delusional disorderWe've been reviewing to the NASW Code of Ethics for a while now. Let's look to another book that's just as vital to your preparation for the social work licensing exam: the DSM-5. There's a lot more book there, but that doesn't mean you'll encounter more diagnostic questions than ethics questions on the exam. (About a quarter of the exam, on average, covers "Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning"; a full 18% are set aside for law and ethics alone.) That said, it's good to know your way around the basics of the DSM, especially the diagnoses that social workers regularly encounter in the field. So let's get started by jumping right into "Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders": 297.1, Delusional Disorder.

We'll assume you're up to speed on what delusional disorder is. But how up to speed? A question like this can find out:

A client tells a social worker he is certain the social worker is having an affair with the client's wife. The lack of evidence for the affair is seen by the client as evidence that there must be an affair. What type of delusional disorder is the client MOST likely exhibiting?

A) Mixed type

B) Jealous type

C) Persecutory type

D) Unspecified type

Were you able to answer this without glancing at your DSM? The answer is B, Jealous type. From the text:

This subtype applies when the central theme of the individual's delusion is that his or her spouse or lover is unfaithful.

Mixed type has no one theme; persecutory type involved being conspired against; unspecified type doesn't match existing types (which also include erotomanic, grandiose, and somatic types). Got it? Great.

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January 13, 2016
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