This essay begins with the psychiatric evaluation of a 22 year old female university student with acomplex psychiatric history.Her unfortunate personal circumstances were replete with adversity from a young age. Although sheinitially presented with a clinical picture suggesting a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, it was laterdiscovered that she, in fact, was suffering from bipolar disorder.Furthermore, because of her repeated gestures at self-harm, a diagnosis of borderline personalitydisorder came under consideration. Aside from the medical aspect of her mental health difficulties are theequally important psychological and social factors contributing to her negative state of mind.This patient was an interesting case due to the diagnostic uncertainty pervading her management as wellas being an archetypal depiction of the biopsychosocial model and the importance of patient-centred care.
The advent of the biopsychosocial model has revolutionised the practice of healthcare
espouses an approach to patient care which considers the patients’ psychological issues and their social
situation, not just the biological and medical aspects of patient care.In no other area of medicine is patient-centred care more fundamental than in psychiatry. Mind, body andsocial situation are all complicit in the development of a mental illness.
One can easily appreciate this in Lisa’s case, which
perfectly illustrates the impact that emotional
difficulties, social adversities and genetic susceptibility can have on an individual’s neurochemistry,
culminating in a major mental illness.
The second section of this composition juxtaposes my patient’s ca
se with the literature on thebiopsychosocial model. The predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating and protective factors contributing
to my patient’s illness are defined, as well as the potential treatment options by which these can be