Assessing and Treating Clients With Anxiety Disorders

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The client is a 46-year-old white male who works as a welder at a local steel fabrication factory. He presents today after being referred by his PCP after a trip to the emergency room in which he felt he was having a heart attack. He stated that he felt chest tightness, shortness of breath, and feeling of impending doom. He does have some mild hypertension (which is treated with low sodium diet) and is about 15 lbs. overweight. He had his tonsils removed when he was 8 years old, but his medical history since that time has been unremarkable. Myocardial infarction was ruled out in the ER and his EKG was normal. Remainder of physical exam was WNL.

He admits that he still has problems with tightness in the chest and episodes of shortness of breath- he now terms these “anxiety attacks.” He will also report occasional feelings of impending doom, and the need to “run” or “escape” from wherever he is at.

In your office, he confesses to occasional use of ETOH to combat worries about work. He admits to consuming about 3-4 beers/night. Although he is single, he is attempting to care for aging parents in his home. He reports that the management at his place of employment is harsh, and he fears for his job. You administer the HAM-A, which yields a score of 26.

Client has never been on any type of psychotropic medication.

MENTAL STATUS EXAM

The client is alert, oriented to person, place, time, and event. He is appropriately dressed. Speech is clear, coherent, and goal-directed. Client’s self-reported mood is “bleh” and he does endorse feeling “nervous”. Affect is somewhat blunted, but does brighten several times throughout the clinical interview. Affect broad. Client denies visual or auditory hallucinations, no overt delusional or paranoid thought processes readily apparent. Judgment is grossly intact, as is insight. He denies suicidal or homicidal ideation.

The PMHNP administers the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) which yields a score of 26.

Diagnosis: Generalized anxiety disorder

RESOURCES

  • Hamilton, M. (1959). Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Psyctests, doi:10.1037/t02824-0

REQUIRED READING

Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

To access the following chapters, click on the Essential Psychopharmacology, 4th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate chapter. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar for each chapter.

  • Chapter 9, “Anxiety Disorder and Anxiolytics”

Stahl, S. M., & Grady, M. (2010). Stahl’s illustrated anxiety, stress, and PTSD. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

To access the following chapters, click on the Illustrated Guides tab and then the Anxiety, Stress, and PTSD tab.

  • Chapter 4, “First-Line Medications for PTSD”
  • Chapter 5, “Second-Line, Adjunct, and Investigational Medications for PTSD”

Strawn, J. R., Wehry, A. M., DelBello, M. P., Rynn, M. A., & Strakowski, S. (2012). Establishing the neurobiologic basis of treatment in children and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 29(4), 328–-339. doi:10.1002/da.21913

Hamilton, M. (1959). Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Psyctests, doi:10.1037/t02824-0

The Assignment

Examine Case Study: A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this client. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the client’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.

At each decision point stop to complete the following:

1.Decision #1

  • Which decision did you select?
  • Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #1 and the results of the decision. Why were they different? 

2.Decision #2

  • Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #2 and the results of the decision. Why were they different? 

3.Decision #3

  • Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources.
  • Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #3 and the results of the decision. Why were they different?

Also include how ethical considerations might impact your treatment plan and communication with clients.

Support your rationale with a minimum of three academic resources. While you may use the course text to support your rationale, it will not count toward the resource requirement.

NOTE

 Decision trees

  1. Complete the decision tree(keep track of what you selected. come up with a rational reason why you chose it. Come up with patient specific rational reason behind not choosing the other two options not chosen).
  2. look at the”assignment” section of the assignment in the classroom.
  3. Answer those questions based on your decisions in the decision tree.
  4. Write a paper addressing all section listed based on the decision tree.

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