Assignment: Developing Social Phobia
When you discuss his handwashing with him, he tells you that “handwashing is the best way to keep from getting sick.” When you question him how many times a day he washes his hands, he again shrugs his shoulders. You can see that his bilateral hands are dry. Throughout your assessment, Tyrel reveals that he has been thinking of how dirty his hands are; and no matter how hard he tries to stop thinking about his “dirty” hands, he is unable to do so. He reports that he gets “really nervous” and “scared” that he will get sick, and that the only way to make himself feel better is to wash his hands. He reports that it does work for a while and that he feels “better” after he washes his hands, but then a little while later, he will begin thinking “did I wash my hands well enough? What if I missed an area?” He reports that he can feel himself getting more and more “scared” until he washes his hands again.
MENTAL STATUS EXAM
Tyrel is alert and oriented to all spheres. Eye contact varies throughout the clinical interview. He reports his mood as “good,” admits to anxiety. Affect consistent to self-reported mood. He denies visual/auditory hallucinations. No overt delusional or paranoid thought processes were apparent. He denies suicidal ideation.
Lab studies obtained from Tyrel’s pediatric nurse practitioner were all within normal parameters. An antistreptolysin O antibody titer was obtained for reasons you are unclear of, and this titer was shown to be above normal parameters.
Decision Point One In terms of an actual diagnosis, the child’s main symptoms are most consistent with obsessive-compulsive disorder. There may also be an element of social phobia developing, but at this point, the PMHNP has not assessed the nature of the school avoidance—that is, why is the child avoiding school.
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