Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick Quiz: Kleptomania

All this talk of kleptocracy brought us to the kleptomania page of the DSM. Here's a quick quiz that should help you if you encounter a kleptomania question on the ASWB exam.

According to DSM-5, which of the following is NOT a criterion for kleptomania?

A. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

B. Decreasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft.

C. Pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of committing the theft.

D. The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

What do you think?

The answer is in comments.

Heads-up: You won't see "NOT" questions like this on the ASWB exam. You will encounter BEST and FIRST questions, though. To get practice questions in ASWB format, check out the SWTP blog and complete practice exams.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quick Quiz: The Core Values of Social Work

Here's the quickest of quick quizzes. Can you name the six core values of social work as laid out in the NASW Code of Ethics? They're also known as social work's Ethical Principles.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Think on it. Here are the first initials if you need a hint: S, SJ, DaWotP, IoHR, I, C.

Got 'em? Great! The ASWB exam won't ask you to list things out like this, but straining your brain a little bit to remember just what social work stands for may help you come exam day.

The answers are right at the beginning of the Code.

Good luck with the exam!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Social Workers Challenge Social Injustice

From the NASW Code of Ethics:

Value: Social Justice
Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice. 
Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

Friday, November 4, 2016

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

What's NPD? We can answer that. There's been a lot of throwing around the term "narcissist" lately. Have people been using it correctly? Let's look at the facts. Like so much info of this type, it'll help in life and it'll help you pass the social work licensing exam.

A diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires, per DSM-5, a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy and behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

So what do you think? You likely know (or know of) more than a few people who meet the above criteria. NPD has a prevalence of somewhere between 2%-16% in clinical populations.

How to identify NPD is one thing. How to treat it is another.

Read on here:
Good luck handling the narcissists in your life and good luck on the exam!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Social Work Exam Quiz: DSM Time Frames

Here's another quiz that will test the depths of your DSM knowledge. For each of the following fill in the blank--what is the proper time frame according to DSM-5?

1. Encopresis (repeated passage of feces into inappropriate places). Chronological age is at least ___ years (or equivalent developmental level).

2. Binge-Eating Disorder. Beinge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for ___ months.

3. Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (severe, recurrent temper outbursts). Primary criteria have been present for ___ months or more. Age of onset is before ___ years.

4. Insomnia Disorder. The sleep difficulty occurs at least ___ nights a week and has been present for at least ___ months.

5. Manic Episode (in Bipolar I). Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only ___ hours of sleep).

6. Brief Psychotic Disorder. Duration of episode is at least ___ day(s) but less that ___ month(s).

7. Schizophreniform Disorder. Symptoms are present for at least ___ month(s), but less than ___ months.

8. Schizophrenia. Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least ___ months.

9. Cannabis Use Disorder. "In early remission" if criteria have not been met for at least ___ month(s) but for less than ___ months. "In sustained remission" if criteria have not been met for ___ month(s) or longer.

How'd you do? Answers in comments.

These aren't depths that will necessarily be plumbed on the ASWB exam, but if you know this stuff, you can safely say, "DSM questions? Bring 'em on. I'm ready."

And if you're looking for real, exam-style DSM questions to practice on (along with all the other types of questions), check out SWTP practice tests. Tell 'em "Pass the ASWB Exam" sent you!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Quick Quiz: Panic Disorder Symptoms

What are they symptoms of panic disorder? That's what we're asking you. A diagnosis of panic disorder requires "Recurrent unexpected panic attacks (an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during which time four (or more) of the following symptoms occur." A list of 13 symptoms follows.

Your task, should you choose to accept it. Name as many of those 13 symptoms as you can. To get you started (but also limit you by taking away an answer you may have thought of), the first one is filled in.

1. Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

How'd you do? Here's a rating scale (an arbitrary one):

1-3 Not bad
4-7 Pretty amazing
8-12 Incredible!

The complete list is in comments.

What is Selective Mutism?

Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder diagnosed when a client has difficulty speaking in certain settings (e.g., at school). The DSM criteria for the disorder are as follows:
A. Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations in which there is an expectation for speaking (e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations.
B. The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication.
C. The duration of the disturbance is at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school) 
D. The failure to speak is not attributable to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language required in the social situation. 
E. The disturbance is not better explained by a communication disorder (e.g., childhood-onset fluency disorder) and does not occur exclusively during the course of autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, or another psychotic disorder.
And that's that. The disorder is most common in children five and under. Knowing the above criteria should allow you to easily identify the correct answer in any social work licensing exam on the topic!

For more reading about selective mutism, try selectivemutismcenter.org, AnxietyBC, & Medline Plus.