Reaching a diagnosis is more than just saying “This is the d…

Reaching a diagnosis is more than just saying “This is the diagnosis.” It is also important to justify why you believe it is the appropriate diagnosis. Consider the following to support your justification and help you complete this week’s assignment: Then, write a justification for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder given to Sarah by her previous counselor using the DSM. !!!!case study attachment is attached!!!!please read before completing assighnment

Diagnosing a mental disorder requires a careful evaluation of a person’s symptoms, history, and presentation. It is not simply a matter of applying a label to an individual. A diagnosis carries significant implications for treatment planning, prognosis, and understanding the underlying causes of the individual’s distress. In the case of Sarah, the justification for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) given by her previous counselor can be explored through an analysis of her symptoms and the diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Major depressive disorder is characterized by the presence of a major depressive episode, which involves experiencing five or more of nine specific symptoms during a two-week period. These symptoms must include either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Moreover, these symptoms should represent a change from the individual’s previous functioning and cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

In the case of Sarah, her presenting symptoms align with the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder. She reported feeling sad, hopeless, and having a decreased interest in activities she previously enjoyed. Sarah also experienced significant changes in her appetite, weight, sleep patterns, energy level, and concentration. Furthermore, she expressed feelings of worthlessness and recurrent thoughts of death. These symptoms clearly indicate the presence of a major depressive episode.

It is crucial to consider the duration and severity of symptoms when making a diagnosis. According to the DSM, the symptoms should be present most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two consecutive weeks to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode. Sarah mentioned that she has been experiencing these symptoms for four months, which exceeds the minimum duration required for the diagnosis. Additionally, she described her symptoms as interfering with her functioning, such as affecting her performance at work and her relationships with others. This provides further evidence for the severity of her depressive symptoms.

The diagnosis of major depressive disorder requires ruling out other potential explanations for the symptoms. Sarah’s previous counselor should have considered whether her symptoms may be better accounted for by other mental disorders or general medical conditions. In the case study, it is mentioned that Sarah’s counselor asked about symptoms related to anxiety, substance use, and bipolar disorder, which suggests an appropriate assessment for comorbid conditions. However, no information is provided regarding an evaluation of general medical conditions that might mimic depressive symptoms. It is crucial to rule out medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or vitamin deficiencies, which can present with depressive features. Without a thorough assessment for other potential causes, there is still a possibility that Sarah’s symptoms could be attributed to a different condition.

Moreover, the previous counselor should have considered whether Sarah’s symptoms were better explained by normal bereavement rather than major depressive disorder. The death of a close family member is a significant life stressor that can lead to a range of emotional reactions and depressive symptoms. However, in Sarah’s case, her symptoms extend beyond what is typical for grief, both in terms of duration and severity. This suggests that her depressive symptoms may not be solely attributable to the normal grieving process.

In conclusion, the previous counselor’s diagnosis of major depressive disorder for Sarah is justified based on her symptoms aligning with the criteria outlined in the DSM. Sarah presents with a major depressive episode, experiencing multiple symptoms, causing impairment in various areas of her life, and lasting for an extended duration. However, it is essential to acknowledge the need for comprehensive evaluation and the consideration of alternative etiologies. Ruling out other mental disorders, general medical conditions, and normal bereavement should also be part of the diagnostic process to ensure an accurate and thorough understanding of the individual’s presenting concerns.