Let's take a look at the Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders chapter of the DSM. How do you distinguish the diagnosis from one another? This could come in handy on the licensing exam.
First, the criteria. Then some quick practice questions.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Recurrent behavioral outbursts representing a failure to control aggressive impulses as manifested by either verbal or physical aggression for a period of 3 months or three outbursts involving damage or destruction to property or physical injury within a 12-month period.
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major societal norms are violated in the past 12 months with criteria present in the last 6 months (aggression, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, serious violation of rules).
The other diagnoses in the chapter differentiate themselves: Pyromania (fire setting), kleptomania (stealing).
And then there's antisocial personality disorder, which requires a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since before age 15. Not diagnosed before age 18.
So...got all that? There are some basic ideas that are easy to memorize, and several numbers that, depending upon your memory, might get confused. How many months required? What ages?
Here are some quick practice questions to test how well you've absorbed the above info. The choices for each:
A. Oppositional defiant disorder
B. Intermittent explosive disorder
C. Conduct disorder
D. Antisocial personality disorder
and let's throw in another option (one more that you'll get on the ASWB exam)
E. Doesn't meet criteria for a DSM diagnosis.
Your practice questions:
A social worker sees a client who...
1. ...is 17, has been caught torturing small animals with regularity since he was 14. He denies the behavior, even when caught in the act. He shows little remorse and has few friends.
2. ...is 18 and a member of a gang. He has been participating in fights, vandalism, and some drug dealing since he joined last year.
3. ...is 14 and refuses to listen to anything his parents ask him to do. When they insist that he do household chores, he covers his ears to avoid hearing, sometimes chanting or humming loudly to block them out.
4. ...is 13 and, while generally well-behaved, ever since entering puberty a year ago, throws huge tantrums when she doesn't get her way, sometimes smashing a plate or punching the wall.
5. ...is 15 and for the last year has skipped school regularly, instead smoking pot and hanging out in the local convenience store parking lot. Confronted by his mother, the moody teen demands to be left alone and sometimes has laughed when she begins to tear up.
What is the BEST diagnosis for these clients?
Scroll down for answers...
1. C. Conduct disorder. (Sounds like ADD, but ADD can't be diagnosed till age 18.)
2. C. Conduct disorder.
3. E. Doesn't meet criteria for a DSM diagnosis.
4. B. Intermittent explosive disorder.
5. A. Oppositional defiant disorder
How's you do?
If you found this helpful, please post and share. And just imagine how helpful complete practice exams will be.
Happy studying and good luck on the exam!
October 4, 2019