Applying differential diagnosis to depressive and bipolar disorders

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) 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, and then read the case provided by your instructor for this week’s Discussion, considering the client against the various DSM-5 criteria for depressive disorders and bipolar disorders.

Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share | TED Talk

Morrison, J. (2014). Diagnosis made easier (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

  • Chapter 11, “Diagnosing Depression and Mania” (pp. 129–166

By Day 3

Post a 300- to 500-word response in which you address the following:

  • 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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