How to write a nursing essay on Psychopathology studies mental illnesses (Case study Solved)

How to write a nursing essay on Psychopathology studies mental illnesses (Case study Solved)

 Case Study: Kel

Psychopathology studies mental illnesses, distress, or conditions that result in psychological impairment. Depressive disorders are one of the classes of mental disorders that leads a person to be restless and further interfere with their functions and interests in activities to the extent that can lead to possession of suicidal ideations. The case study elaborated by Kel articulates a diagnosis of depressive disorder. Depressive disorders can typically be ruled out from the history and screening of an individual for suicidal thoughts (Masten et al., 2021). Treatment and psychotherapy are vital factors in terminating or preventing the outcomes of depressive disorders.

Kel presents with visible problems during her day-to-day activities that further hinder the performance of activities of daily living.   She experiences an inability to maintain social relationships. Kel has lost interest in regular activities, for instance, preparing for work and difficulties in making her lunch. Consequently, she has developed sleep disturbances since her state shows that she sleeps for many hours furthermore still feels tired. She constantly feels guilty and terms herself as a wrong person and unable to do anything right. Kel has lost appetite, which has led to her 15 pounds weight loss. She constantly feels fatigued and lacks energy. Similarly, the symptoms demonstrated by the patient have constantly derailed her in performing activities that reflect an average human person.

The primary diagnosis Kel is suffering from is a major depressive disorder. The rationale stipulates that Kel is suffering from depressive disorder; she presents with more than five symptoms consistent with conditions in the DSM-V criteria. The client demonstrates a depressed mood and loss of pleasure in activities of daily living. She also complains of disturbance while sleeping, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Additionally, she feels quickly feels fatigued and a feeling of worthlessness. These symptoms presented by Kel meet the diagnosis of depressive disorder. The symptoms of depressive disorder expressed by the patient are reflected in moods such as loss of interest in engaging in activities of daily living, difficulty in concentration, and constant depression.

The differential diagnosis of depressive disorder includes psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Psychotic disorders contain depressive symptoms, such as symptoms demonstrated, such as difficulty in concentrating and constant depression. The diagnosis is excluded because the patient does not present with cognitive symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and thought disorders (Dubovsky et al., 2021). The patient may also suffer from persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, since she meets criterion B  of the diagnosis as Kel presents with low energy and hopelessness.

Treatment that will prove effective for Kel’s condition includes; pharmacological therapy and psychotherapy. First-line medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are effective antidepressants. Citalopram and fluoxetine are essential for treatment. If the patient presents with negative symptoms, the patient may be initiated with bupropion or mirtazapine.

Psychotherapy technique such as cognitive behavioral therapies is also effective for Kel’s condition. Psychotherapy will enable the client to identify and replace negative symptoms with healthy and positive behaviors. The patient should adhere to treatment to relieve her depressive symptoms. Worsen’s symptoms will lead to hospitalization of the patient for further management.

Patient with depressive symptoms is at risk of suicidal ideations; hence an instrument for assessing them is compelling. Appropriate screening tool for suicidal ideation includes patient questionnaires (the Ask Suicide screening questions and the Columbia Suicide Severity Scale is commonly used in depressive disorders (Queendom & Bernanke, 2017). These instruments effectively identify suicidal ideations, particularly their presence and duration. After analyzing and ruling out suicidal ideation, it is possible to provide treatment for a patient like Kel with depressive disorder. The depressive symptoms have affected Kel’s ability to perform activities of daily living. The symptoms expressed by Kel indicate major depressive disorder based o symptoms according to DSM-V criteria.


Dubovsky, S. L., Ghosh, B. M., Serotte, J. C., & Cranwell, V. (2021). Psychotic depression: Diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and treatment. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics90(3), 160-177.

Masten, A. S., Lucke, C. M., Nelson, K. M., & Stallworthy, I. C. (2021). Resilience in development and psychopathology: Multisystem perspectives. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology17, 521-549.

Queendom, M. A., & Bernanke, J. A. (2017). Suicide risk assessment: tools and challenges. World Psychiatry16(1), 28.

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