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Discussion 2: The Role of Mental Health Professionals in the Initial Stages of P

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Discussion 2: The Role of Mental Health Professionals in the Initial Stages of Psychopharmacological Intervention
In the initial stages of psychopharmacological intervention, mental health professionals must be aware that complications or concerns can arise. Clients may experience negative side effects of the medication. They might forget or avoid taking the medication. The disorder may have been misdiagnosed and cause other issues. The client may have preexisting conditions that other medical professionals had not known when the diagnosis was made. The client could have had a comorbid condition that they did not disclose. In short, a number of very serious issues might manifest in the early stages of treatment requiring action on the part of the mental health professional.
For this Discussion, you will be placed into one of three groups by the Instructor.
Group A should initially post to the Depression Case Study for John.
Group B should initially post to the Depression Case Study for Paulette.
Group C should initially post to the Depression Case Study for Marcus.
You will then respond to a colleague from a different group.
For your initial post analyze the case, determine the psychopathology presented and describe the appropriate treatment methods for the client.
Case to write about :Marcus
Marcus is a 31-year-old Caucasian law student. He feels “worn out, burned out, and busted.” He has no girlfriend or boyfriend, yet he has dated in the past. Although Marcus’s studies keep him occupied, he finds himself wondering if all of his efforts are worth the coming payoff. He will be taking the bar exam soon—he is fairly sure he will pass it.
Lately, Marcus has been “slipping back into some old patterns of thinking and acting.” In the past, he has battled major depressive disorder and believes that he may be becoming depressed again. Marcus quickly counts off his symptoms: sleep loss, weight loss, a sense that everything is devoid of joy or excitement, and so forth. His choice to come to counseling was precipitated by an increase in the frequency of using club drugs like ecstasy and cocaine “to have at least a little fun.” Marcus uses these now about once every 2 weeks. He notes that his last “bout” of depression happened around a time when he was using these substances frequently.
Required Readings
Lichtblau, L. (2011). Psychopharmacology demystified. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning.
Chapter 2, “Pharmacotherapy of Depression” (pp. 21–34)
Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of clinical psychopharmacology for therapists (8th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Chapter 7, “Depressive Disorders” (pp. 77-93)
Chapter 16, “Antidepressant Medications” (pp.175-200)
Appendix C, “Psychotropic Drug Interactions (pp. 293-308)
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Use the DSM-5 to guide you through your understanding of the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). Antidepressant medications for children and adolescents: Information for parents and caregivers. Retrieved from
As you review this website, consider the variety of medications used for mental health treatment.
Spiegel, A. (2012, January 23). When it comes to depression, serotonin isn’t the whole story. [Blog post]. Retrieved from
As you review this blog, consider the information provided and how depression was treated in the past and how it is currently treated.

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