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Postpartum Patient’s Major Depressive Disorder

Important Elements of the Description

The first key element in the description of the patient’s worsening depression and development of various mental illnesses, includes her having had a fifth child while being only 29 years old. The second important element is that she smokes pot twice a day which is too much for her, as it has only been three months after the birth of her last child. Besides, according to numerous studies, smoking pot increases depression.

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The third important factor is that she has a good relationship with her husband who is the father of all five children. This factor can be considered positive and used to improve the patient’s state of health. The fourth key element is a bipolar assessment indicating the aggravation of postpartum depression. One more disturbing factor is that the patient has insomnia. Thus, although postpartum depression, which is caused by the change in the activity of hormones after childbirth includes similar symptoms, they are not as strong and do not last as long.

DMV 5 Definition of a Major Depressive Disorder

DMV 5 definition of major depressive disorder includes such symptoms as depressed mood, a diminished interest in everything, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia, restlessness, fatigue, low self-esteem, indecisiveness and decreased thinking abilities, and suicidal thoughts. If most of these symptoms are present, a patient is likely to have major depressive disorder. According to this patient’s symptoms, she is likely to have this disorder but approximately at its first stage, as she has only half of the symptoms (MacGill, 2016).

Additional Information about the Patient

Regarding the additional information about the patient that can help in the identification of the diagnosis, some questions should be asked. First of all, it is imperative to identify whether the patient has a proneness to suicide so as to ensure that it will not happen. Then, it is important to check the patient’s cognitive abilities to exclude retardation and indecisiveness. Additionally, the patient should be asked about recent significant weight changes (Martin, 2016).

Differential Diagnosis

As far as the differential diagnosis is concerned, there are several mental disorders with similar symptoms. According to the patient’s symptoms, the most probable disease that she can have is major depressive disorder. Also, it is possible that she has mere postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, or even the first stage of schizophrenia (MacGill, 2016).

Plan of Care

First of all, it is crucial to identify the possibility of a suicide and decide thereupon if hospitalization is required. Another important action to implement is contacting the family, particularly her husband and arranging a meeting where the crisis will be discussed. Certainly, it is important to prescribe medicines, particularly for insomnia and restlessness that alleviate the present symptoms until the final diagnosis. Additionally, the patient should be advised to actively engage in different social interactions, as social isolation and loneliness are the major risk factors for various mental disorders. Of course, she loves her child but sitting with it in her room all day long will only deepen depression.

Another key factor that should be dwelt upon is smoking pot. It is necessary to forbid her to smoke pot at all, at least for the period of treating the disease which is also a good reason for hospitalization where it can be controlled. One more advice to her will be to not have children any time soon, as it can also aggravate the situation (Martin, 2016).

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The Difference between Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disease in Women

There are two key differences between major depressive disorder and bipolar disease. The first is that a person with bipolar disorder must have one hypomanic or manic episode. The second is that a person with major depressive disorder does not experience any episodes of mood elevation. Women suffer from major depression more frequently than from bipolar disease, as major depressive disorder is associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder which has similar symptoms and is a risk factor for it (MacGill, 2016).


MacGill, M. (2016). Bipolar disorder and depression: What are the differences? Web.

Martin, P. (2016). 6 major depression nursing care plans. Web.

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