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BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The client is an 8-year-old African American male who arrives at the ER with his mother. He is exhibiting signs of depression.
·  Client complained of feeling “sad”

·  Mother reports that teacher said child is withdrawn from peers in class

·  Mother notes decreased appetite and occasional periods of irritation

·  Client reached all developmental landmarks at appropriate ages

·  Physical exam unremarkable

·  Laboratory studies WNL

·  Child referred to psychiatry for evaluation

MENTAL STATUS EXAM
Alert & oriented X 3, speech clear, coherent, goal directed, spontaneous. Self-reported mood is “sad”. Affect somewhat blunted, but child smiled appropriately at various points throughout the clinical interview. He denies visual or auditory hallucinations. No delusional or paranoid thought processes noted. Judgment and insight appear to be age-appropriate. He is not endorsing active suicidal ideation, but does admit that he often thinks about himself being dead and what it would be like to be dead.
You administer the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, obtaining a score of 30 (indicating significant depression)

RESOURCES
§ Poznanski, E., & Mokros, H. (1996). Child Depression Rating Scale–Revised. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

Decision Point One

Select what you should do:

Begin Zoloft 25 mg orally daily
RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE
·  Client returns to clinic in four weeks

·  No change in depressive symptoms at all

Decision Point Two

Select what you should do next:

Increase dose to 50 mg orally daily

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO
·  Client returns to clinic in four weeks

·  Depressive symptoms decrease by 50%. Cleint tolerating well

Decision Point Three

Select what you should do next:

Guidance to Student
At this point, sufficient symptom reduction has been achieved. This is considered a “response” to therapy. Can continue with current dose for additional 4 week to see if any further reductions in depressive symptoms are noted. An increase in dose may be warranted since this is not “full” remission- Discuss pros/cons of increasing drug dose with client at this time and empower the client to be part of the decision. There is no indication that the drug therapy should be changed to an SNRI at this point as the client is clearly responding to this therapy.

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