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Margaret, a prominent businesswoman in her late forties noted for her energy and productivity, was unexpectedly deserted by her husband for a younger woman. Following her initial shock, she began to have uncontrollable weeping spells and doubts about her business abilities. Decision making became an ordeal. Her spirits rapidly sank, and she began to spend more and more time in bed, refusing to deal with anyone. Within a period of weeks, she had suffered serious financial losses owing to her inability, or refusal, to keep her affairs in order. She felt she was a “total failure,” even when reminded of her considerable personal and professional achievements; indeed, her self-criticism gradually spread to all aspects of her life and her personal history. Finally, alarmed members of her family basically forced her to accept an appointment with a clinical psychologist.

Read carefully the case study presented above
Describe the symptoms. Try not to simply re-state the case; instead, give a synthesis.
Is this abnormal? Why? What criteria of abnormality do these behaviors and mental processes meet?
From what disorder do you think Margaret is suffering? Support your diagnosis by: 1) giving the definition of the disorder you diagnosed.
2) showing how Margaret’s symptoms match that definition. Please note that when making the diagnosis it is not sufficient to mention the disorder category (i.e., “mood disorder”), but you need to indicate the specific disorder from which you think she suffers.
Could you identify some causal factors that might be responsible for Margaret’s condition?
Describe the diathesis-stress model. How does it apply to Margaret’s case?
What course of therapy/treatment would you recommend? Briefly describe the treatment method you chose, and the expected outcomes. Justify your choice: why did you choose this course of treatment? When recommending a type of therapy it is not enough to say “psychotherapy”; instead indicate the specific type of psychotherapy.


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