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Posted: January 10th, 2022

Compulsive behaviors


Unit 5: Group Case Study Main— Case Study #8–Illness Anxiety Disorder


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-Medical Conditions

-Psychosocial and Environmental Problems


-Cultural Aspects



 Here is an example of the one I did last week on a different topic:MODEL:The model of abnormality that best encompasses the case of Sara is the Cognitive-Behavioral model. Her compulsive behaviors are caused by intrusive thoughts of unlikely scenarios for which she believes her supposed negligence would force her to shoulder the blame, illustrated by statements in the Case Studies textbook “…in college she had to check on her door 3 or 4 times before she could walk away from her dormitory room. And even then, she was left with a feeling of doubt” (Gorenstein and Comer, 2015, pg.17) and “now able to focus on events and activities without the constant intrusion of frightening thoughts and images” (Gorenstein and Comer, 2015, pg. 30).Cognitive-behavioral model is the idea that abnormality is in part or mostly caused by the interplay between thoughts with actions: “how behavior affects thinking and how thinking affects behavior.” (Comer and Comer, 2018, pg. 59). Further illustrating that this is the appropriate model with a Cognitive-Behavioral explanation to the formation of some abnormal behaviors: “Many learned behaviors help people to cope with daily challenges and to lead happy, productive lives. However, abnormal behaviors also can be learned.”(Comer and Comer, 2018, pg. 59), which lines up with Sarah’s particular illness and statements: “She compares obsessive compulsive disorder to a machine that needed fuel, explaining that every time she yielded to a compulsion to check, she was adding fuel to that machine…” (Gorenstein and Comer, 2015, pg.25).  CULTURAL ASPECTS: Sarah is stated Sarah was raised as an African American woman in a “comfortable middle-class environment” (Gorenstein and Comer, 2015, pg.17). It’s also stated that she was concerned with her performance and was always a “worrier” who felt pressured to perform because of her race: “As an African American she felt some pressure both to perform well in school and to conduct herself in a manner that was beyond reproach, as though the slightest misstep might increase her vulnerability to prejudice” (Gorenstein and Comer, 2015, pg.17). The text implies that this was the beginning, first stage of the illness, and that the feeling of constant over-performance snowballed into its height later in life.  MEDICATION: There is no direct reference to any medications that may have been given to Sarah, although it does state the drugs that are commonly used as a form of treatment.  TREATMENT: The treatment for Sarah consisted of 18 therapy sessions with several follow ups. Hospitalization was not necessary, nor was any medication. Similar to the model, the type of therapy used was most in line with cognitive-behavioral therapy (exposure and ritual prevention) specifically exposure, which is listed as an effective way to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The challenge that arises from this form of treatment is finding a balance between comfort and discomfort for the patient as pushing them away from their habits will naturally make them uncomfortable.

 Gorenstein, E. E., & Comer, R. J. (2015). Major Depressive Disorder. In Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology(pp. 60-77). New York: Worth Publishers.Here is the book9 attachmentsSlide 1 of 9

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