Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients

Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients and provide treatment and health promotion while applying evidence-based research.


Kel is a 42-year-old certified public accountant (CPA) who dreams each year that she will board a cruise ship the day after Tax Day and go somewhere, anywhere, except Portsmouth, Virginia. Each year the dream, like the ocean, ebbs and flows, but this year she is not even going to think about such a “ridiculous idea.” In fact, she does not even have the energy to dream; getting out of bed and preparing to go to work is simply too labor intensive. 

Each evening Kel retires to bed with a lack of energy to complete her normal tasks such as readying her clothes for work and making a lunch. She lacks the energy to shop in the evening; consequently, she eats mostly crackers and canned soup. She is not hungry, and her scale reflects this. She has lost 15 pounds over the last 2 months.

She does not attend to her makeup or clothes; she finds both too taxing. The clothes she selects are drab and not ironed. At work she makes no effort to talk with her co-workers and does not initiate new contacts with clients. The normal work of filing taxes and writing reports, which she used to enjoy, are overwhelming, and she feels too disorganized to complete them. Telephone calls and e-mail messages from friends are ignored. Attendance at work is spotty.

Sue, her sister, becomes alarmed with Kel’s unanswered telephone calls and e-mails. Worried, she decides to visit her sister at home. She finds the apartment unclean and in disarray. Kel is unkempt, disheveled, and looks sad. Her voice is monotone and flat. Kel tells Sue that she feels “sad and hopeless. Nothing is ever going to change. I am a bad person and I can’t even do my work right. Although I sleep for many hours, I am still tired all the time.” Sue is alarmed at the changes in her sister and arranges for Kel to visit a health care worker at the medical clinic.


Remember to answer these questions from your textbooks and NP guidelines. At all times, explain your answers. 

  1. Describe the presenting problems.
  2. Generate a primary and differential diagnosis using the DSM5 and ICD 10 codes.
  3. Formulate and prioritize a treatment plan. 
  4. Identify and discuss appropriate screening instruments for a patient who has suicidal ideation.

Submission Instructions:

  • Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 3 academic sources.

Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients

Critical thinking is an essential skill for all individuals, but especially important for those who work with mental health patients. By using critical thinking skills, clinicians can better understand and treat patients’ symptoms.

First and foremost, critical thinking involves recognizing facts and evaluating information objectively. When working with patients, it is important to remain impartial and objective. This means that you should not automatically accept information as true simply because a patient tells you about it. Instead, you should examine the evidence presented and make your own judgment based on that evidence.

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Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients
Analyze and apply critical thinking skills in the psychopathology of mental health patients

Another key concept related to critical thinking is skepticism. Skepticism is the recognition that there are many ways to view the world and that not all information is accurate or valid. When working with patients, it is important to maintain a skeptical attitude by questioning everything they say. This allows you to determine whether or not the information is relevant and applicable to your case.

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Related FAQs

1. Why is critical thinking important in mental health?

Achieving these therapeutic goals requires the involvement of critical thinking, such as the willingness and ability to critically analyze one’s thoughts and evaluate evidence and arguments independently of one’s prior beliefs.

2. Why is critical thinking important in mental health nursing?

It is an important part of psychiatric-mental health nursing and the interpersonal relationship. Through the use of critical thinking, psychiatric-mental health nurses make clinical decisions that translate into an appropriate plan of care for the patient (Harding & Snyder, 2015).

3. How do critical thinking ability and critical thinking disposition relate to the mental health of university students?

This suggests that that students with higher CT are less likely to suffer from mental problems. Empirical research has reported an association between CT and mental health among college students (Suliman and Halabi, 2007; Kargar et al., 2013; Yoshinori and Marcus, 2013; Chen and Hwang, 2020; Ugwuozor et al., 2021)

4. What is a good example of critical thinking?

Examples of Critical Thinking
A triage nurse analyzes the cases at hand and decides the order by which the patients should be treated. A plumber evaluates the materials that would best suit a particular job. An attorney reviews evidence and devises a strategy to win a case or to decide whether to settle out of court.

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