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Precious McNeil

June 24, 2015
Psychology 349
CASE STUDY:
THE DEPRESSED TEEN
Introduction: Kaleema is a 17 year old, African American female born below the poverty line,
from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who presents with ongoing signs of mental and emotional
instability. Her mother Doris left her father when Kaleema was ten years old because of
problems with domestic violence and alcohol abuse. Her mother called the office sometime
yesterday to ask if a counselor could help Kaleema because she was concerned about her health
and wellbeing. Case Analysis: Doris states that Kaleema has lost several pounds and has been
sleeping in more frequently for the last several months. Doris states that Kaleema has been
spiraling out of control for the past two years and she doesn’t know how to prevent what’s
happening to help get her life back on track. Kaleema is withdrawn from both her friends and
family and has become less interested in her appearance and things that once mattered a great
deal to her. She has stopped participating in her school’s book club and no longer enjoys going to
the gym three days a week. She is frequently tardy and sometimes absent from school, and her
grades have significantly decreased. She has developed a short fuse and is quick to anger. She
has become pessimistic, moody and suspicious of others. She appears to have a very gloomy
outlook towards life. She often cries a great deal and prefers to keep to herself. Kaleema
complains of feelings of worthlessness and states that no one understands her. Her mother reports
that Kaleema has been sneaking to drink alcohol and possibly smoking marijuana when she
leaves the house, which is not often. An investigation of Kaleema’s history from social services
reveals that she may have been emotionally neglected during earlier periods of childhood as a
result of her mother’s abusive relationship with her father. Emotional neglect often involves
failing to provide emotional support which may stem from inattention and omissions of things
that provide emotional stability. It’s common for domestic violence, neglect, poverty, race and
low social status to cause negative outcomes for teenagers. Problems such as these often lead to
adverse social, physical, psychological and intellectual development in young people. Poor
minorities often face significant challenges and restricted life opportunities. Studies suggest that
being an ethnic minority may cause greater risk for development of mental health conditions
such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Negative exposures often lead young
people to have poor views of the world, themselves, and the people around them. Many

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Intervention Methods: Kaleema is mentally and emotionally disturbed from exposure to domestic violence. agitation? Do you avoid situations (i. 2009).depressed teens use drugs or alcohol to cope with problems as a form of self-medication. how long have the disturbances been taking place? 3. Is your mood up and down like a roller coaster. or social support help you achieve your goals? What’s the first thing you believe you should work on? 2. images. conservations. feelings. What do want from counseling? Different people expect different results.e. Psychiatric help is strongly recommended. places or activities) that remind you of the event? If so. helplessness. These disturbances have resulted in a depressed mood. Does it matter to you how others see you as a person? Is having family around important to you? Do you typically feel better alone or around groups of people? How do you get along with other people? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? 2 . Do you believe you have a problem? Who or what do you believe is responsible for the problems you have? What do you think it will take to get you back on track? Would a better environment. which may also lead to juvenile delinquency (Jensen. or is it somewhat fixed? What do others say about your mood? How do these problems usually make you feel? How often are you in a bad mood? What makes these problems worse? What does it take to get you out of a bad mood? What things make you happy? Does drugs and alcohol help you deal with your problems? What obstacles do you need to overcome? Are you truly ready for change? 4. Have you had any traumatic events to take place in your life? How did this make you feel? Do you have recurring thoughts. thoughts. How would you describe your mood in general? Moods can change from day to day depending on what’s happening. poverty and neglect. Treatment options for appropriate intervention plans should be quickly discussed after receiving Kaleema’s active agreement to participate in a plan. dreams. Useful Questions for Counseling 1. symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. or perceptions about this situation? Fear. How do you feel about yourself? Would you say you have high self-esteem or low selfesteem? Self-image is very important. and possible substance abuse. finances. weight-loss. Kaleema meets several criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

2015 Psychology 349 5. education. Have you tried anything yourself to make the problems get better or go away? What do you wish to change about your life? 6.? What are your goals in life? Begin by creating a list. living a long life etc. friends. marriage.Precious McNeil June 24. money. career. What makes you feel better? What helps you to forget about your problems? What things hold your interests? How do you communicate with other people? Sometimes people pick up different moods from being around certain people. good health. children. 1 . What’s most important to you? Family.