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Case Analysis - Mental health - Essay Example

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Key features of the case The case is that of a female aged 72 who has all of a sudden started behaving abnormally. She was seen doing the same activity of turning the gas oven on and off again and again. It seems she was feeling cold because she was telling that she needed to keep herself warm by sitting in front of the gas oven…
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Case Analysis - Mental health
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Download file to see previous pages The fact that she was still in her nightie shows that she has either forgotten to change or she was unwell. Though she is seen trying to get to her feet, she is unable to get up from her chair. This inability might be because of some physical illness or owing to some mental disorientation. Patient history In order to decide upon the real cause of my patient's behavior, from among the possible causes discussed above, first of all I need to learn the history of this patient (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.1). This has to include, health history including physical and mental health, and certain amount of cultural history as well (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.1-7). The processes involved are developing a therapeutic relationship with the patient, establishing good communication, that is built using “eye contact, posture, facial expressions, gestures, clothing, affect, and even silence”, and a well-formulated interview if circumstance allow (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.1-2). Creating an environment that is peaceful and helpful for the patient to relax and communicate is also a step involved (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.2). But in the case of this student, the scope for gaining history details from these procedures is limited as the patient is not in a mental or physical state conducive to cooperate. Hence, the primary source of the information regarding health history can be the husband of the patient. He can be asked whether the patient had, previous episodes of abnormal behavior and medical events. The observation of the patient can also contribute to the history like level of consciousness, posture and motor behavior, appearance, general demeanor, speech, mood and affect, intellectual performance, judgment, insight, perception, coping mechanisms, though content, sexual drive etc. (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.1-10). Also, mental assessment tests have to be carried out including tests like Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and Rorschach test (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.13-14). Physical examination of the patient is also part of history collection (Williams & Wilkins, 2007, p.14). Mental health problems have been found to be “one of the leading causes of disability […] in geriatric population” (Sharma et al., 2010, p.496). But there is also the prevailing danger that mental health problems of aged people are often misunderstood and mis-diagnosed (Sharma et al., 2010, p.496). A proper and scientific collection of history and mental health assessment starting with a differential diagnosis can ensure the diagnosis is error-free (World Health Organisation, n.d., p.48). Differential diagnosis The differential diagnosis in this case could include, 1) depressive disorder, 2) delirium, 3) organic amnesic syndrome, 4) other kinds of dementias like Pick's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or Huntington's disease, 5) dementia resulting from physical illness or toxicity, and 6) mental retardation of various degrees (World Health Organisation, n.d., p.48). Memory loss in older patients could also be a sign of vascular dementia, therapeutic drug intoxication, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and a number of other problems (Sue, Sue and Sue, 2008, p.90-91). It is also possible that the patient is suffering from Parkinson's disease or Lewy body disease (Lewy Body Disease, 2012). The symptoms also indicate that the disease might be Huntington's Disease, Frontotemporal Lobar ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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