Treating Psychological Disorders

Decision Making When Treating Psychological Disorders

Practice decision making when treating patients with psychological disorders. You will recommend the most effective pharmacotherapeutic to treat the psychological disorder presented and examine potential impacts of pharmacotherapeutics on a patient’s pathophysiology.

Post a brief explanation of the psychological disorder presented and the decision steps you applied in completing the interactive piece for the psychological disorder. Then, explain how the administration of the associated pharmacotherapeutics you recommended may impact the patient’s pathophysiology. How might these potential impacts inform how you would suggest treatment plans for this patient? Be specific and provide examples.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The client is a 46-year-old white male who works as a welder at a local steel fabrication factory. He presents today after being referred by his PCP after a trip to the emergency room in which he felt he was having a heart attack. He stated that he felt chest tightness, shortness of breath, and feeling of impending doom. He does have some mild hypertension (which is treated with a low sodium diet) and is about 15 lbs. overweight. He had his tonsils removed when he was 8 years old, but his medical history since that time has been unremarkable. Myocardial infarction was ruled out in the ER and his EKG was normal. Remainder of physical exam was WNL.

He admits that he still has problems with tightness in the chest and episodes of shortness of breath- he now terms these “anxiety attacks.” He will also report occasional feelings of impending doom, and the need to “run” or “escape” from wherever he is at.

In your office, he confesses to occasional use of ETOH to combat worries about work. He admits to consuming about 3-4 beers/night. Although he is single, he is attempting to care for aging parents in his home. He reports that the management at his place of employment is harsh, and he fears for his job. You administer the HAM-A, which yields a score of 26.

Client has never been on any type of psychotropic medication.

MENTAL STATUS EXAM

The client is alert, oriented to person, place, time, and event. He is appropriately dressed. Speech is clear, coherent, and goal-directed. Client’s self-reported mood is “bleh” and he does endorse feeling “nervous”. The effect is somewhat blunted but does brighten several times throughout the clinical interview. Affect broad. The client denies visual or auditory hallucinations, no overt delusional or paranoid thought processes readily apparent. Judgment is grossly intact, as is insight. He denies suicidal or homicidal ideation.

You administer the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) which yields a score of 26.

Diagnosis: Generalized anxiety disorder

Decision Point One

pill redBegin Zoloft 50 mg orally daily

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE

  • The client returns to the clinic in four weeks
  • The client informs you that he has no tightness in the chest, or shortness of breath
  • Client states that he noticed decreased worries about work over the past 4 or 5 days
  • HAM-A score has decreased to 18 (partial response)

Decision Point Two

pill redIncrease the dose to 75 mg orally daily

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO

  • The client returns to the clinic in four weeks
  • Client reports an even further reduction in his symptoms
  • HAM-A score has now decreased to 10. At this point- continue the current dose (61% reduction in symptoms)
  • APA Citation 3 to 4 References with 5 years

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