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Mia has been in your high performing soccer team for the past 3...

Mia has been in your high performing soccer team for the past 3 years. She is an outgoing, friendly, and well-liked member of the team. She owns a successful landscaping business and is physically healthy. Mia is known to be a particularly outstanding soccer player, and was even approached about joining a representative team. 

Three months ago, Mia's knee was dislocated during a very rough tackle in a soccer game. The dislocation was severe and extremely painful. Mia needed to be transported to hospital and had to undergo an invasive medical procedure to place the knee back in position. Mia was forced to take time off work due to an injury and was unable to complete some very important landscaping work on time.

Mia underwent 8 weeks of rehabilitation, and whilst the risk of another dislocation is high, her physiotherapist has said she is physically ready to return to playing sport. However, since the injury she has become fearful of playing soccer and being injured, and refuses to attend soccer training. This avoidance is impacting on her sporting performance, and she is spending more time on the bench during the game, which is unusual as Mia has always been a talented sportsperson.  When she is on the field playing, she now actively avoids the ball, and lets the opposition pass without even attempting to tackle them. Last week, you saw her in the toilets before the game and she was in tears and appeared to be hyperventilating, stating she did not want to play.  

When asked about why her performance has been so poor, Mia states that she keeps thinking about the dislocation, about how it could happen again, and replays the sound and feeling of the dislocation over and over in her head. Every time someone comes to tackle her on the field, she feels intense fear, and has mentioned she wants to quit the team. She states that she wants to spend more time building her landscaping business - which is her true passion and is what brings her most joy - and is also thinking about refocusing her sporting abilities on becoming a coach or referee.  

 

Considering Mia's changes in her behaviour, you start to wonder if she has a specific phobia (injury subtype), due to her knee dislocation. 

Is Mia likely to have a specific phobia, or any other type of psychological disorder? Why or why not? Justify your answer and give a diagnosis if you think it is appropriate. 
 

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