First person reflection

Assignment 1 – First-Person Account Reflection
This assignment is designed for you to reflect on the first person accounts in the LeCroy & Holschuh text, First Person Narratives of Mental Illness and Recovery. The paper should consist of three separate reflection pieces on three of the narratives. Choose one narrative from the chapter on schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; one from the chapter on mood disorders—either on depression or on bipolar disorder; and one from the chapter on anxiety disorders and trauma-related disorders. This assignment is intended to support the development of engaging diversity and difference in practice (SWC 2.1.2) and assessing individuals (SWC 2.1.7).

The reflection paper should follow APA format, which includes title and reference pages, section headings, one-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. Please refer to the APA Style website if you need a refresher on APA formatting. Each reflection should be 2–3 pages in length and can be integrated into one paper or as three separate reflections, with one title page and one reference page for the assignment.

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The paper should include citations from at least six relevant references from peer-reviewed journals, which can include the assigned readings. These six references are in addition to the DSM-5 and the Lecroy & Holschuh text. Please do not use articles that were published prior to 2003 unless they are seminal or classic articles.

Do not simply describe the main points from the narrative. Instead, the paper should demonstrate your critical thinking, capacity for introspection, curiosity, and integrate readings from the course and the DSM-5. There are two parts to this assignment. First, compare the symptoms that the person in the narrative describes and discuss how they match (or not) the criteria for the DSM-5 diagnosis. Specifically, discuss how the person’s experience with the mental disorder is reflected and mirrored, as well as how it differs from the description of the diagnosis in the DSM. Please note that the narratives refer to DSM-IV diagnoses which are similar to those in the DSM-5. Second, reflect on the narratives and choose one or two of the following questions for each reflection. Please use a range of questions for the reflections.

Was this person misdiagnosed along the way, or not diagnosed at all? Did variables such as race, gender, social class, culture, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-political context influence the diagnostic process and how? If relevant, did this person find it helpful to be given a diagnosis? Why or why not?
How did stigma shape the experiences of the author- e.g., how did stigma influence their willingness to seek help, their self-esteem, their view of their own potential, their perceived options for treatment, relationships, employment, and/or education? Analyze specific factors in the author’s own cultural/historical/familial context that may have exacerbated or reduced stigma.
Discuss how involvement of mental health professionals was experienced by this individual/family. Who/what helped, and why? Who/what did not help, and why? This section may include a discussion of the use of medications, if relevant. How might these lessons inform your own social work practice?
Did the FPA challenge personal stereotypes you hold? Analyze possible origins of these stereotypes/myths, and what forces maintain these myths. Note how the book expanded and/or altered your understanding of what life with that particular challenge might involve.
Note if/when/how family members first became aware of the person’s problems/symptoms, and how they responded. Analyze the variables that appeared to shape the family member’s responses. Address both adaptive and maladaptive responses, as relevant.
We recommend you keep the Assignment 1 Grading Rubric handy as you work on this paper. This is the tool that your course facilitator will use to determine your grade.

This assignment counts for 30 points toward your final grade. Please submit the assignment by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Day 7 of Week 4. Un-negotiated late papers may be downgraded.

Make sure your paper is carefully edited for spelling, punctuation, and grammar and includes citations from at least six references from peer-reviewed journals in the assignment (i.e., you do not need 6 references for each narrative). As always, it is recommended that you use the Originality Check on the course Home Page to help you avoid plagiarism.

Click “Assignments” on the left-hand course menu when you are ready to submit.

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