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Selecting a Diagnosis paper title: Selecting a Diagnosis paper ID: 203178600 author: Linville, Coyalita Cynthia Case Study PCN 605 Psychopathology and Counseling Instructor Marcie Burger Grand Canyon University By Coyalita Linville 1
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Selecting a Diagnosis Background History The following is a textual case study of client Cynthia who was traveling on the Ventura Freeway with her six-month old girl to a baby sitter's house, when an 18-wheel truck jack-knifed in front of her. Although she slammed on the brakes, she crashed into the truck and her car was pinned under the truck for two hours. Miraculously, she and her child were not hurt at all. Somehow, the car had become wedged under the truck but was not completely crushed. The emergency room doctors gave her and her baby a clean bill of health, but Cynthia couldn't believe that they had escaped death. In fact, waiting for the emergency crew to extricate her from the vehicle, she was sure she was going to die and listening to her baby cry in the back seat, she was sure that her daughter had been horribly disfigured. Assessment Positive symptoms for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), evident for two weeks client has auditory and visual hallucinations, anxiety panic attacks. Client states that “at times during the day, she "goes blank" and feels "unreal." She starts to feel detached from her environment and not connected to her body. She is sure that this is because of the traffic accident that happened a month ago. She still cannot drive on the freeway. Large trucks next to her car make her break out into sweat and she starts to hyperventilate. 2
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Selecting a Diagnosis Occasionally, in the safety of her home she will be playing with her daughter and she will hear the screeching of brakes again. When this happens it feels as if she is right there again, on that freeway, experiencing the whole accident from beginning to end. Negative symptoms represent the absence of what would be considered normal behavior and include flat affect (the absence of expression), social withdrawal, non- communication, passivity, and ambivalence in decision making. Due to textual case study negative symptoms cannot be compared for this particular case due to lack of supporting information. The diagnosis of PTSD requires impairment . An overwhelming life experience can trigger PTSD such as a traumatic auto accident as the client has experienced especially if the event feels unpredictable and uncontrollable. Cynthia stated “the car had become wedged under the truck but was not completely crushed and while waiting for the emergency crew to extricate her from the vehicle, she was sure she was going to die and listening to her baby cry in the back seat, she was sure that her daughter had been horribly disfigured.” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear.
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  • Fall '11
  • MarcieBurger
  • Psychological trauma, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, stress disorder

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