Kristina came to the clinic with a number of problems she needed help addressing. One of the main problems that seemed prominent, however, was the fact that she was suffering from depression and anxiety, as a result, of the numerous duties and responsibilities she had to deal with since the birth of her child. The patient implied that she was anxious about the behavior of her boyfriend and father of her child who was not showing enough initiative towards taking care of their baby. From what she implied, it was clear that she was anxious about her future and that of her baby, in addition to the relationship she has with the father of her child.
Though Kristina was depressed, it did not seem bipolar. Depression is a medical condition whereby the affected individual feels sad, hopeless, discouraged, disinterested in life and unmotivated. When these feelings last for a couple of hours or a number of days, the condition is not serious but when they last for weeks then it is possible that the person’s daily activities and health get affected. Anxiety, on the other hand, involves feelings of apprehension and fear, which in serious cases become overwhelming and in most cases interfere with the daily activities of an individual. Anxiety and depression conditions are not similar, though people suffering from depression usually experience symptoms like those indicated for anxiety like irritability, nervousness, and problems concentrating and sleeping. However, many individuals who have depression also have a history of bouts of anxiety (Regier, et al., 1998).
To manage Kristina’s depression and anxiety, or to eliminate it, the counselor has to develop two categories of goals, both short and long term. The goals will help direct the therapy and treatment plan. One of the main long-term goals the treatment should establish is to make sure that Kristina is able to develop and improve relationships that are meaningful with those around her. The short-term goal of her treatment is that these long-term goals will be broken into smaller goals and steps that are manageable. The goals that Kristina and her counselor have developed must be achieved through breaking them into smaller and manageable steps.
After establishing these goals, it is essential to come up with manageable intervention plans for Kristina. There are a number of strategies that are available for individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. For Kristina, one of these treatment plans that can be helpful in managing her anxiety and depression and in helping her attain meaningful relationships is cognitive- behavioral therapy. This form of therapy, if Kristina agrees to use it, can be used to replace her unproductive and negative thought patterns with ones that are more useful and realistic. This therapy treatment focuses on taking specific, manageable steps towards overcoming depression and anxiety, and seeing that one of her short- term goals is to break up her long term goals into steps, this therapy can be extremely useful in helping her achieve her goals (Regier, et al., 1998).
The counselor can use this treatment plan to help Kristina face her fears as part of her recovery. The therapist can, for instance, show her that she is an excellent mother who can take care of her baby and herself even in the absence of her boyfriend. This is one of her major fears that her boyfriend will end up leaving her and she will have to take care of the baby by herself. By showing her that she is capable of doing this with the help of her parents, the counselor can help Kristina overcome her anxiety and depression. Other therapies that the counselor can use on Kristina include problem- solving therapy and interpersonal therapy, which can further help Kristina address her fear and depression (Regier, et al., 1998).
Regier, D. A. et al. (1998). Prevalence of anxiety disorders and their comorbidity with mood and addictive disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry. Supplement, 34: 24–28.