Psychopharmacology and Depression – Depression Example

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"Psychopharmacology and Depression" is a great example of a paper on depression.                       The case discussed in this paper is of Samantha, an African American married woman aged 54. She is in therapy for several months now. The paper discusses the factors and reasons for the recommendation of medication evaluation to Samantha. I will recommend Samantha for medication evaluation from a psychiatrist. My decision is based on the guidance of DSM-IV-TR which is the standard criteria for information regarding mental disorders. Based on the guidance of DSM-IV-TR, the overall analysis and the results of the therapy indicate that Samantha needs medication evaluation. Factors The three major factors which I considered while deciding whether or not to recommend medication evaluation to Samantha are 1) the duration of depression, 2) symptoms of depression and 3) the amount of improvement in symptoms after therapy.

It has been found that anti-depressants are as helpful in the treatment of milder depression as they are in the treatment of moderate and severe depression (Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center [ATTC], 2000, p. 13). Hence, even the factor of the severity of depression was considered in deciding whether Samantha needs medication evaluation or not. Reasons                       There are three major reasons for me recommending Samantha for a medication evaluation.

The first is the duration of depression. According to DSM-IV-TR, the major depressive episode is diagnosed when the client is suffering from a “ depressed mood accompanied by a characteristic pattern of depressive symptoms” for at least 2 weeks or more (First, Frances & Pincus, 2004, p. 186). Samantha was experiencing no change in her mood despite being in therapy for several months. The cognitive approach in therapy was adopted to develop social support and change her internal frame of mind.

However, she showed no improvement and change in her symptoms. Moreover, her symptoms showed that the depression was severe. The DSM-IV-TR suggests that when the symptoms of depressed mood, and loss of interest or pleasure, are present in a person for more than 2 weeks, then it shows that the person is suffering from major depressive episodes (First, Frances & Pincus, 2004, p. 186). In Samantha’ s case, after her children left her, she was feeling worthless and empty with life.

The depression symptoms like “ depressive mood, diminished interest in pleasurable activities and feeling of worthlessness” (First, Frances & Pincus, 2004, p. 186), continued in her life for several months. Hence, I decided to recommend a medication evaluation.   Approach I decide to approach Samantha by telling her that medicines are known to provide positive effects like improved energy and proper sleep (ATTC, 2000, p. 13). Medicines are also known to bring positive change in mood, attitude, and feeling if continued regularly (ATTC, 2000, p. 13). I will also assure her that medication will be just an added support to treatment as counseling will remain the major part of the therapy process. Learning Opportunities This case has made me curious to know if it is appropriate to include medication right from the early stages of treatment.

I see an opportunity to learn in-depth about how anti-depressants work. Moreover, I am also interested in knowing if alternative therapies like meditation and yoga can be utilized in the treatment of depression to avoid the use of medication. In this way, I can see various learning opportunities in this case. Conclusion                       As discussed above, based on the DSM-IV-TR’ s approach regarding duration, severity, and symptoms of depression, along with the results of therapy, I will confidently recommend Samantha for medication evaluation from a psychiatrist.


First, M.B., Frances, A. & Pincus, H.A. (2004). DSM-IV-TR guidebook (4th ed.). Arlington, VA:

American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center. (2000). Psychotherapeutic Medications

2011 What Every Counselor Should Know (8th ed.). Kansas City, MO: University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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