Common Mental Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment (4 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course examines the diagnosis and treatment of common mental disorders including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Schizophrenia.  Signs and symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, medication, and treatments are explored.

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, and therapists and is appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  

Reading:  Common Mental Disorders:  Diagnosis and Treatment

Publisher:  excerpts taken from the National Institute of Mental Health

Find the reading at:

Program Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of common mental disorders.

Learning Objectives: Describe the ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.  Identify the most common type of medication used for treating ADHD.  Identify the four basic types of bipolar disorder.  Identify what kinds of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder.  Identify types of psychotherapy used to treat borderline personality disorder.  Describe the different forms of depressive disorder.  Compare the different classes of antidepressants.  Describe how women and men experience depression differently.  Describe common obsessions and compulsions for people with obsessive compulsive disorder.  Give an example of a cognition and mood symptom for PTSD.  Describe risk and resilience factors for post-traumatic stress disorder.  Describe positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms for the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Course Outline:

  3. EATING DISORDERS Diagnosis and Treatment 
  4. GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER Diagnosis and Treatment 
  5. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER Diagnosis and Treatment 
  6. PANIC DISORDER Diagnosis and Treatment 
  7. POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER Diagnosis and Treatment 
  9. SCHIZOPHRENIA Diagnosis and Treatment 
  10. SUICIDE PREVENTION Diagnosis and Treatment 

Review our pre-reading study guide.

This course includes 110 test questions.  Please note that your answers will not save if you log-out.

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1: Most children have which type of ADHD?
2: To be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must have symptoms for _____________ or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.
3: Blurting out inappropriate comments, having difficulty waiting for things, and often interrupting conversations best describes symptoms of
4: The average age of onset for ADHD is _______ years old.
5: Boys are ___________ at risk for developing ADHD.
6: Studies show that the number of children being diagnosed with ADHD is ________________, but it is unclear why.
7: Anxiety, depression and other psychiatric problems
8: Undetected hearing or vision problems
9: A significant change, such as a divorce,
10: An adult with ADHD symptoms can be diagnosed with ADHD if symptoms begin during adulthood.
11: The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called
12: The most commonly reported side effects of stimulant medications are decreased appetite, sleep problems, anxiety, and _____________.
13: In 2007, the FDA required that all makers of ADHD medications develop Patient Medication Guides that contain information about
14: Studies show that children and teenagers who take ___________ are more likely to have suicidal thoughts than children and teenagers with ADHD who do not take it.
15: Current medications can
16: Which type of therapy might involve practical assistance, such as help organizing tasks, completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events?
17: Adult prescriptions for stimulants and other medications require special considerations because
18: Which of the following statements is not true?
19: According to an MRI study, which part of the brain tends to be smaller and function less well in adults with bipolar disorder?
20: Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts are examples of
21: Hypomania is a __________ severe form of mania.
22: A person who believes that they are ruined and penniless may be experiencing
23: At least half of all cases of bipolar disorder start before the age of
24: Rapid-cycling occurs when a person has _________ or more episodes of major depression, mania, or hypomania all within a year.
25: People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help when they are
26: Which type of medication is usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder?
27: Which was the first mood stabilizer approved by the FDA in the 1970's for treating both manic and depressive episodes?
28: Which mood stabilizer can lead to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome in women who begin taking the medication before age 20?
29: Which type of medication can cause major weight gain and changes in metabolism?
30: Mood stabilizing medications can harm a developing fetus or nursing infant.
31: Which psychotherapy treatment helps people with bipolar disorder learn to change harmful or negative thought patterns and behavior?
32: Which  psychotherapy treatment focuses on regular daily routines and sleep schedules?
33: Electroconvulsive therapy
34: People with borderline personality disorder have a high rate of co-occurring disorders such as
35: Which of the following is not characteristic of BPD?
36: As many as _________ of people with BPD have suicidal behaviors, and about 4 to 9 percent commit suicide.
37: Which therapy has been shown to reduce suicide attempts in women by half compared with other types of psychotherapy or talk therapy.
38: Women with BPD are more likely to have co-occurring disorders such as
39: According to the NIMH-funded National Comorbidity Survey Replication, about ____________ of people with BPD also meet the diagnostic criteria for another mental illness.
40: Which therapy focuses on the concept of mindfulness, or being aware of and attentive to the current situation?
41: Medications can help
42: With persistent depressive disorder, depressed mood lasts for at least _______________.
43: It is estimated that _____________ of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
44: Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.
45: Women are ____________ more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.
46: Antidepressants primarily work on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially
47: Some of the newest and most popular antidepressants are called
48: MAOIs can react with SSRIs to produce a serious condition called
49: All antidepressants must be taken for at least ____________ before they have a full effect.
50: The 'black box' warning label on antidepressant medications emphasizes close monitoring especially during the initial weeks of treatment for
51: Which of the following best describes interpersonal  therapy?
52: Women with depression are more likely to
53: More women
54: Which of the following groups has the highest rate of suicide in the US?
55: By age 15, _________ are twice as likely to have had a major depressive episode.
56: ____________ has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.
57: Extreme thinness and distorted body image best describes
58: Which of the following does not usually describe a person with bulimia nervosa?
59: Thinning of the bones, brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin describe possible symptoms of
60: Worn tooth enamel, acid reflux disorder and other GI problems describe possible symptoms of
61: Which is the most common eating disorder in the US?
62: Eating disorders affect both genders, although rates among women are _________ times greater than among men.
63: In a therapy called the Maudsley approach, parents of adolescents with anorexia nervosa assume responsibility for
64: Generalized Anxiety Disorder develops
65: Generalized anxiety disorder affects twice as many
66: GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least
67: Which two types of medications are commonly used to treat GAD?
68: Generalized anxiety disorder is best treated with
69: Fear of germs or contamination is
70: Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing is an example of
71: A person with OCD generally spends at least ___________ a day on obsessions and compulsions.
72: Most people with OCD are diagnosed by about age
73: Studies have shown that people with first-degree relatives who have OCD are at higher risk for developing OCD themselves.  The risk is higher if the first-degree relative developed OCD as
74: SRI's often require higher daily doses in the treatment of OCD than of depression, and may take _________ weeks to start working.
75: Research shows that a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called ________________ is effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD.
76: People with panic disorder may have any of the following except:
77: Panic disorder is twice as common in
78: An attack usually peaks within
79: The most commonly prescribed medications for panic disorder are
80: Which of the following best describes living with panic disorder?
81: Symptoms for PTSD must last more than _________ to be considered PTSD.
82: To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following  for at least one month except:
83: Which of the following would be an example of a re-experiencing symptom?
84: Arousal symptoms are usually
85: Which of the following is an example of a cognition and mood symptom?
86: Symptoms usually resolve within a few weeks for
87: Living through dangerous events and traumas is a
88: Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family is
89: Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear is
90: The most studied medications for treating PTSD include ___________.
91: This therapy tries to help people make sense of the bad memories.
92: This therapy helps people face and control their fear.  It exposes them to the trauma they experience in a safe way.
93: Women are _________ likely to develop Social Anxiety Disorder as men.
94: Social Anxiety Disorder may be diagnosed if the person has had the disorder for at least
95: The most commonly prescribed medications for Social Anxiety Disorder are
96: Which antidepressant may produce dangerous side effects when combined with certain foods or other medicines?
97: Which of the following best describes Social Anxiety disorder?
98: The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories including all of the following except:
99: Trouble focusing or paying attention is an example of a
100: Positive symptoms might include all of the following except:
101: Scientists are looking for a single gene that might cause schizoprenia
102: Which of the following would be described as an environmental risk factor for schizophrenia?
103: What type of medication is used in treating schizophrenia?
104: Which treatment model integrates medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, family involvement, and supported education and employment services, all aimed at reducing symptoms of schizophrenia and improving quality of life?
105: Which of the following is considered a main risk factor for suicide?
106: Compared with men, women are more likely to
107: Suicide is the ____________ leading cause of death for young people.
108: Which group tends to have the highest rate of suicides?
109: Which type of psychotherapy has been shown to reduce the rate of suicide among people with borderline personality disorder?
110: Research has found that many older adults and women who die by suicide ________ their primary care providers in the year before death.

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Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 4 continuing education clock hours.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.