Essay Example on Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders: Examining Behaviours and Symptoms

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1459 Words
Date:  2023-03-26


Mental health disorders, like other health problems, require a diagnosis. The associated exercises involve referring to the behaviors and symptoms that a client exhibits. The experiences further need proper understanding by comparing them with the criteria that a universally accepted stand suggests. This helps to ascertain the exact problem from which one is suffering. Mental health disorders are relatively difficult to diagnose because their examination is mostly based on the observable behavioral aspects of a patient. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual makes the process easy as it entails the reference points to ensure that a disorder is correctly identified with little or no confusion (Hooley, Nock & Butcher, 2019). Fred, Phil, and Stacey are three different clients who suffer from different mental health conditions. This paper uses the criteria suggested by the DSM-5 to determine the most applicable diagnoses of each of the clients and draws from research to determine the best treatment mechanisms for their disorders.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

DSM-5 Diagnoses for the Clients


Fred is suffering from a mental condition and based on the experiences he exhibits, an appropriate DSM-5 examination should focus on diagnosis for criteria panic disorder. Panic disorder is a mental disorder classified under the group of anxiety disorder conditions as provided in DSM-5. The guidelines provide that diagnosed with a panic disorder requires that one must be experiencing unexpected panic attacks regularly (DSM-5, 2018). This serves as the major criterion for the DSM-5 concerning the disorder. Regarding the case of Fred, this basis is relevant because of the recurrent panic attacks accompanied by fear and anxiety. Besides, the intense fear he experiences occurs for a long time, and which meet the guidelines. Fred has experienced abrupt discomfort and intense fear with more systematic symptoms. However, some criteria that DSM-5suggests, like numbness, dizziness and chest pain do not reflect in Fred's symptoms. Nevertheless, panic disorder under the anxiety mental condition groups is the most probably because most of the criteria fit. Therefore, the diagnosis for the specified condition is the most applicable.


An applicable DSM-5 diagnosis criterion for the case of Phil is depression. Depression occurs as a mood disorder that involves persistent sadness feeling accompanied by a loss of interest. DSM-5 suggests several criteria that guide the diagnostic exercise for depression. Most of the bases are applicable now that they are reflected in the symptoms that Phil experiences. According to DSM-5 (2018), depression manifests through severe stress which could be a result of a past event. This occurs in the case of the client; he lost all his jobs and is also no longer married following a break-up. However, other criteria are not applicable to the case of the patient; they are not exhibited among the symptoms noted on him. These include great weight loss when the diet and interest in eating are not adequate. This is not the case with Phil because he was not reported with a lack of appetite which would cause the issue. The other criterion that is not relevant to the problem of Phil is a reduction in the ability for effective physical movement.


Stacey's experiences and symptoms concerning the provisions of the DSM-5 should be diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder. This refers to a mental health condition in which one has the fear of fellow human beings. It manifests with the experience of worry of being judged by people hence they are hesitant towards making any step towards progress. DSM-5 suggests that one suffering from the disorder always feels detached (DSM-5, 2018); this is relevant to the case of Stacey who is always satisfied with spending time with the pets rather than human beings. Besides, she divorced from her family and is not worried about reuniting with the husband or having a new marriage. She also failed to continue her college education 4 years ago due to the fear of being forced to do presentations and speak in front of fellow students and instructors. These, therefore, match her condition; therefore, the diagnosis directed on social anxiety disorder could be appropriate. However, the do not suffer from sweating and trembling which may reduce the chances of the occurrence of the disorder.

Further Analysis of Stacey's Vignette



Psychoeducation can be used as a treatment for social anxiety disorder that Stacey suffers from. It is an evidence-based intervention and is applied through the provision of education to a client who is a receiving mental health service, following a diagnosis with a social anxiety disorder and related conditions. According to Hooley, Nock, and Butcher (2019), the approach can be used with Stacey by guiding her on how to work on her anxiety and learn to associate with other people. This is important to help her develop and maintain a social life hence she could be used to people and find seeing them a normal phenomenon. It involves a guidance session with the client and makes them feel that they are worthy and should not fear to make their contributions among peers (Wedekind, Michaelis, & Bandelow, 2017). The treatment approach is accomplished through an outpatient basis to avoid the problems associated with hospitalization like unresponsiveness and comorbidity.


Pharmacotherapy in the context of mental health management is the use of pharmaceutical drugs to treat associated conditions. A treatment exercise for Stacey's fears can be undertaken by applying selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Wedekind, Michaelis, and Bandelow (2017) argued that the drugs include, but not limited, to citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline. The drugs, depending on the choice are prescribed on a dosage basis and a patient takes for a given period after which they are expected to recover from their mental health condition. For the case of Stacey, besides the application of psychology education, these drugs could be effective to help her alleviate her health condition. SSRIs are applicable in this case because they have the potential of stopping the nerve cells in the brain from the reabsorption of serotonin. This, therefore, works on mood regulation hence reducing unnecessary fears in the client.

The Article's Discussion and the Behaviors of the Client

The article presents a discussion on the diagnosis of social anxiety disorder with some connection to the behaviors that Stacey showed. In the article, Wedekind, Michaelis, and Bandelow (2017) argued that diagnosing the given mental health disorder is dependent on the systems which exhibit the experiences of depression and anxiety. This implies that an individual suffering from the condition does not embrace social life and is always alone. According to Reinhold and Rickels (2015), this could be a problem further and prevent them from learning social ways. This reflects the actual situation in the behaviors of Stacey; she chooses to be alone enjoys passing time with her pets rather than a fellow human being. Besides, she is not sufficiently productive in the academic setting because of the need for socialization and addressing others. It, therefore, follows that the diagnosis presented in the research article is relevant to the analysis made on the behaviors concerning the DSM-5.

Application of the Information from the Article

The research findings and the discussions presented in the article apply to a better understanding and practice in behavioral psychology. For one it can be used to inform the diagnosis of mental health disorders by focusing on specific signs and symptoms whose manifestations imply certain conditions. The article also reveals that some health disorders require specific types of interventions due to the effectiveness; occasionally, non-medical interventions are necessary in solving mental health problems and for which case psychology education is appropriate. The provisions of the article discussions also underpin the importance of evidence-based practice which ensures that an infection is identified correctly and the most appropriate treatment mechanisms are identified and adopted. It, therefore, follows that the article is significant regarding the management of mental health disorders covering diagnosis and designing solutions.


Mental health disorders manifest in different ways in people. The behaviors are used to inform the basis of the diagnosis concerning the examination of the signs and symptoms in the patients. DSM-5 is currently used to improve the study of the behaviors to determine the specific problem causing the signs. Research findings can also provide additional diagnostic information and the most effective treatment to be adopted. The use of the criteria contributes to the application of evidence-based practice in behavioral psychology.


DSM-5. (2018). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

Hooley, J., Nock, M., & Butcher, J. (2019). Abnormal Psychology (18th ed.). Pearson.

Reinhold, J., & Rickels, K. (2015). Pharmacological treatment for generalized anxiety disorder in adults: an update. Expert Opinion On Pharmacotherapy, 16(11), 1669-1681. DOI: 10.1517/14656566.2015.1059424

Wedekind, D., Michaelis, S., & Bandelow, B. (2017). Treatment of anxiety disorders. State Of The Art. Retrieved from

Cite this page

Essay Example on Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders: Examining Behaviours and Symptoms. (2023, Mar 26). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism