Patient Intake and History

The patient is a 26-year-old college graduate who is currently euthymic but who has a history of major depressive episodes 

He has experienced major depressive episodes, mostly untreated, of varying lengths and severities since he was a teenager 

His symptoms have included insomnia, despondent thoughts, depressed mood, low interest in activities, poor energy, and impaired cognition 

He says his self-esteem drops and he feels rejection-sensitive and guilt-ridden for no apparent reason 

He has never had suicidal thoughts 

Some of the depressive episodes have been incapacitating and have interfered with school and work 

He appears to have good inter-episode recovery and is able to return to class and work

The patient also has symptoms of social anxiety

He is often nervous around new people and acquaintances 

He experiences anticipatory anxiety and will avoid certain social events 

These symptoms are present regardless of his affective state

He has asked for a consultation because he has legal issues regarding drinking and driving that he thinks were likely fueled by his psychiatric symptoms 

At the time of the infraction (several months ago, just before graduating college), he had been started on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for the depression and SAD symptoms 

Within days of starting he experienced elevated mood in a sustained fashion over several days 

He lost all anxiety, fear, and avoidance 

He was unusually talkative; had racing thoughts; was distractible, hyperactive, and impulsive; and had decreased need for sleep 

He exhibited grandiosity, in which he felt invincible and that the law did not apply to him; this led him to purposefully antagonize a man in a bar, drive while drinking, and challenge authority when police were called

The mood elevation is complicated by the fact that the patient admits to heavy alcohol use on weekends throughout college 

The mood elevation abated with cessation of the SSRI treatment 

He has now completed college; he has few friends in the immediate area but his family is very supportive 

He wants to be a news reporter and is planning on applying to graduate school 

The patient has no family history of bipolar disorder; his mother has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) 

He is not currently taking any medications


  • 98.8
  • 160/80
  • 76
  • 18
  • 5’10”
  • 190 lbs.

Please use the case study template to complete the case and answer the questions listed below:

  1. Does the patient’s history support a diagnosis of bipolar disorder even though his symptoms appear to have been triggered by a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor?
  2. What would be the expected future course of illness for this patient?
  3. If the patient develops another depressive episode, how would you treat it?
  4. What medication would you choose (there could be many correct answers). What is the MOA of this medication? (Be specific i.3. What receptor does it work on, etc.)
  5. Provide and reference a recent research article (Published over the last 3 years) on the  medication treatment of Mood Disorders

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