 Scenario 1 – Brandy

Brandy is a woman in her middle thirties who works as a sales representative for a large company. Brandy’s father died about three months ago from a heart attack. Brandy’s father’s death was very sudden and unexpected and she has been having a very hard time coping with her feelings of loss. About a week ago, Brandy was at work and suddenly felt extremely anxious. Her heart seemed to be pounding in her chest and she was unable to catch her breath. She became terribly worried that she was having a heart attack or that she was losing her mind. The experience lasted a few minutes and then quickly subsided.
Following this experience, Brandy felt extremely worried that it would happen again. The next morning, Brandy woke up and once again experienced intense feelings of terror and a worry that she was having a heart attack. She called 911 and paramedics were rushed to her apartment. Brandy was brought to the hospital and, following a comprehensive examination, was told that she was in good health and did not have a heart attack.
Brandy continued to experience further episodes where she felt terrified that she was having a heart attack. Her worries about these experiences began to severely interfere with her work and social life and she was referred to a psychologist for help.
What psychological disorder do you think best fits the particular difficulties that Brandy is experiencing and why?

  Scenario 2 – Jerry

 Jerry is a man in his early twenties who has recently graduated from college. He is not sure what he wants to do with his life and has began to feel increasingly worried and upset over how things are turning out for him. Jerry has recently entered into individual psychotherapy to help him with these difficulties.
In session, Jerry explains to his therapist that he often feels like he hates himself. He hates the way he looks and hates the fact that he is not as smart or witty as he wishes he were. He becomes very nervous in social situations. After he meets someone, he ruminates for hours about what he had said and how he had come across.
Jerry states that some morning he wakes up with no energy and he does not want to get out of bed. Other times, he feels so worried and on-edge that he cannot sit still. He will pace around his apartment and cannot stop thinking about worrisome things.
What psychological disorder do you think best fits the particular difficulties that  Jerry is experiencing and why?

 Scenario 3 – Alexis

Alexis is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her mother and younger brother. About eight months ago, Alexis was riding on a school bus that was involved in a terrible accident. A truck lost control and crashed into the bus and three of Alexis’ classmates were killed in the accident. Alexis was uninjured.
Alexis experienced nightmares following the accident, but otherwise did not appear to be affected by the tragedy. Recently, however, Alexis has begun experiencing terrible night terrors and has become convinced that she is seeing ghosts. She tells her mother that, when she closes her eyes, she sees the faces of her classmates who were killed in the bus accident.
Alexis has also began having trouble going to school. She is anxious about leaving her mother and has huge temper tantrums when her mother tries to convince her that she has to go to school.
What psychological disorder do you think best fits the particular difficulties that  Alexis is experiencing and why?

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