Case Study: Major Depressive Disorder
Case Study, Major Depressive Disorder Nov 11, 2023

Amy is a 20-year-old college student. She is known among her peers for her outgoing nature and vibrant smile. But beneath her cheerful facade, Amy struggled with a heavy heart, unable to find solace in her daily life. It was her close friend, Alex, who noticed the subtle signs of Amy’s distress. The lingering sadness in her eyes and the gradual withdrawal from social activities. Concerned for her friend’s well-being, Alex suggested that Amy consider speaking to a therapist to address her feelings.

Background: The Weight of Darkness

  • Emotional Struggles: Amy faced overwhelming sadness during her second year of college.
  • Daily Tasks Became Challenges: Mundane tasks felt impossible due to the heavy weight of despair.
  • Isolation in Familiar Places: Lecture halls and social gatherings became daunting; she felt disconnected even among friends.
  • Sleepless Nights: Amy battled negative thoughts at night, struggling to find peace in sleep.
  • Loss of Joy: Activities she once enjoyed lost their appeal, leaving her emotionally drained.
  • Uncertain Future: Amy found it hard to envision a bright future, lost in the fog of depression.
  • Internal Battle: College, meant for growth, became a battleground where Amy fought a relentless war against despair, seeking a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness.

Referral and Diagnosis: Seeking Help

Upon Alex’s recommendation, Amy sought help from the college counseling center. There, she met Dr. Carter, a compassionate therapist experienced in helping young adults cope with mental health challenges. Through a series of sessions, Dr. Carter diagnosed Amy with Major Depressive Disorder, offering her a sense of clarity amid the confusion that had engulfed her.

Treatment Guided by Dr. Carter: A Beacon of Support

Under the compassionate guidance of Dr. Carter, Amy embarked on a transformative journey toward healing. Dr. Carter became more than just a therapist; he became a beacon of support, offering a steady hand to navigate the stormy waters of Amy’s emotions. His unwavering presence gave her the safety and trust she needed to explore the depths of her struggles.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Unraveling the Patterns

In the structured environment of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions, Amy learned to unravel the intricate web of negative thought patterns that had woven themselves into her mind. Dr. Carter skillfully guided her through the process, helping her identify these harmful thoughts and challenge their validity. Through this introspection, Amy gained a newfound understanding of the power her thoughts held over her emotions, empowering her to challenge and reshape them.

  • Empowering Coping Mechanisms: Mindfulness and Journaling

As part of her therapeutic journey, Amy delved into mindfulness exercises and journaling. Through mindfulness, she learned to be present in the moment, embracing her thoughts and emotions without judgment. Mindfulness exercises gave her a sense of grounding, allowing her to navigate the turbulent waves of her feelings with a newfound sense of calm and acceptance.

Journaling became Amy’s sanctuary—a safe space to express her thoughts and feelings without inhibition. Putting pen to paper allowed her to externalize her internal struggles, providing a sense of release and clarity. In the pages of her journal, she found solace, exploring her emotions, fears, and hopes. Through this process, she gained insights into her mind, unraveling the complexities of her thoughts and feelings.

Challenges: Overcoming Obstacles

Amy’s path to recovery was not without obstacles. There were days when the weight of her depression felt unbearable, and moments of self-doubt threatened her progress. But Dr. Carter’s unwavering support and Amy’s determination became her driving force. She also found solace in a support group for college students dealing with mental health issues, where she could share her struggles and connect with others who understood her pain.

Recovery: A Renewed Sense of Purpose

As Amy continued her therapy sessions and participated in her healing process, she noticed subtle changes. The darkness that had clouded her thoughts started to lift, making room for glimmers of hope and self-compassion. With time, Amy regained her energy and enthusiasm for life. She resumed her studies with newfound determination, rekindled friendships, and discovered a passion for mental health advocacy.

Reflection: A Journey of Empowerment

Amy’s journey through Major Depressive Disorder during her college years was challenging. But it also became a profound period of self-discovery and empowerment. With the help of therapy, the support of her friends, and her resilience, she emerged more vital than ever before. Amy’s experience highlighted the importance of reaching out for help, the impact of supportive friendships, and the transformative power of therapy in guiding individuals toward recovery.

Amy’s story serves as a reminder that mental health challenges do not define a person; instead, they are an integral part of a multifaceted identity. Through therapy and support, individuals like Amy can navigate the complexities of their emotions, find hope in the face of despair, and emerge from the darkness with a renewed sense of purpose and strength.

About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.