Depressive Disorder Case Study

Decent Essays
Ellen has presented with several clinically significant facts. She has been referred because of continuing depressed mood and panic attacks. She is 37 and lives alone. She is described as an unhappy looking woman. Ellen has been at depression levels since 14, when she attempted suicide. She is in a PhD program, but has not made progress on her thesis in three years. She has had trouble maintaining a job and has been a student must of her adult life. She reports periods of chronic depression, but also high periods that last several months. In these manic episodes, she sleeps little, is constantly on the phone and feels her thoughts racing. Her friends and colleagues fear for her during these periods.
Based on these factors, I would offer an
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Additionally, her friends have noticed the change interfering with her work and career life and have encouraged her to “slow down” (APA, 2013). Her depressive disorder is characterized by a lack of energy, inability to sleep at night but sleeping too much during the day, weight gain, wishing she was dead, and inability to find happiness (Beidel, Frueh, & Hersen, 2014). These periods have lasted for more than a month at time, ruling out shorter term mod disorders (APA, 2013). The alternation of these periods that have lasted for more than two years indicate Cyclothymia.
The facts also allow us to rule out the differential diagnosis of just major depressive, because of the periods of hypomania. The severity of the depressive periods points away from other mood disorders. The length of time that she has experienced alternating periods of hypomania and depression exclude Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar I Disorder, and Bipolar II Disorder (APA,
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Ethical Considerations An ethical counselor must be aware of the cultural dimension of cyclothymia and bipolar disorders. Beidel, Frueh, and Hersen (2014) explained that bipolar disorders are equally likely to occur between men and women and among different racial and ethnic groups. Despite the similar diagnosis rates, studies have shown that there is “major racial disparities in the treatment of bipolar disorder” (Beidel, Frueh, & Hersen, 2014, p. 220).
Therapist treating bipolar and related disorders must be well trained and cognizant of suicide prevention. Suicide risks are significantly higher for those experiencing this family of mental disorder (Biedel, Frueh, & Hersen, 2014). Therapists must take caution and use the best science when working with these patients to help prevent suicide. Finally, these disorders have an ethical consideration when it comes to medication recommendation. Therapist must only act within their legal and training ability to prescribe medication. When only a consultation is recommended, the therapist also needs to consider that these medications often work best with continued talk therapy (Biedel, Frueh, & Hersen, 2014). Because of this, the therapist should attempt to make this clear to their clients and be able to continue therapy. A “medicate and forget” mindset of the client might not be the best course of
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