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Oscar’s Treatment Plan Case Study

The development of the effective treatment plan is one of the main tasks of professionals who work with patients suffering from mental or personality disorders. Oscar, a 25 year-old Hispanic man, reports that he is hearing voices and that his colleagues are planning to bury the young male alive. In order to be able to help Oscar seeking the therapy, it is important to focus on all the provided details, to identify symptoms, and to conclude regarding the possible psychiatric evaluation and further treatment. The purpose of this paper is to examine the symptoms characteristic for Oscar in order to determine whether it is necessary to conduct the psychiatric evaluation for the young man and propose the plan of treatment appropriate for Oscar.

Reasons to Recommend Psychiatric Evaluation

Psychiatric evaluation is important to test the hypotheses regarding the patient’s state that are made by professionals. Focusing on Oscar’s reported symptoms, it is necessary to recommend the psychiatric evaluation because the young male is concerned about his state, and his symptoms can be regarded as hallucinations and delusions typical for psychotic or mental disorders. It is possible that Oscar suffers from such hallucinations as hearing voices as well as from visual hallucinations when he states that he can see spiders in the workplace and in the bedroom. Furthermore, Oscar’s ideas about delusions about co-workers who are plotting to bury the man alive can also be symptoms of psychotic disorders.

Although the evaluation procedure may not lead to formulating the diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct the assessment of Oscar with the focus on interview, psychological assessments, and physical examination in order to state whether a psychotic disorder is observed. Oscar is seeking the therapy, and it is important to collaborate with the patient and evaluate his state in order to guarantee the patient’s safety.

Possible Disorders

The careful psychiatric evaluation is necessary in case of Oscar because the reported symptoms can be associated with such diagnoses as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. It is possible to speak about schizophrenia because Oscar reports hearing voices that can be discussed as auditory hallucinations. Furthermore, it is important to focus on Oscar’s experience with finding spiders in the workspace and in the bedroom because these experiences can be discussed as visual hallucinations. In addition, the ideas about plotting against Oscar can be discussed as delusions typical for paranoid schizophrenia as a subtype of schizophrenia.

Oscar also focuses on the problems with concentration. Much attention should be paid to the fact that Oscar often argues with the relatives and the young man discusses the mother and brothers as attacking him. In combination with the high blood pressure, these symptoms and behaviors are typical for the paranoid schizophrenia.

In addition, it is also important to focus on the results of the psychiatric evaluation in order to conclude about the possible presence of the schizoaffective disorder because Oscar’s discussion of quarrels and relatives’ attacks can be associated with changes in the mood. However, the young man does not demonstrate problems with cleanliness and other aspects of physical appearance. The information about possible episodes of mania or depression can be gathered with the help of the interview and psychological tests.

Possible Treatment


The pharmacological treatment with the help of medications of first and second generations is effective to control a range of psychotic symptoms that are typical for schizophrenia. The psychosis that is not treated with the help of medications often has the negative prognosis, and psychosis episodes are characterized by the longer duration. However, the use of medications can be problematic because of many side effects influencing the patient’s physical state, emotional state, and social activities.

It is important to pay much attention to choosing the appropriate medication for Oscar because of his problems with the blood pressure. For instance, Aripiprazole can cause the undesired activation and then abrupt sedation, Risperidone can cause the acute hypotension (Gadelha, Noto, & De Jesus Mari, 2012, p. 491). Such changes in the blood pressure can affect the physical state of Oscar negatively.


Professionals determine person-focused, empathic, and collaborative perspectives and approaches along with perspectives associated with psychological, social, and psychosocial interventions. In spite of the positive effects of person-focused, empathic, and collaborative approaches to working with patients suffering from schizophrenia, these approaches are rather ineffective when they are not supported with other types of treatment.

Therapeutic Techniques

Therapies are closely connected with the discussed approaches, and there are such types of therapies used for treating patients with schizophrenia as cognitive therapy including the cognitive behavioral therapy, psycho-education, psychosocial adaptation, family intervention, community treatment, and social skills training. These therapies and associated therapeutic techniques are considered as effective to help persons with schizophrenia to balance their lives, to improve their social relations, to improve their emotional state, and to teach them how to cope with hallucinations and delusions (Addington, Piskulic, & Marshall, 2010, p. 261).

It is important to note that many specialists choose therapeutic techniques even in contrast to the use of medications because pharmacotherapy often has significant limitations, and the main focus of treating schizophrenia is to help patients cope with their symptoms while guaranteeing functional and emotional improvements.

Best Possible Treatment

Referring to the discussion of the proposed approaches to treat schizophrenia, it is possible to state that the best option for Oscar is the combination of pharmacotherapy and psychosocial therapy. According to Gadelha, Noto, and De Jesus Mari, “the main aim of treatment, by combining medications and psychosocial interventions, is to improve functional recovery and social reintegration of patients” (Gadelha et al., 2012, p. 496).

Thus, the reason for choosing the combined method is that the psychosocial therapy includes the elements of the traditional cognitive behavioral therapy and therapies oriented to the social adaptation and improvement of relations with relatives and the other people (Addington et al., 2010, p. 262).

The psychosocial therapy is important for Oscar to improve his social interactions, relations with the mother and brothers, and relations with co-workers. Still, pharmacotherapy is also necessary because Oscar needs to control such psychotic symptoms as hallucinations and delusions. However, in case of Oscar, it is important to pay much attention to the selection of the medication that has minimal side effects and does not influence the young man’s blood pressure. From this point, the choice of the combination of pharmacotherapy and the psychosocial therapy seems to be relevant if the main focus is on the psychosocial therapy.


Symptoms reported by Oscar can be discussed in the context of developing schizophrenia. As a result, it is possible to propose the psychiatric evaluation and the further treatment of the patient with the focus on the psychosocial therapy. The combination of pharmacotherapy and psychosocial therapy is expected, but the use of medications can be limited to address the young male’s problem with the high blood pressure.


Addington, J., Piskulic, D., & Marshall, C. (2010). Psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(4), 260-263. Web.

Gadelha, A., Noto, C., & De Jesus Mari, J. (2012). Pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. International Review of Psychiatry, 24(5), 489-498. Web.

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