Case Study: Jax

Purpose: Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients and provide treatment and health promotion while applying evidence-based research.


Jax is a 66-year-old Caucasian female whose wife has encouraged her to seek treatment. She has never been in therapy before and has no history of depression or anxiety. However, her alcohol use has recently been getting in the way of her marriage and interfering with her newly-retired life. She describes drinking increasing amounts over the last year, currently consuming approximately a six-pack of beer per day. She notes that this amount “doesn’t give me the same buzz as it used to.” She denies ever experiencing “the shakes” or any other withdrawal symptoms if she skips a day of drinking.

Jax comments that her wife is her biggest motivation to decrease her alcohol use. She tells Jax that she gets argumentative and irritable when she drinks, though she does not always remember these incidents. She has also fallen while intoxicated twice, causing bruises both times and hitting her head on one of the occasions.


Remember to answer these questions from your textbooks and NP guidelines. At all times, explain your answers. Textbook: Durand, V. M., Barlow, D. H., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Essentials of abnormal psychology (8th ed.). Cengage Learning. Print: 9781337619370 eText: 9780357689769 

  1. Generate a primary and differential diagnosis using the DSM5 criteria.  Is there any information that was not provided that you would need to formulate a diagnosis?
  2. Formulate and prioritize a treatment plan for this patient using the United States Clinical Guidelines.
  3. Describe the physiological and psychological processes that lead to substance dependence?

Submission Instructions:

Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources.

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