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Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series was chosen as the fictional character for this task. The article goes into Luna's personality, diagnosis, and treatment plan. The DSM-IV-TR multiaxial system is used to make the determination.
Luna Lovegood is portrayed as a student attending the same school as Ginny Wesley and Harry Potter. Luna is from a well-educated family, and her father works as an editor for the Quibbler. There isn't much information available regarding Luna's extended relatives. She connects well with her father and the newspaper he publishes. She is initially seen sitting alone in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express. Harry approaches Luna in the compartment, and he realizes that she is holding the Quibbler upside down. It is further noted by Harry that she seems to read the paper, this indicates that Luna is obsessed with the journal to the extent of absent-mindedly holding the paper upside down and pretend that she is reading it. She defends her father when Hermione Granger attacks the content of the article. The socio-cultural life and educational background of Luna is demonstrated in the book, she is seen in a class of twenty-five students (Rowling, 2007).
Even though Luna is perceived as an odd and weird lady, she is quite intelligent. The family ties and her unusual upbringing by an eccentric like Xeno Lovegood make her see things differently, at other times she sees things that other people probably wouldn't. Luna believes in creatures and plants that are not commonly accepted in the wizardly world, and she is also perceptive about the people around her. It is observed that Luna has less animosity with the people around her, as it happened when her possession was stolen and teased by the classmates. However, Luna is an individual who tends to "space-out" thereby making her somewhat oblivious of her surroundings. Her mind is a little too open, and this is demonstrated by her belief in plants and creatures outside the general magical community. The tendency to isolate herself from classmates is evident from the book where it is also shown that she is over-honest in her assessment of others.
Luna is commonly referred to as "Loony," she has no career. She is a student who is in the process of learning. She is portrayed as having odd behaviors, she is detached from the ordinary life and continues to believe in strange creatures. When Potter met her the first time, holding the newspaper upside down, he saw a person who seemed dreamy, and she was detached from the moving scenes. A close observation reveals that Luna is disconnected from the ordinary life; she has earrings that appear to be made of radishes, called "dirigible plums." It is believed that the dirigible plums heighten mental acuity as claimed by Xeno Lovegood. The first encounter with Potter reveals a girl who believes in creatures that few other people would believe exists.
Luna portrays herself as a person suffering mentally; she is most likely suffering from autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder influences how a child perceives and socialize with others, and it causes problems in communication and behavior of the patient. According to Wong, et al., (2015) each child with autism spectrum is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior, and the severity can be difficult to determine. The symptoms portrayed by Luna, that points to the disorder include; she is uncooperative and resistant to change. In a class of twenty-five students, she does not have a close friend. She is not express emotions or feelings, and she appears unaware of others feelings. When Potter meets her the first time, she is not irritated by the cruel joke made by the newspapers; she merely informs Hermione that her father is editor of the paper. We, later on, learn that the team of student want an interview conducted and be published, Luna facilitates the discussion and publication of the paper since her father is the publisher.
Luna lacks interest with people; she does not have friends in school. It is also demonstrated that she has no interest in sharing her interest or achievement to others. Wong et al., (2015) further argue that a young person suffering from autism spectrum disorder are unlikely to approach others or pursues social interactions. Luna has no interest in socializing with other students, and she is seen most of the time alone. The nickname, Loony, further indicates that the people around her see her alone; however, the author is swift to point out that she is not a loner. Her behavior of detaching from the other is further illustrated when she is described as sitting alone in a cubicle on the Hogwarts Express, away from other students. Weird things fascinate Luna, and she is said to love creatures and plants that other people tend not to believe exists.
The Fourth Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV) refer to the standard classification of mental disorder used by mental health practitioners in the USA. The multiaxial system is used for assessment and is designed to provide a comprehensive diagnosis (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). There are five axes, each relating to a different aspect of a mental disorder:
Axis 1: Clinical disorder, it is usually diagnosed in infancy or adolescence; it includes autism among other disturbances. Luna is suffering from a mood disorder, and she is not in good terms with other students, she is seen disagreeing with the teacher and other students. At times, she looks as if she is depressed or suffering from anxiety. According to the author, Luna is a girl who believes in the existence of creatures and plants that other people, including her classmate's belief, is not in existence. The fictitious disorder affects her to the extent of seeing things that only very few people know. For instance, when Harry (Potter) leaves the train they were using, he sees a carriage that he thinks is horseless being pulled by vaguely horse-shaped, winged reptilian creature. It is not surprising to hear Luna claim that she as seen the creature, to the astonishment of Ron, their classmate, who claims that he has not seen the creature. Luna is also in terms with Harry who believes that Lord Voldemont has returned, this upsets the teacher who believes that Lord Voldemort is inexistent. It is further shown that Luna is affected by the dissociative disorder due to her continuous habit of being alone.
The second axis is personality disorder and mental retardation that is manifested in the life of Luna in different ways. Antisocial personality disorder is seen by the way Luna decides to seclude herself, the few instances she is with other people is just as a matter of necessity. Being with the classmates is against her wish, she is with them due to the circumstances that force her to be in class. A considerable social stigma accompanies the axis II disorder, and Luna is not a sociable person. No axis III diagnosis, this axis concerns the general medical condition, the concerns have a bearing on understanding the mental disorder or its management. According to Kupfer, Kuhl & Wulsin, (2013), the general medical conditions may be regarded in different ways, first as being directly related to mental disorder, second, as being relevant to the overall diagnostic picture and finally as not having a sufficient relationship. However, Luna portrays mood disorder that might be associated with hypothyroidism and depression caused by her act of self-segregation.
The fourth Axis is about psychosocial and environmental problems. According to Ramirez, Ekselius & Ramklint, (2013), the psychosocial and environmental problems include those arising from primary support groups. The relationship of Luna with family members is not set out by the book, and she is only seen praising her father who is an editor. The reason for honoring her father is not to love, but to defend her action of reading the newspaper, albeit she is holding it upside down. There is nothing to celebrate about her relationship with classmates or her age-mates because she is mostly alone. Various problems related to her social environment, very few people seem to understand her. She lives a hopeless life, and she is seen trying to be close to Ron who also might be suffering from the same disorder. Ramirez, Ekselius & Ramklint, (2013), further argues that educational problems affect the way a person lives. Luna is seen to act differently from her classmates, she is in constant conflict with the teachers and fellow students, due to her different views. In most instances, she inclines herself to things that other people cannot see or understand. It is also demonstrated that Luna is affected by the occupational problems, the learning environment is not friendly to her, the teachers and students don’t understand her, at other times classmates scorn her. She feels dissatisfied when her argument or presentation is shot down. The fifth axis is the global assessment of functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Luna is at GAF 70.
Before administering any drug, assessment is conducted to Luna, and her condition is not dangerous. Communication challenge is assessed and the social impairment. The technique used to intervene or treat Luna a combination of medication and behavior treatment strategies. This helps her to manage tendencies and developmental disruptions. There is no permanent cure for autism. However, medication is offered to help relief from symptoms that create agitation (Gilman, Trinh, Smoller, Fava, Murphy & Breslau, 2013). It is also proposed that working with Luna at school to assist her to identify the triggers that cause emotional outburst among others. Luna is supported to recognize social cues and practicing focusing on conversation.
Rowling portrays Luna a character suffering a mental disorder. Several instances are drawn showing signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. She has been subjected to DSM-IV-TR multiaxial system to identify the extent of her problem. Treatment and intervention are adopted following an elaborate diagnosis of the victim.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub.
Gilman, S. E., Trinh, N. H., Smoller, J. W., Fava, M., Murphy, J. M., & Breslau, J. (2013). Psychosocial stressors and the prognosis of major depression: a test of Axis IV. Psychological medicine, 43(2), 303-316.
Kupfer, D. J., Kuhl, E. A., & Wulsin, L. (2013). Psychiatry's integration with medicine: the role of DSM-5. Annual review of medicine, 64, 385-392.
Ramirez, A., Ekselius, L., & Ramklint, M. (2013). Axis IV–psychosocial and environmental problems–in the DSM‐IV. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 20(9), 768-775.
Rowling, J. K. (2007). Harry Potter series. Arthur A. Levine Books.
Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. A., Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., ... & Schultz, T. R. (2015). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: A comprehensive review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(7), 1951-1966.
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