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Case Study - The Case of Agnes
Sandra D. Darby
October 28, 2008
Kristi Lane, PhD.
The Case of Agnes
The following is a case study analysis of Anxiety, Somatoform, and Dissociative Disorders. The writer will present an analysis of a selected case as described in the text, Case studies in abnormal behavior (8th ed.) by Meyer R., Chapman, L.K., & Weaver, C.M. (2009). The writer will also provide a brief overview of the selected case as well as analyze the biological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral components of the disorder. The case selected is “The Case of Agnes”. Overview of Case Study

The character in this case study is known as Agnes, a woman who was brought in to the community mental health center in the eastern seaboard city by her daughter who believed that her mother was mentally ill. Her family included of a husband and one daughter. Agnes believed that she suffered from “heart disease”, but her physician reassured her that it may be anxiety and tension. Agnes may have being suffering from anxiety disorder known as Agoraphobia, which is classified in the DSM-IV-TR as a fear of being left alone or finding oneself in public places in which one could be embarrassed and unable to find help in case of sudden panic attacks (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2009). The biological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral components of this disorder are discussed in this paper. Current Description

According to the text, Agnes is a thin 43 year-old married white female who was taken to the mental health center in her hometown in the eastern seaboard city by her 22 year-old daughter, who feared that her mother was mentally ill. She claimed that her mother wanted to accompany her everywhere she went and that placed her in an awkward position. Agnes has always been a tense person and has reported experiencing agoraphobic symptoms for about seven years with symptoms becoming even more intense over an extended period. Agnes also believed that she suffers from heart disease and often complains about experiencing irregular heart beat. Her physician does not believe it is anything but tension and anxiety. Agnes uses tranquilizers to relieve severe bouts of anxiety. She never experiences these symptoms at home even after engaging in heavy household chores. Agnes worked as a secretary after graduating from high school. Though she dreamed of getting a college degree, she never pursued it instead she continued working as a secretary and helped her husband to finish his last year in college. In the early years of marriage she was fairly stable in her functioning, but her problems with this disorder increased over the years. Predisposing Factors

Agnes’s childhood years were not unhappy. Her father was an authoritarian but he was warm and loving to his children. Agnes’s father drank liquor and in his drunken state, he would whip her rebellious brother (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2009). Her mother was a passive and very submissive woman and showed symptoms of agoraphobia although she never sought treatment for herself. According to the text, Agnes was a “good student” and “teacher’s pet” and had a few friends with whom she would communicate about her problems (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2009). Agnes was not physically attractive and this hindered her from overcoming her withdrawal patterns. She did not participate in school activities, neither was she very sociable. This lack of interest helped to promote her peers lack of attention toward her. Agnes married a man who bore similarities to her father’s authoritarian style. Agnes gave birth to one child, followed by a miscarriage. This was her first panic experience but it was soon brought under control by medication administered to her in the hospital. Agnes’s daughter was very independent and Agnes felt threatened by her own sense of need. The more independent her daughter became, the more liable to anxiety Agnes became (Meyer, Chapman & Weaver, 2009). Agnes did not seek... Show More

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