Atypical Presentation of Depression Essay

Atypical Presentation of Depression Essay

Assignment: Practicum – Week 5 Journal Entry

Reflect on atypical presentations of disorders in geriatric patients in your practicum setting. Many disorders manifest themselves in a way that would be considered an atypical presentation—most likely different from the way a textbook would describe the disorder’s possible presentations. Consider geriatric patients that you have observed with atypical presentations of disorders. Describe a patient case including how the patient was diagnosed and strategies that were used to overcome the atypical presentation. If you did not have an opportunity to evaluate a patient with this background during the last 5 weeks, you can select a related case study or reflect on previous clinical experiences Atypical Presentation of Depression Essay .


Mary is a 65-year-old woman who is living in an assisted community. She is a divorced retiree who complains that she has developed a general lack of interest in activities that she initially found pleasurable. In fact, she is moody and finds little joy in life, but is unclear as to the cause of her moodiness. Still, she indicates that her mood improves from engaging in some activities. Besides that, she has difficulty falling asleep at night and wakes up at around 4 a.m. after which she cannot go back to sleep even though the morning finds her feeling very tired. In addition, she has gained weight and feels tired most of the time even going on to have anxiety that her family abandoned her in the home. She has gained weight but believes this resultant of overeating and not engaging in exercise activities. Also, she has been thinking of committing suicide to relieve the burden that she has placed on her family since they dumped her in the assisted living community, rarely visit her but pay for her needs and stay in the community (Cautin & Lilienfeld, 2015) Atypical Presentation of Depression Essay.

Following this presentation, Mary was subjected to psychological evaluation for atypical depression based on characterization presented in DSM-IV-TR1. The diagnosis determined that she had gained weight from increased appetite. Also, she was suffering from heavy limb sensation that accounts for her persistent tiredness. Besides that, she suffers from interpersonal rejection sensitivity that accounts for her suicidal ideas. Her insomnia accounts from her general lack of sleep (Acton, 2013).

Treating Mary’s condition (atypical depression) can only in either of two ways. Firstly, she can ingest medication that target the condition. Celexa has been prescribed since it is an antidepressant that functions by selectively inhibiting serotonin reuptake. It is presented in tablet form, taken orally, and is intended for treating depression. In fact, while Celexa is primarily prescribed for depression, it can also be prescribed for other medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder. Other than the medication, Mary should also be subjected to psychotherapy that would have her attend regular dialogue sessions with a psychotherapist to focus on finding ways to relieve the symptoms, setting achievable goals, setting mechanisms for coping, and changing unhealthy thoughts (Smith, 2012).


Acton, A. (2013). Major depressive disorders: new insights for the healthcare professional. Atlanta, GA: Scholarly Editions.

Cautin, R. & Lilienfeld, S. (2015). The encyclopedia of clinical psychology, Volume II Cli-E. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, G. (2012). Psychological interventions in mental health nursing. Berkshire: Open University Press Atypical Presentation of Depression Essay.




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