Interview a Person Who Has Mentally Ill Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Mental Illness Interview

SWK 354 Midterm Interview Assignment


Name Age DOB SS# Religion Sex Race

George Tirebiter 35 Oct 17, 1975 - Roman Catholic M. White

Current Address Phone Permanent Address

1445 Fleming Walloon Blvd. - West Roxbury, Mass.

Education Level


None currently

Current Important Activities (school, community, etc.)

Wife and family; writing poetry

Financial Sources:

Spousal support

Important Medical Information

In Case of Emergency Notify: Relationship: Worker:

Wife: Ki-Sook Tirebiter

Diagnosed schizophrenic, April 2001

Treatment Plans (Do Not Complete)

Client Identification.

35-year-old adult white male George Tirebiter (see face sheet)

Person, Family and Household, and Community Systems.

Person system. I observed that George is extremely overweight and has difficulty moving around: he ascribes the weight gain to the medications he has been on for the past decade. George describes himself as an "artist" which seems to be his emphatic way of coping with a sense of shame and loss at being unable to work or operate among those who were his social peers before his diagnosis.

2. Family and household system. George is married to, and lives with, a 34-year-old Korean-American woman, Ki-Sook Tirebiter. Within George's general area live his parents and his two siblings (each of whom is also married).

3. Community system. George has followed the advice of state-designated social workers to try to maintain contact with college friends (with limited success). He sends letters to magazine or newspaper editors frequently (seldom published).

C. Presenting Problems / Issues of Concern. George does not always make sense conversationally. George's own imaginative life apparently revolves around his "poetry" -- samples shared with me make it seem like classic schizophrenic "clanging."

D. Assets, Resources and Strengths. Strong family structure and support. Especially George's wife. George and Ki-Sook were only married for a little more than a year when George was diagnosed. The Roman Catholic faith that George and Ki-Sook share made divorce extremely unlikely. Ki-Sook's family is rather well-off; George's is solid lower middle class.

E. Referral Source and Process; Collateral Information. George was suggested to me as an interview subject by a friend: apparently George sends frequent e-mails to publications he reads online, and occasionally gets into discussions over e-mail with these people.

F. Social History 1. Developmental George was apparently a gifted student in high school, and attended the prestigious boys' prep school Roxbury Latin School on scholarship. He then attended Yale University. Socially he was always very well-connected and regarded as handsome and popular. George was regarded as a "ladies' man" in high school and college -- his sexual development was, if anything, precocious.

2. Personal, Familial, Cultural. George's family had apparently worried about potential alienation from him when he attended prep school and Yale, since they are not particularly intellectual or rarefied -- to a certain degree, George's illness has repaired this alienation. George's classmates from Yale (according to Ki-Sook) largely avoid him.

3. Critical Events. George was apparently a regular smoker of marijuana from about the age of 15 or 16. He did not use any other drugs until his final year at Yale, when he was induced to try L.S.D., which he enjoyed at first. But eventually a "bad trip" is what he credits with the psychotic break that landed him in the hospital, eventually leading to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

4. Sexual. George and his wife enjoy ordinary marital relations. Ki-Sook confided in me privately that one…

Cite This Case Study:

"Interview A Person Who Has Mentally Ill" (2011, March 14) Retrieved January 24, 2020, from

"Interview A Person Who Has Mentally Ill" 14 March 2011. Web.24 January. 2020. <>

"Interview A Person Who Has Mentally Ill", 14 March 2011, Accessed.24 January. 2020,