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Assessment of Depression

Discussion:
Assessment of Depression

Although there has recently been a deluge of media highlighting various prescription drugs for treatment of depression and anxiety, there remains a lack of understanding about mental health, in general. Further, stigma often is attached to seeking professional help for mental health issues.

Depression is a disorder that people often do not realize they are experiencing. The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person (i.e., weight gain vs. weight loss, loss of sleep vs. increased sleep), which can also make it difficult to diagnose. Many people experience times of sadness, including waking up feeling down for no apparent reason. These feelings are not unusual and come with the ups and downs of life.

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As a professional, understanding the criteria for depression and comorbid diseases is part of a comprehensive assessment. Depression and anxiety can precede other mental health and physical issues and can also be a result of those issues. Clarifying the progression of the presenting problem will enable you to establish a well-informed treatment plan and intervention.

For this Discussion, review the course-specific case study for Miranda in this week’s resources. As you review and analyze this case, remind yourself of the need for a comprehensive assessment that does not focus on the perceived deficits. You will read and then consider the responses of the professionals involved in the case. While reviewing their varied responses, consider their possible biases and how they have chosen to focus on the presenting problem and the client’s situation.

· Post the depression scale you located, summarize how it is used, and describe the target population. 

· Describe how you might apply this assessment to the course-specific case study of Miranda and include any additional questions you would ask Miranda to assess her level of depression. 

· Then, identify the red flags that might cause concern and/or indicate significant depression. 

· Finally, identify a scale that can be used to assess risk for suicide.

References (use 2 or more)

Congress, E. (2013). Assessment of adults. In M. Holosko, C. Dulmus, & K. Sowers (Eds.), Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions (pp. 125–145). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Cowger, C. D. (1994). Assessing client strengths: Clinical assessment for client empowerment. Social Work, 39(3), 262–268. 

Mental Measurements Yearbook. (n.d.). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. 

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

· Mental Health Diagnosis in Social Work: The Case of Miranda (pp. 7–9)

Note: Depending on your concentration, you may not receive a case study book until a later term. Therefore, if you did not receive a copy of Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year in your previous course, use the linked PDF provided here. If you did receive the book referenced above, you may find the cases there or use the PDF.

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