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PSYCH101 Psychology

Published : 20-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


Applied Differential Diagnosis Paper 

You will be asked to present a mock clinical case to the class. In this assignment, you will choose a person/character from a movie, television show or historical figure with an identifiable DSM diagnosis and create paper as well as an in-class case presentation. You will need to provide video clips from the film, television show, media coverage, etc. to present diagnostic impressions and other clinical issues relevant to your case.

The purpose of this assignment is to expose you to the kind of critical thinking about a person that is a necessity in understanding psychopathology, and to familiarize you with the DSM system of diagnosis.



The movie ‘Mad love’ is the outstanding example to study the applied psychology and gain research based diagnostic and treatment for it. The plot is a love story but it focuses on a female protagonist Casey Roberts who is diagnosed with the symptoms of the cyclothymic disorder or personality borderline disorder. In the movie it shows that she often faces the symptoms like depression, mood swings, impulsiveness and extreme self destructive attributes. This illness of her puts a risk in relationship with Matt. The movie also shows a wonderful ways in how she tries to overcome this and make her life worth living

Differential diagnosis

Casey’s eccentric disorder can be diagnosed with the clinical mood swings and disorders. She is extremely reactive to rapid changes and again has good emotions. She faces hypomania and here mood changes in a pattern of irregular and unpredictable manner. These are the symptoms that can be diagnosed with Cyclothymia. This a mild form of bipolar disorder. The differential diagnosis of this includes the mod change without any situation. This can be diagnosed along with some of the cause factors like hormonal disorder and hyperthyroidism. The examination needs to be done on medical grounds to correctly identify the symptoms. If it is diagnosed with depressive symptoms with the primary disorder of mood is regarded as the Cyclothymic disorder (Asherson et al, 2014). Etiologically the diagnosis will be based on the stimulants of the mood disturbance. Cyclothymia highly converges with the symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. Thus proper diagnosis needs to be done in order to rule out the other symptoms related to it. Depression is the persistent feeling of low and guilt whereas in bipolar disorder there is extreme hypomania. When both the symptoms have mild effects then it can be predicated as cyclothymia. Cyclothymia is less intense but it lasts longer than the version of bipolar disorder. The main symptom will be the high and low mood changes. This is highly affected in the age group of adolescents and teens (Mesman et al, 2016).

Cross cultural considerations of the disease

The identification of the cultural factors that induces the disease could be another approach for the treatment. One such model is RCID model of racial/cultural development. The people of the developing countries like U.S. are more affected by this disorder. The cultural variations are mainly associated due to the variations in pharmacogenetics, pharmacodynamics. Thus continued research needs to be done in order to involve a paramount clinical treatment significance Culture is the major factor that generates this illness. In the movie as seen the cultural aspects of Casey  is that she comes new to school and is not readily accepted by her classmates which may also be a reason behind her induction in the depressive behavior of her. Health conditions

The potential health conditions of the patient will include excessive change in mood swings that could make her feel so low that she can indulge in committing suicide. The person will face duration of depression and can be very impulsive and self destructive. These symptoms highly affect the patient’s personal marriage and relationship, school life. This was shown in the movie of ‘Mad love’.

The fluctuation in the mood can be reduced after good counseling or rather by psychotherapy. This is highly chronic conditions and will require lifelong treatments. The person sub diagnosis treatment shows a remission in the mood swing periods in the patients (Towbin & Leibenluft, 2014). Proper taking of medicines in time can largely reduce the effects of the disorders. Proper observations of the symptoms will reduce the worse effects. The treatments should be taken on the initial stage to cut down the spreading of it (Pauls, 2014). The drinking habit is to be left. Thus lifestyle factors are the most important ways to manage it. There is possible chance of this neuronal disorder to remain unaware during diagnosis. Since they are well treatable disease, often diagnosis in time can prevent the outcome of the intense effects of the disorder. The irritable personality is the main diagnosis to be done. The risky behaviors include the self destructive and impulsive behaviors for which treatment with medications can handle.

Other factors

The psychosocial factors include the stressful events that the person faces. The stress for various reasons leads to depression. The environment factors followed by the person’s genetics influence the predisposition of cyclothymia (Koufaki, Polizoidou & Fountoulakis, 2017). Adult life is never out of stress. The episodes of depression can come from the personal life like the death of the dear person. There could be sexual harassment faced by the women in the household grounds that can lead to the disorder. Generally, new research says that the disorder arises with the family history of any type of bipolar disorder. There could be the compelling effect due to parental neglect, sexual abuse that brings in emotional stress. Racism could be another reason. The neglect of any social rights of the people can lead to the disorder. Ableism, which is the discrimination of the people due to social and prejudices can also contribute to depression and leads to cyclothymia (Van Meter et la, 2016). In the movie Casey faces the dominant nature of his father who almost does not allow her to be in a relationship. Casey feels caged in her home. She is unable to explain her feelings to anyone that makes her more depressed. This could be a factor for her mental illness.

Treatment summary

 From the movie mad love, Casey can be treated through the cognitive behavioral therapy. This is an evidence based practice that can improve the mnetal health condition. This is based on the personal copying strategy. This believes that the problem of the mental disorder focuses o the maladaptive and distortions. In Casey’s case, the depression could be somewhat related to the inability of her being able to express her grief due to her strict family issues. The following guideline of the strategies will be helpful for her.

Strategies in the counseling

Early phase goals- The counselors will first have to establish a warm and trusty rapport with Casey. They must also listen compassionately and have an open model communication.. They can establish their warm communication through knowing her hobbies and interest. Then they can make her say about her background and then try to reinforce all the positivity in the issues. They can also explore the addiction to get to know the baseline cause of the problem. The thoughts and expressions should be well assessed before coming to the terms and suggesting the person. The middle phase goals will be reducing the behavioral stress and try to remove her negative thoughts. They can also influence her to involve in the things that makes her happy. Here they can give advice to Casey on the giving up of their drinking or any other addictions. They can teach the person techniques on correct breathing and being calm. Thus the counseler must intelligently approach the maladaptive natures of the person and try to built cognitive restructuring (Langan, Perry & Oto, 2013). The late goals are going to be the test of the person’s irrational thoughts and make queries outside the records. They must give all the positive adaptive thoughts to the person so that the person can overcome the periods of depression.


The story of MAD LOVE gave a very clear view on the topic of Cyclothymia. The study with this case gave light on the symptoms of the disorder and showed how it is difficult to notice. The mild depression along with the bipolar disorder made it really tough to correct diagnose it. However clear and right time diagnosis can reduce the drastic effects. The treatment plan with medications and strategic counseling can help people manage the periods of depressions. The treatment recommendation should be done on both the ground of the medicines and counseling. The right diagnosis is mainly done of the basis of the notice of the periodic mood swings.


Asherson, P., Young, A. H., Eich-Höchli, D., Moran, P., Porsdal, V., & Deberdt, W. (2014). Differential diagnosis, comorbidity, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in relation to bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder in adults. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 30(8), 1657-1672.

Koufaki, I., Polizoidou, V., & Fountoulakis, K. N. (2017). The concept of temperament and its contribution to the understanding of the bipolar spectrum. Psychiatrike= Psychiatriki, 28(2), 142.

Langan, J., Perry, A., & Oto, M. (2013). Teratogenic risk and contraceptive counselling in psychiatric practice: analysis of anticonvulsant therapy. BMC psychiatry, 13(1), 234.

Mesman, E., Birmaher, B. B., Goldstein, B. I., Goldstein, T., Derks, E. M., Vleeschouwer, M., ... & Hafeman, D. (2016). Categorical and dimensional psychopathology in Dutch and US offspring of parents with bipolar disorder: A preliminary cross-national comparison. Journal of affective disorders, 205, 95-102.

Pallanti, S., & Grassi, G. (2014). Pharmacologic treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder comorbidity. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 15(17), 2543-2552.

Pauls, F. (2014). Memory Functioning in Depression: Empirical Evidence for Episodic Memory Impairments, possible Causes, and suggested Risk Factors(Doctoral dissertation, University of Bremen).

Perugi, G., Vannucchi, G., & Mazzarini, L. (2017). The treatment of cyclothymia. The Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: Integrative Clinical Strategies and Future Directions.

Ruini, C., & Fava, G. A. (2014). The individualized and cross-cultural roots of well-being therapy. In Increasing Psychological Well-being in Clinical and Educational Settings (pp. 21-39). Springer Netherlands.

Towbin, K. E., & Leibenluft, E. (2014). Differential Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in Children and Youth. Bipolar Disorder in Children and Youth: Presentation, Treatment and Neurobiology, 34-55.

Van Meter, A., Youngstrom, E., Freeman, A., Feeny, N., Youngstrom, J. K., & Findling, R. L. (2016). Impact of irritability and impulsive aggressive behavior on impairment and social functioning in youth with cyclothymic disorder. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, 26(1), 26-37.

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