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.

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1: 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.
2: Boys are ___________ at risk for developing ADHD.
3: Anxiety, depression and other psychiatric problems
4: The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called
5: The most commonly reported side effects of stimulant medications are decreased appetite, sleep problems, anxiety, and _____________.
6: Current medications can
7: Which of the following statements is not true?
8: Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts are examples of
9: At least half of all cases of bipolar disorder start before the age of
10: Rapid-cycling occurs when a person has _________ or more episodes of major depression, mania, or hypomania all within a year.
11: People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help when they are
12: Which type of medication can cause major weight gain and changes in metabolism?
13: Which psychotherapy treatment helps people with bipolar disorder learn to change harmful or negative thought patterns and behavior?
14: Electroconvulsive therapy
15: Which of the following is not characteristic of BPD?
16: Which therapy has been shown to reduce suicide attempts in women by half compared with other types of psychotherapy or talk therapy.
17: According to the NIMH-funded National Comorbidity Survey Replication, about ____________ of people with BPD also meet the diagnostic criteria for another mental illness.
18: Which therapy focuses on the concept of mindfulness, or being aware of and attentive to the current situation?
19: It is estimated that _____________ of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
20: Women are ____________ more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.
21: All antidepressants must be taken for at least ____________ before they have a full effect.
22: Which of the following best describes interpersonal  therapy?
23: Women with depression are more likely to
24: Which of the following groups has the highest rate of suicide in the US?
25: Extreme thinness and distorted body image best describes
26: Worn tooth enamel, acid reflux disorder and other GI problems describe possible symptoms of
27: Eating disorders affect both genders, although rates among women are _________ times greater than among men.
28: In a therapy called the Maudsley approach, parents of adolescents with anorexia nervosa assume responsibility for
29: Generalized anxiety disorder affects twice as many
30: Which two types of medications are commonly used to treat GAD?
31: Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing is an example of
32: 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
33: Research shows that a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called ________________ is effective in reducing compulsive behaviors in OCD.
34: People with panic disorder may have any of the following except:
35: Which of the following best describes living with panic disorder?
36: To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following  for at least one month except:
37: Which of the following is an example of a cognition and mood symptom?
38: Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family is
39: This therapy helps people face and control their fear.  It exposes them to the trauma they experience in a safe way.
40: The most commonly prescribed medications for Social Anxiety Disorder are
41: Which of the following best describes Social Anxiety disorder?
42: Positive symptoms might include all of the following except:
43: What type of medication is used in treating schizophrenia?
44: 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?
45: Suicide is the ____________ leading cause of death for young people.
46: Which type of psychotherapy has been shown to reduce the rate of suicide among people with borderline personality disorder?

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 4 continuing education credits.

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.