Case Analysis of Mdd, Gad, and Substance Use

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Case Analysis of Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder,

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Substance Abuse

Nicole Gapp

University of Minnesota

School of Nursing

Case Analysis of Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder,

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Substance Abuse

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder with symptoms that greatly affect the life of the individual. MDD could in fact be called a public health crisis, as it is projected that it will soon overtake heart diseases as the major worldwide health concern (Boyd, 2008). Diagnostic criteria for MDD are depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities, present for at least 2 weeks. Findings and behaviors associated with MDD are disruption of sleep, suicidal ideation, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, and fatigue and loss of energy. MDD is also associated with a high impairment in occupational, social, and physical functioning, causing as much disability and distress as chronic medical disorders (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). MDD has been shown to be associated with increased medical illnesses. MDD can make everyday living a challenge, as research shows that depressive symptoms are associated with impaired everyday problem-solving ability directly and indirectly mediated through learning and memory, and reasoning (Yen, Rebok, Gallo, Jones, & Tennstedt, 2011). It is important for MDD to be identified and treated early on, as MDD that is not treated appropriately results in recurrent depressive episodes, with each successive episode increasing in severity. As MDD is highly associated with suicidal ideation and suicide, it is imperative that MDD be treated to ensure patient safety. Risk factors for MDD are a prior episode of depression, lack of social support, lack of coping abilities, medical comorbidity, substance use, and presence of life and environmental stressors. In addition, major depression may follow adverse or traumatic life events, especially those that involve the loss of an important human relationship or role in life. Social isolation, deprivation, and financial deprivation are also risk factors (APA, 2002). Genetics play a role in the development of MDD, and deficiency or dysregulation of neurotransmitters are also thought to play a part in its etiology. Psychological theories of MDD hypothesize that an early lack of love and warmth may be involved with the development of depressive symptoms, while developmental and family theorists have proposed that parental loss, emotionally inadequate parenting styles, or maladaptive patterns in family interaction may contribute to the etiology of MDD. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with MDD, though it is believed that the incidence in men is under-diagnosed. Prevalence rates are unrelated to race (Boyd, 2008). Nursing responses to MDD should involve interventions to treat symptoms within the biologic domain, such as changes in appetite, weight, sleep, or energy, as well as symptoms within the psychological domain, such as changes in mood and affect, thought content, suicidal behavior, and cognition and memory. Many types of interventions are used to treat the varied effects and symptoms of MDD. Pharmacologic interventions, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricylic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and other classes of antidepressants may be used to decrease or manage depressive symptoms. Medication should be continued for at least six months to a year after complete remission of depressive symptoms. Lifestyle patterns, such as good sleep hygiene, activity and exercise, and adequate intake of well-balanced meals should also be encouraged, as these patterns help the client move toward a healthy daily routine that supports remission or recovery. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and interpersonal...
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