Part 1 – Social anxiety Disorder
You will need to describe the disorder you have chosen to research. You will need to elaborate on the symptoms described in the DSM-5’s criteria for that disorder. Explain what a presentation of the disorder may look like and note how distressing it can be. Put all this in your own words. Do not write word for word the diagnostic criteria in your essay. You can also write about how common it is and any biases in demographics.
This should not be the bulk of your essay and should account for about a page. Just remember it needs to be reflective of the criteria in the DSM-5.
Other things to include are etiology of the disorder. Is it mainly organic or environmental? How does it progress? Does an individual simply begin to experience the symptoms (sudden onset) or is there a development to it? These will also be helpful in describing the disorder.
Many of your chosen disorders will have some type of specifier with it. You may also wish to include these in your description. There is a small section in the DSM-5, following each set of criteria, that will further explain the specifiers’ meanings. Some of the terminology may be confusing and it is recommended to ask the instructor if you have any questions.
The DSM-5 introduced severity ratings to help distinguish between the levels of functioning for each disorder. You may also explain these as well in your description. Some severity ratings are simply put there with little to no explanation. This can also be a topic of discussion.
Part 2 – Treatment Options
Welcome to the actual research portion of this paper. In this part you will need to find various treatment options for your specific disorder. As we discuss in Chapter 3, treatment options are always being developed for the various disorders and pathologies diagnosable using the DSM-5. You will need to find at least 3 treatment options for your disorder. The major caveat is that they must be supported by some research. Remember the idea of the field is to find disorders that can be treated, just like the biomedical model would have it. You will be presenting these treatment options in your essay. Say what the treatment aims to do and its basis (also called the model it is based on like cognitive or psychodynamic). What is new about it, if it is new? Provide evidence of its effectiveness (AKA you will need to include statistics reported by those journal articles). There is a lot of leeway here, all that is expected is that you effectively present at least three treatment options.
Some things to consider is that some disorders will not have a specific treatment to them; rather, the cluster of disorders will have researched treatments. In the case of trichotillomania, this would be researched as an anxiety-related or obsession-compulsive disorder and may not have a specific treatment to it. The DSM-5 itself will give you clues about treatment.
No specific treatment is expected to be discussed. You can research psychotropic medication, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, or any alternative methods. Consider innovative therapies (e.g. grounding/rooting) if you wish. You will need to cite a minimum of 5 academic journal articles to help support the efficacy and effectiveness of the therapies. This does not mean you need 5 articles for each, but a minimum total of 5 academic journal article references. Any other type of reference is encouraged, but the journal articles will be a focal point in the grading of the assignment.
How do I find academic journal articles about treatment?
There is a magnitude of resources at your disposal to find these articles provided conveniently by the library. Like always, a simple browse on the internet can give you a good head start, but you will need to use specific searches to find journal articles. Some good search engines to use are PsychInfo or PsychArticles. If you want to research medical treatments, then PubMed is always a good start. The big thing to consider is that the article needs to be peer-reviewed. Some governmental reports can definitely be used but make sure they are from accurate reporting authorities, such as NIMH or CDC. Google Scholar can sometimes be helpful.
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