Posted: October 27th, 2022

SOCW 6090


Required Readings

Morrison, J. (2014). Diagnosis made easier (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Chapter 15, “Diagnosing Substance Misuse and Other Addictions” (pp. 238–250)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Substance related and addictive disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm16
Gowin, J. L., Sloan, M. E., Stangl, B. L., Vatsalya, V., & Ramchandani, V. A. (2017). Vulnerability for alcohol use disorder and rate of alcohol consumption. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(11), 1094–1101. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16101180
Reus, V. I., Fochtmann, L. J., Bukstein, O., Eyler, A. E., Hilty, D. M., Horvitz-Lennon, M., … Hong, S.-H. (2018). The American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the pharmacological treatment of patients with alcohol use disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(1), 86–90. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.1750101
Stock, A.-K. (2017). Barking up the wrong tree: Why and how we may need to revise alcohol addiction therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1–6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00884

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Optional Resources

Best, D., Beckwith, M., Haslam, C., Haslam, S. A., Jetten, J., Mawson, E., & Lubman, D. I. (2016). Overcoming alcohol and other drug addiction as a process of social identity transition: The social identity model of recovery (SIMOR). Addiction Research and Theory, 24(2), 111–123. doi:10.3109/16066359.2015.1075980
Hagman, B. T. (2017). Development and psychometric analysis of the Brief DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnostic Assessment: Towards effective diagnosis in college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(7), 797–806. doi:10.1037/adb0000320
Helm, P. (2016). Addictions as emotional illness: The testimonies of anonymous recovery groups. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 34(1), 79–91. doi:10.1080/07347324.2016.1114314
Petrakis, I. L. (2017) The importance of identifying characteristics underlying the vulnerability to develop alcohol use disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(11), 1034–1035. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17080915
Hom, M. A., Lim, I. C., Stanley, I. H., Chiurliza, B., Podlogar, M. C., Michaels, M. S., … Joiner, T. E., Jr. (2016). Insomnia brings soldiers into mental health treatment, predicts treatment engagement, and outperforms other suicide-related symptoms as a predictor of major depressive episodes. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 79, 108–115. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.05.008
Document: Suggested Further Reading for SOCW 6090 (PDF)

Note: This is the same document introduced in Week 1.

Assignment: Final Project

The sign of an effective clinician is the ability to identify the criteria that distinguish the diagnosis from any other possibility (otherwise known as a differential diagnosis). An ambiguous clinical diagnosis can lead to a faulty course of treatment and hurt the client more than it helps. In this Assignment, using the DSM-5 and all of the skills you have acquired to date, you assess a client.

This is a culmination of learning from all the weeks covered so far.

To prepare: Use a differential diagnosis process and analysis of the Mental Status Exam in the case provided by your instructor to determine if the case meets the criteria for a clinical diagnosis.

By Day 7

Submit a 4- to 5-page paper in which you:

  • Provide the full DSM-5 diagnosis. Remember, a full diagnosis should include the name of the disorder, ICD-10-CM code, specifiers, severity, and the Z codes (other conditions that may need clinical attention).
  • Explain the full diagnosis, matching the symptoms of the case to the criteria for any diagnoses used.
  • Identify 2–3 of the close differentials that you considered for the case and have ruled out. Concisely explain why these conditions were considered but eliminated.
  • Identify the assessments you recommend to validate treatment. Explain the rationale behind choosing the assessment instruments to support, clarify, or track treatment progress for the diagnosis.
  • Explain your recommendations for initial resources and treatment. Use scholarly resources to support your evidence-based treatment recommendations.
  • Explain how you took cultural factors and diversity into account when making the assessment and recommending interventions.
  • Identify client strengths, and explain how you would utilize strengths throughout treatment.
  • Identify specific knowledge or skills you would need to obtain to effectively treat this client, and provide a plan on how you will do so.




INTAKE DATE: March 2019


Marquis is a 38 year old, African-American, married male who lives with his wife and two children in Kansas City, Missouri. He works as a computer technician in a car dealership. This is his first psychiatric admission.


“My wife says she wants to leave me because she is unhappy”.


Marquis states he has been feeling upset and sad. His wife told him she is unhappy and she wants to leave. Client initially went to his primary care physician who gave him Xanax for his nerves in December 2018.

He recently began to mix Xanax and alcohol because his nerves are on edge. Marquis went to a therapist in January 2019 because his wife urged him to. The therapist wanted to see them together because she said this was a marital issue. A little over two years ago, Marquis had a heart attack and was admitted to a local hospital on December 31, 2017 where he stayed for one week. The heart attack was considered to be stress related, and Marquis was urged to slow his life down.

Marquis explains he was very stressed that New Years Eve, trying to finish up his work and get home for their party. He had several friends over and was having a great time before his heart attack. When asked, Marquis admitted to drinking a lot that night and using some drugs “recreationally”. When it was explored further, Marquis admitted to using marijuana and cocaine that evening.

Wife noted Marquis has become more irritated over the past several months especially when she asked him to fulfill his roles around the house. She reports they have had several severe arguments about his behavior and drinking.


Marquis reports that he went to a therapist as noted in History of Present Illness. He reports no other psychiatric contact prior to this time.

It should be noted that Marquis had a history of substance use as follows. He first began smoking marijuana age 15. By the time he was 17, he was smoking daily. He decided to cut down several times and now he reports smoking marijuana on and off, a few times a week. At age 17½, he began to drink beer; however, since he got sick when he was 18, he no longer drinks beer. Since age 20, Marquis reports he is a social drinker, drinking wine with dinner and on weekends. At the age of 26, he hurt his back. He was prescribed several different kinds of pain medication such as oxycontin, which he continues to use today occasionally. Patient reports using cocaine on weekends from 2011 until he had his heart attack. When questioned more specifically about his drinking, Marquis became agitated, and stated he has several drinks to relax every day. Marquis never discussed his drug use with his doctor because he reports being able to handle it and actually stops using drugs and alcohol every year for 6 weeks for religious reasons. Marquis states it’s a way to give his body a rest.


Patient is married for 18 years. He has a 16 and 17 year old son. Both parents are deceased. His mother died from cancer of the stomach and his father died the following year from cirrhosis of the liver. There is no psychiatric illness in the family.


Patient had a heart attack in December 2017. He is now on Blockadrin 5 mg, QD. He has hay fever. Patient smoked three packs of cigarettes per day since 17 years old. Patient also has hypercholesterolemia since January 2017. Patient reports his doctor spoke to him about his life style and illnesses.


Patient was born in Kansas City, Missouri and went to public schools. He graduated from high school in 1999 and tried college for several months. However, he dropped out.

He started working in the computer industry soon after he left college and has been working steadily up to this point. Patient has no legal complications.


Upon intake the patient was casually dressed but neatly groomed male who appeared older than his stated age. He was anxious with mildly pressured speech, which was fluent, coherent, and could be interrupted. There was no evidence of psychosis, paranoid ideation, delusions, or form of thought disorder. There was no looseness of association, flight of ideas, or ideas of reference. His affect was full range. He described decreased appetite and intermittent sleep problems, sometimes over sleeping.

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