Common mental health problems such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia may affect up to 15% of the population at any one time. The severity of symptoms experienced will vary considerably, but all of these conditions can be associated with significant long-term disability. Good communication skills including active listening are key components for building a trusting relationship with patients, for example through demonstrating empathy, by making eye contact and explaining and talking through diagnoses, symptom profiles, and possible treatment options. The evidence base shows that adopting a collaborative approach with patients can help facilitate a greater engagement from them in any resulting treatments.

Jerome is a 35-year-old welder who lives with his partner and two children aged 3 and 5 years. Jerome has come to see you at your primary care clinic as he is feeling tired all the time. Medical history Jerome has a history of anxiety and depression. He joined your clinic as a patient 5 years ago, at which time he was taking sertraline for moderately severe depression and associated panic attacks. This was prescribed by his previous provider. The sertraline was effective and Jerome stopped taking the medication after 6 months of treatment. He has not returned to the clinic since that time. Jerome is otherwise physically fit and well and is not prescribed any medication. On examination, Jerome describes a lack of drive and energy for the past six weeks. He feels stressed at having to face his job, but is still going to work. Jerome admits trying to cope with disrupted sleep patterns by drinking more alcohol than usual. He is now drinking 3 bottles of beer every night instead of only twice per week as he used to. His physical examination is normal but he appears to be sad and apathetic.

What will be your approach to addressing Jerome’s anxiety and depression?
What assessment and screening tools will you use to support your diagnosis?
What might be the physiological causes of Jerome’s anxiety and depression?
Does Jerome fit into a DSM-5 category/classification?

 

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.

 

References

Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.