Mental Disorders, Medications, and Clinical Social Work

Mental Disorders, Medications, and Clinical Social Work

Sonia G. Austrian
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 3
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Mental Disorders, Medications, and Clinical Social Work
    Book Description:

    Written for social workers by a social worker, Mental Disorders, Medications, and Clinical Social Work discusses the etiology, epidemiology, assessment, and intervention planning for common mental disorders. Looking at disorders from an ecosystems perspective, Austrian goes beyond a linear classification approach and DSM-IV-TR categories and encourages social workers to analyze the internal and external environmental factors that contribute to a disorder's development. Austrian's discussion of effective intervention(s) for a particular client also stresses the importance of working with families in treating disorders.

    In addition to information on new medications, biochemical data on the causes of disease, and diagnostic tests, the revised third edition discusses therapies such as motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and dialectic.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-52965-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-9)

    SOCIAL WORK is a profession with its own mission, knowledge base, and repertoire of skills. It serves clients who present a broad spectrum of problems in a range of settings, and its activities include direct service, case management, advocacy, and program planning. Clinical social work has incorrectly been assumed to be synonymous with psychiatric social work. Clinical social work actually refers to direct, hands-on interventions with clients, individually, within families, or in groups, and encompasses all fields of social work practice. It is a mistake to think that social work services to people with mental disorders are rendered exclusively in...

  6. 2 Anxiety Disorders
    (pp. 10-29)

    A CERTAIN AMOUNT of anxiety is normal, and it is appropriate in situations that may be new, may involve performance, or may be unpleasant but unavoidable. Anxiety is an anticipatory signal that there is a conscious or unconscious threat to life, emotional stability, or equilibrium. It may be anticipated or it may be experienced without warning. Cause and sources may be known or elusive. In most instances, anxiety may be annoying, but is a normal emotion and can be dealt with. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it interferes with the individual’s daily living demands and perhaps also with the needs...

  7. 3 Mood Disorders
    (pp. 30-58)

    IN ANY GIVEN year, 13–14 million people in the United States experience clinical depression, which includes major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, and dysthymia. Depression costs employers $44 billion in lost productive time, $31 billion more than the amount lost because of illnesses in people who did not have depression. This does not include labor costs associated with disability time or costs related to treatment. Most of the lost time is actually at work, since people go to work, but with impaired functioning (Glass 2003:3169; Stewart et al. 2003:3135–43).

    Mood disorders, also referred to as affective disorders, involve...

  8. 4 Somatoform and Factitious Disorders
    (pp. 59-71)

    ALL OF US are aware of the close relationship of mind and body. We have all experienced “aches and pains” that have no apparent organic cause, and many of us have experienced physical symptoms while also being aware of feelings of anxiety or depression. In a given week 80 percent of healthy people are believed to experience somatic symptoms (Kellner 1991a). Somatic symptoms range from common, transient symptoms, such as mild headaches, fatigue, or back pain, to chronic, incapacitating, and extremely distressing symptoms. It has been estimated that up to 30 percent of visits to internists or primary care physicians...

  9. 5 Dissociative Disorders
    (pp. 72-89)

    WE ALL EXPERIENCE moments of dissociation. We ask ourselves how we “got there so fast,” speak of “spacing out” or “feeling like I was watching myself as I gave my presentation,” or find ourselves daydreaming when we should have been listening. There are a range of dissociative experiences, from those experienced by everyone to severe dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder). Dissociative identity disorder is one of the most controversial mental disorders and is subject to intense skepticism. The literature ranges from passionate discourses recognizing it as a real psychiatric disorder to equally passionate claims that it...

  10. 6 Schizophrenia
    (pp. 90-111)

    SCHIZOPHRENIA HAS been called the “cancer of mental illness” because we do not know what causes it or how to prevent it. In the last decade there have been some developments supporting the existence of a solid neurobiological basis for schizophrenia. Among them are advances in brain imaging and neuropathological techniques that suggest the limbic system is central to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In addition, new medications have been developed that are very effective in reducing negative symptoms of schizophrenia with fewer adverse neurological effects. Schizophrenia can be viewed as a systemic disorder in which changes in brain structure leads...

  11. 7 Substance-Related Disorders
    (pp. 112-147)

    SUBSTANCE ABUSE is a major social and public health problem that affects millions of Americans and their families. It occurs in all social classes, at all professional levels, in most cultural and ethnic groups, and can be comorbid with a variety of mental disorders. Social problems that occur as a result of substance use include family breakup, domestic violence, school and vocational difficulties, poverty, physical disease, and homelessness. The 1999 surgeon general’s report (Pear 1999) states that $12.6 billion was spent on treatment for drug and alcohol abuse in 1996 and, unquestionably, the cost has increased. It is impossible to...

  12. 8 Eating Disorders
    (pp. 148-171)

    CONCERN WITH eating disorders is relatively new and is found primarily in countries where abundance of food creates options of self-starvation or excessive eating. Anorexia nervosa was the first eating disorder to be classified with specific criteria in the early 1970s. Bulimia nervosa was first classified in 1979. The incidence rate for both anorexia nervosa and for bulimia nervosa has increased over the past fifty years as the media in the United States have stressed the desirability of thinness for women, as models, ballet dancers, and actresses are invariably very thin. Author Tom Wolfe, in The Bonfire of the Vanities,...

  13. 9 Personality Disorders
    (pp. 172-209)

    PERSONALITY DISORDERS both fascinate and frustrate mental health professionals. They have proved to be highly resistant to definition, to classification, and to consensus as to etiology and best approaches to intervention. People with personality disorders are frequently viewed as difficult clients and, because of the problem of definition, the term has been used as a “wastepaper basket” when diagnosis is unclear.

    The study of personality has always been of interest, because our personality defines who we are, in terms of both how we see ourselves and how others see us. Much has been written about abnormal personality. One of the...

  14. 10 Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic and Other Cognitive Disorders
    (pp. 210-230)

    THE TERM organic mental disorders, used in DSM-III-R, was changed to delirium, dementia, and amnestic and other cognitive disorders in DSM-IV. These disorders can be devastating for the person afflicted as well as for the sufferer’s friends and family. Changed behavior and impaired cognitive functioning are consequences of brain dysfunction that may be reversible, as in the case of delirium, or irreversible, as in the case of degenerative organic mental disorders. Ability to communicate, to comprehend, and ultimately to care for oneself may become increasingly impaired. In the most severe forms, these disorders attack the very core of the person...

  15. 11 The Use of Psychodiagnostic and Psychoeducational Testing
    (pp. 231-253)
    Laura K. Nisco and Peter A. Meiland

    ASSESSMENT IS AN integral aspect of the role of the social worker in clinical practice.

    Social workers are frequently involved in assessing clients, using interviews, behavioral observation, and information from various sources in an effort to formulate an accurate and comprehensive appraisal of a client from a biopsychosocial perspective. At times there are questions that arise during the assessment process that require further evaluation. Psychological testing is an assessment strategy that can provide additional information that is not accessible through the strategies of interviewing and behavioral observation. The purpose of psychological assessment is to answer specific questions about a client’s...

  16. 12 Psychotropic Medications
    (pp. 254-269)
    Sharon Hird

    THE INCREASED AVAILABILITY and variety of psychotropic medications over the last half century have advanced our ability to treat a wide range of mental disorders with good results, in a generally safe way, and have given the clinician the ability to offer hope to clients who otherwise may remain uncomfortable. If one medication fails, we can say with certainty that there is another that may work. The clinician needs an awareness of when to suggest consideration of medication, a general idea of what medications are available, how they work, and, ultimately, what common side effects may emerge during treatment.


  17. Epilogue
    (pp. 270-272)

    THIS IS A BOOK about mental disorders written by a social worker for social workers. Traditionally, the most popular texts have been those written by psychiatrists and based on the medical model (Lacasse and Gomory 2003:387). It is hoped that the reader will come away with a greater awareness of the need for careful psychosocial assessment, which considers the multiplicity of psychosocial variables and is based on individualizing the client, the client’s environment, and the client’s experiences. Classification systems can never replace assessment obtained through the “fluid, personal process of exchange between people” (Meyer 1993:130).

    Kirk and Kutchins (1994), in...

  18. Glossary
    (pp. 273-278)
  19. References and Additional Readings
    (pp. 279-304)
  20. Author Index
    (pp. 305-308)