Mental Health Essay Case Study

Addie, age 15, is brought to the school nurse after fainting during gym class. She is grossly underweight, wears baggy clothes, and has dry skin. She complains of feeling cold despite wearing two sweaters. As the nurse examines her perfunctorily, she notices that Addie’s skin seems slightly yellow, and a gentle scrape of her skin shows signs of dehydration.

1. Based on the findings, what is the likely diagnosis?
2. What are contributing factors?
3. What would be an appropriate treatment plan? (Include possible medications, interventions, etc.).
4. List one short term and one long term goal for this client.  Mental Health Essay Case Study

Mental Health


The likely diagnosis for Addie is anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low weight, yellow or dry skin, dehydration, muscle weakness, lanugo, peripheral edema, hypotension manifested by dizziness or fainting, heart failure, feeling cold, constipation, fatigue, among other symptoms (Resmark et al., 2019). The patient (Addie) manifested symptoms such as low weight, dry skin, feeling cold, slightly yellow skin, signs of dehydration, and also fainted and thus supports the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.

Contributing Factors

The contributing factors to anorexia nervosa include psychological and mental factors such as obsessive-compulsive personality like obsession with low weight, low self-esteem, depression, poor response to stress, and anxiety. environmental factors such as puberty onset and stressful life incidents and media influence may also contribute to the patient’s condition (Resmark et al., 2019).Mental Health Essay Case Study


Appropriate Treatment Plan

Family-based therapy: This intervention has been shown to be effective in the treatment of teenagers like Addie with anorexia nervosa. This is because teenagers such as Addie lack the ability to make appropriate food and health choices and therefore family therapy is used to mobilize parents to assist the teenager in re-feeding, restoring weight, and making appropriate eating and health choices (Resmark et al., 2019).

Medications such as Fluoxetine (Prozac) can be used to treat comorbidity like depression if such a mental condition is a contributing factor to the patient’s condition (Resmark et al., 2019).

Treatment Goals

Short-Term Goal

  • The patient will be able to verbalize the eating pattern that includes the kinds, amounts, and frequency of food intake as well as any unhealthy weight control behaviors

Long Term Goal

  • Normalize the eating habits for the client, as demonstrated by eating 80% of three meals every day, in addition to two snacks
  • Illustrates three new healthy eating habits


Resmark G, Stephan H, Beate H & Zeeck A. (2019). Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa—New Evidence-Based Guidelines. J Clin Med, 8(2), 153.  Mental Health Essay Case Study



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