This paper is about a 15 year-old white American named Katlin. She is suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Katlin also experiences specific phobia towards public schools. Major depressive disorder is another term for major depression, clinical depression, or unipolar depression. The effects of this disorder are varied depending on the individual. Some of the symptoms of this condition include sleeping problems, loss of weight, and a general feeling of agitation and irritability.
Other individuals with this condition experience excessive sleeping or eating with a persisting feeling of guilt and worthlessness. Although some individuals are still able to look happy, they still have the feelings of depression and disinterest in many activities that they use to enjoy, or lack of confidence in trying new things and experiences (“Major Depressive Disorder”, 2010). Aside from depression, Katlin is also suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which symptoms consist of being unable to shake off their particular concerns, and worrying accompanied with tension, even without the presence of a provoking stimulus.
Individuals diagnosed with GAD also experience muscle tension, irritability, and hot flashes (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009). Katlin is also suffering from phobia. It is defined as a persistent or unrelenting fear of a certain situation, object, or event, causing an individual to try all means of avoiding it. With all of this information, the situation of the client can be pictured. The next section of the paper consists of the case conceptualization of the client, Katlin. Case Conceptualization Diagnosis
Katlin is a fifteen year-old teenage white American girl who is diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). She was of normal growth and development as a child. By the time she reached high school, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Research on Katlins’s history revealed that she was raised by very strict parents who would often discourage her and prevented her from engaging in social activities with peers. Moreover, she was not allowed to have friends who would come to each other’s house, or any type of social event for that matter.
Eventually, she acquired an antisocial behavior towards her peers or children who are like her age. She was abe to carry this condition until she reached her high school years. Based on the description of the client’s condition, she is believed to have authoritative parents, especially Katlin’s mother. A parenting style such as this carries many demands and limitations. This provides Katlin with very little room for decision since she was raised in an environment of obedience which allows very little flexibility (Gottman, Katz, & Hooven , 1997).
Parents who are authoritative often produce children, who are fearful, unhappy, apprehensive, unfriendly, and vulnerable to stress. These characteristics are all evident in Katlin’s condition. Katlin also experiences anxiety whenever she tries to establish peer relationships. This is because of the fear of being judged or rejected. This fear results into experiences of panic attacks that come suddenly (Keltner, Scweeke, & Bostrom, 2007). This sudden tendency of the panic attacks create more fear in Katlin because of the thinking that she might be humiliated in front of many people out of having an attack.
She responds to this fear by avoiding certain situations, especially in her school. She also develops depression because of extreme sensitivity to interpersonal rejection which is caused by her apprehensive and unfriendly behavior. Such sensitivity is commonly expressed by teenagers who suffer a typical depressive condition such as the Major Depressive Disorder (Keltner, Scweeke, & Bostrom, 2007). Other signs of her depressive behavior are her lack of interest in school and studying. She also prefers work more than studying or going to school.
She has no interest in completing school work. This becomes her problem as she does not know how to motivate herself enough to go back to school. Theoretical Foundation Katlin’s depressive condition is based on the theory of Beck, which states that depression is caused by how an individual perceives himself, thus resulting to depression. This is different form an individual’s perception of himself because of depression. According to Beck, cognitive symptoms of depression actually precede the affective and mood symptoms of depression, rather the other way around (Allen, 2003).
Going back to Katlin’s history, she was often discouraged by her parents to avoid being with her peers and peer activities. This made her unfriendly and apprehensive, thus, causing her to feel depression. The anxiety condition can be based on the perspective of cognitive psychology. A person may experience anxiety because of his cognition. This is manifested in “self-talks” or dialogues in the person’s consciousness. The cognitive theory is focused on the role of cognition as the origin of the anxiety.
It also emphasizes the process of appraisal and the unnoticed internal dialogue that tends to intensify the emotional response of the individual (Vasudevan, 2006). Treatment Plan As mentioned in the diagnosis, Katlin is suffering from a case of Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder with phobia particularly on public schools. In order to adhere to the condition of the client, a treatment plan must be constructed to provide a systematic and scientific procedure towards the development of the client.
The main objectives of the treatment will be to lower the level of depression and anxiety of the client. Also, her communication skills should also be improved as she has a weakness in communicating people who are not close to her. By the end of the treatment, the client is expected to have diminished her phobia on public schools, showed interest in studying, able to communicate with peers and other people, and with low levels of anxiety and depression. Katlin’s depression and anxiety levels will be measured using psychological assessment tools.
These will be administered on Katlin before and after the introduction of treatment interventions. The purpose of these assessment tools is to have a valid and reliable basis for determining improvement of the client’s case. One example of these assessment tests is the Mooney Problem Checklist, which was developed by R. L. Mooney and L. V. Gordon. This checklist consists of potential problems that an individual might be experiencing. The results of this test provides valuable information that may lead the counselor or the therapist on which part of Katlin’s life must they focus on.
It also gives the therapist the insight on what type of intervention is best suited for Katlin’s case (Pearson, n. d. ). After the administration of the assessment tool, the proper intervention will be implemented as well as the period of therapy. After the intervention has been fully implemented, psychological assessment will be again administered in order to determine the improvement of the client after the intervention. Interventions There are a number of interventions that can be administered in the treatment of Katlin’s condition.
One intervention is the usage of medication such as Zanax in order to relive the client’s anxiety. Another drug that can be given to the client is Lexapro which is an anti-depressant. These medications can be given to Katlin with proper prescription from a physician. Aside from medications, person-centered interventions can also be introduced. One of such interventions is the cognitive behavior therapy. It will be used in counseling sessions to help the client release her depression and anxiety. Self-esteem building exercises can also be introduced to the client.
These exercises can be in a form of daily scripts, which will be done to adhere to the client’s low confidence and self-esteem, as well as her fear of communicating with other people who are not close to her. Systematic desensitization can also be used in the treatment of her phobia on public schools. This will eventually lower the level of anxiety that she is experiencing as she becomes more and more comfortable in the public school setting. Aside from counseling and medications, coping skills can also be taught to the client.
As mentioned in the previous page, anxiety and depression are cognitive. Thus, positive self-talk can be taught to the client as one of the cognitive skills that may increase the level of her self-esteem, as well as lover her depression and anxiety level. In times of panic attacks, breathing techniques can be used in order to slow down her heart rate. The client may also attempt to push out intrusive thoughts, externalizing thoughts of anxiety as if she is capable of talking to her emotions and send them away.