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Dysthymic Disorder Analysis 1
PSY/270 - AAGI0FG4M2
Grades through Week 9
Cumulative Score:
1000/1000 (100%)
Dysthymic Disorder Analysis
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Dysthymic Disorder Analysis 2
Dysthymic Disorder Analysis
Marla is a 42-year-old Hispanic female who sought help from the mental health clinic for
a variety of symptoms which caused her distress and impaired her level of functioning in daily
life. Initially, Marla complained of vague symptoms including “trouble sleeping, feeling jumpy
all the time, and an inability to concentrate” (Axia College, 2007). Marla felt these symptoms to
be the cause of her decreased performance levels at work. Concern about her employment led
Marla to seek help for her troublesome symptoms.
Upon intake Marla’s symptoms require further analysis to reach diagnosis. As the
symptoms meet various criteria for multiple diagnosis major depression, panic disorder with
agoraphobia, and post traumatic stress disorder must be ruled out. Suspected diagnosis upon
intake is Dysthymic Disorder or Major Depression. A full assessment will be done on Marla and
diagnosis of her condition will be made. After diagnosis has been confirmed a brief overview of
the disorder and possible causes will be given followed by the development of an effective plan
of treatment to return Marla to a higher level of functioning with reduced symptoms.
Clinical Interview
Marla participated in an in-depth clinical interview process. Initial questions posed to
Marla to establish a starting point for further analysis included the following:
1. Maria, how long have you been experiencing these symptoms of trouble sleeping,
“feeling jumpy all the time” and not being able to concentrate?
2. Do you have any other physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, chest pain,
or headaches?
3. Have you recently experienced any traumatic event prior to the onset of your
symptoms? (accident, serious illness, relationship break-up, etc.)
4. Are you generally an anxious person or would you consider yourself aworrier”?
5. Are you currently taking any prescription medication? If so what medication and how
long have you been taking them? Have you recently stopped taking any medication?

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Dysthymic Disorder Analysis 3
6. Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with a mental illness? If so, who? What was
the diagnosis?
7. With regard to your “trouble sleeping”, what specific sleeping problems are you
8. Do you find your symptoms to be constant or do they come and go?
9. Have you lost interest in any activities you normally find enjoyable? What kinds of
things do you do for fun or to relax?
10. Maria, if I ask you to rate the severity of your symptoms with regard to how bothersome
they are for you? What would you rate this on a scale of 1 to 10?
Marla’s responses to the initial interview questions allowed for better focus on multiple
issues. Most significantly, the length of time Marla has noticed symptoms suggested Dysthymic
Disorder to be a main focus. Although Marla described symptoms of depression and confirmed
family history of depressive illness the severity of symptoms does not meet the criteria for a
diagnosis of major depression. In addition, lack of any current trauma further allows for the
ruling out of post-traumatic stress disorder.
After considerable assessment this clinician is confident that Marla is able to be diagnosed,
according to the DSM-IV, with 300.4 Dysthymic Disorder. A complete result of DSM-IV
Multiaxial Evaluation for Marla is as follows:
Axis I 300.4 Dysthymic Disorder, Late Onset, Prior Major Depressive Episode (Full
Axis II V71.09 No diagnosis
Axis III none
Axis IV Occupational Problems, Inadequate Social Support Network
Axis V GAF= 60 (current)
Dysthymic Disorder Summarized
Dysthymia is a chronic condition which can last for many years. Although sharing
similar symptoms as major depression, Dysthymia involves less intense symptoms which
persist for at least two years. In addition, no major depressive episode or mania has been
present during the first two years of illness. During the minimum two-year period, the

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