Assessing Mood Disorders
Mood problems often constitute a primary reason why parents seek professional help for their children or adolescents. Most often, mood problems include irritability, sadness, or anger. A certain amount of moodiness and impulsivity is normal during childhood and adolescence; therefore, it makes it exceptionally difficult to diagnose children and adolescents with conditions such as clinical depression or bipolar disorders. One of the most challenging elements in counseling is objectively assessing whether a child or adolescent has a mood disorder. Cultural and family factors are one reason this is challenging. At times, these factors are directly the cause of the mood disorder or contribute to the stress or distress of children and adolescents. Therefore, it is important to use a systematic, objective, and dispassionate procedure for gathering data about children and adolescents when conducting assessments.
For this Discussion and subsequent Discussions, consider these questions: a) Where does the child’s or adolescent’s problem originate from, and b) Does the problem stem from the child or adolescent, or is it the family or other factors? By asking these questions, you can more accurately assess a child’s or adolescent’s problems and create evidence-based interventions to address the right problem effectively. Select a case study from the Child and Adolescent Counseling Cases: Mood Disorders and Self-harm document from this week’s resources and consider the child’s or adolescent’s presenting problem and where the presenting problem may originate. Conduct an Internet search or a Walden Library search and select one peer-reviewed article related to the interventions that might be used to address the child or adolescent in your case.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a brief description of the presenting symptoms of the child or adolescent in the case study you selected. Then, explain one possible reason the child’s or adolescent’s problem exists and why. Finally, explain one evidence-based intervention you might use to address the child/adolescent in this case study and how it will be used. Be specific and support your response using the week’s resources and your research.
These are the Cases below choose one
Child and Adolescent Counseling Cases:
Mood Disorders and Self-Harm
Salena is a 16-year-old Native American girl who is a sophomore at a local high school. Her mother, who accompanied her to the initial session, referred her for counseling. During the first session, you spent about 25 minutes with Salena and her mother and then about 25 minutes with Salena alone. While you are interviewing Salena along with her mother, you observe that they appear to have a reasonably good relationship. Her mother is worried about her and primarily attributes Salena’s symptoms to the fact they recently moved from the Indian reservation to a more urban area. She believes Salena is having trouble adjusting to the new school and neighborhood. The move was prompted by the fact that Salena’s mother is in a new romantic relationship; Salena and her mother moved in with the mother’s boyfriend. Salena’s father has not been involved in her life since she was about 6 years old. Salena’s mother reports that Salena is often irritable and difficult at home. This irritability has increased substantially in the past 3 months. Salena basically agrees with her mother on this point. They also both agree that Salena is engaging in fewer recreational activities and reporting little enjoyment from the activities in which she participates. During the interview, Salena’s mother describes one of her major concerns: “Salena keeps talking about not really caring if she’s alive or not anymore.” Salena interrupts at this point and says, “Mom, you’re making way too much of that. It’s not that big a deal.” But her mother goes on and says, “What about the other day when you said, ‘Maybe if I get hit by a truck I won’t have to take that algebra test’? What am I supposed to do when you say things like that?” Salena responded that she was just expressing her feelings about her upcoming algebra test. Based on your time with Salena and her mother and with Salena alone, you discover she has unintentionally lost 14 pounds and reports little appetite. She also recently quit her part-time job. Her grades have been going down (from low As to low Bs and high Cs) and her attendance has been poor recently; otherwise, she has a relatively positive behavioral record at school. Salena also reports to you that she is having difficulty concentrating and that school is “boring and stupid.” Also, Salena denies using alcohol/drugs, and this seems to be valid information as it is consistent with what her mother reports. Finally, there is no evidence that Salena is suffering from any medical disorders. She has no history of any mental disorders and no trauma history.
Monte is a 9-year-old white male who has been referred to you by a local school. In the referral, Monte was described as exhibiting several behaviors that are very difficult to manage in the classroom. Specifically, he quickly becomes verbally aggressive toward teachers, regularly accuses them of picking on him, and he verbally insults most of the other students in his classroom. The school counselor who has worked with Monte reports that Monte comes from a very chaotic family. He has two older sisters who are often left to care for him. He complains about his sisters being mean, but other than significant parental absence, there is no evidence of abuse in the family. The school counselor further notes that she believes Monte has a tremendously low self-esteem. She says that when other students are not around, he is clingy with teachers and seems to solicit their approval. She reports that Monte was doing better in early elementary school, but over the past 2 years, his behavior has generally declined. She further reports that he has difficulty concentrating and that he states things like, “School is stupid. I always get bad teachers. Things will never get better for me.” In the past year, Monte has displayed a pattern of overeating, and there is some concern about him developing a weight problem. He also complains of frequent headaches, and his attendance at school is poor.