DSM Diagnosis

Case 1

According to Rene she describes herself as being biracial. She says that she overreacts at least once every week, and afterwards she induces vomiting, she also perceives herself as "fat" but fears that she may become "fatter." From these symptoms it is clear that she is suffering from avoidant personality is order. AvPD is characterized by a feeling of inadequacy, persistent trend of social inhibition, avoidance of social interaction and sensitivity to negative criticism. Individuals with this kind of disorder usually view themselves as unappealing personally, socially inept avoid interaction fearing humiliation, dislike or ridicule. In the case of Rene she feels fat and fears that she will get fatter.(Comer, 1996)

This disorder is recognized in early adult hood and is normally linked with actual or perceived rejection by peers or parents during childhood. Her symptoms are indicate that she possibly suffers from AvPD in accordance with the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder. Being 16 years old and having amenorrhea, tells that not yet gotten to puberty but is at the adolescent stage and according to this disorder it normally begins at early adulthood. Some of the symptoms common for this disease and which are similar to Rene’s include;

– Avoidance of interpersonal contact due to the fear of rejection, disapproval and criticism.

– The unwillingness of getting involved with other people unless the person is sure of being


– Being preoccupied with the possibility of criticism or rejection in social situations.

– Views of oneself as unappealing, inferior or socially inept.

DSM Diagnosis

Case 2

In Sam’s case would recommend the use of psychotherapy, he will need a trained counselor so as to increase his sense of own well being. Psychotherapy will involve techniques that are founded on experiential relationship building, behavior change, communication and dialogue in an attempt to improve Sam’s mental health and group relationship with his family.

In the case of Sam there is no need of contacting the father. According to the analysis done he does not suffer typical depression, he is popular, athletic and is successful academically. This means that psychotherapy can work and there is no need of any medication or parent’s intervention in his case. Another reason as to why parents should not be involved is that he seems not to trust them and fear being rejected by them.

From the information gathered, it is possible that the cause of Sam’s depression is as a result of paranoid personality disorder. This disorder is normally characterized by paranoia and long standing and persistent mistrust and suspiciousness of other people, other symptoms include:

– The individual is preoccupied with doubts that are unjustified about the trustworthiness or loyalty of family or friends. This is similar to Sam’s fear that his parents will find out that he is gay and may reject him.

– The fear to confide in other people as an individual thinks that the information might be used maliciously against him. In Sam’s case he tells me not to tell either of the parents about his gay status.

– The individual imagines of his character being criticized which is not founded on any

DSM Diagnosis

evidence and the individual is quick to defend himself.(Millon, 2004)


Comer, R. J. (1996): Fundamentals of abnormal psychology; Avoidant personality disorder. Pg.

428-430. 3rd Ed. Worth, New  York.

Millon, T., Grossman, S., Millon C., M., Ramnath, R., Meagher, S. (2004): Personality disorders in modern Life. Pg. 194.John Wiley and Sons

DSM Diagnosis