Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

Posted: January 10th, 2023

Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

BACKGROUND INFORMATION The client is a 46-year-old white male who works as a welder at a local steel fabrication factory. He presents today after being referred by his PCP after a trip to the emergency room in which he felt he was having a heart attack. He stated that he felt chest tightness, shortness of breath, and feeling of impending doom. He does have some mild hypertension (which is treated with low sodium diet) and is about 15 lbs. overweight. He had his tonsils removed when he was 8 years old, but his medical history since that time has been unremarkable. Myocardial infarction was ruled out in the ER and his EKG was normal. Remainder of physical exam was WNL. He admits that he still has problems with tightness in the chest and episodes of shortness of breath- he now terms these “anxiety attacks.” He will also report occasional feelings of impending doom, and the need to “run” or “escape” from wherever he is at. In your office, he confesses to occasional use of ETOH to combat worries about work. He admits to consuming about 3-4 beers/night. Although he is single, he is attempting to care for aging parents in his home. He reports that the management at his place of employment is harsh, and he fears for his job. Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay. You administer the HAM-A, which yields a score of 26. Client has never been on any type of psychotropic medication. MENTAL STATUS EXAM The client is alert, oriented to person, place, time, and event. He is appropriately dressed. Speech is clear, coherent, and goal-directed. Client’s self-reported mood is “bleh” and he does endorse feeling “nervous”. Affect is somewhat blunted, but does brighten several times throughout the clinical interview. Affect broad. Client denies visual or auditory hallucinations, no overt delusional or paranoid thought processes readily apparent. Judgment is grossly intact, as is insight. He denies suicidal or homicidal ideation. The PMHNP administers the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) which yields a score of 26. Diagnosis: Generalized anxiety disorder RESOURCES § Hamilton, M. (1959). Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Psyctests, doi:10.1037/t02824-0 Decision Point One Select what the PMHNP should do: Begin Zoloft 50 mg po daily Begin Zoloft 50 mg po daily Begin Imipramine 25 mg po BID Begin Imipramine 25 mg po BID Begin Buspirone 10 mg po BID Begin Buspirone 10 mg po BID The Assignment Examine Case Study: A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this client. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the client’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes. At each decision point stop to complete the following: • Decision #1 o Which decision did you select? o Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay. Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #1 and the results of the decision. Why were they different? • Decision #2 o Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #2 and the results of the decision. Why were they different? • Decision #3 o Why did you select this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources. o Explain any difference between what you expected to achieve with Decision #3 and the results of the decision. Why were they different? Also include how ethical considerations might impact your treatment plan and communication with clients. Below is a simple paper for reference. Week 2 Assignment: Assessing and Treating Pediatric Clients with Mood Disorders Depression is considered an affective disorder due to its effect on the internal emotions and external mood seen by others (Stahl, 2013).Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay.  Symptoms of depression include generalized sadness which can lead to feelings of guilt, fatigue, anxiety, poor concentration, changes in sleep pattern, increased or poor appetite and social isolation among many others. It is theorized that the cause of depression is due to a deficiency of monoamine neurotransmitters which are responsible for the amount of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the brain (Stahl, 2013). When treating a patient with depression, medications generally target this deficiency in hopes to provide relief from the symptoms the client is experiencing. Case Study Information The case study presented this week consists of an 8-year-old African American male presenting to the emergency department with mom due to increased feelings of sadness, withdrawn behavior in school, decreased appetite and occasional agitated behaviors (Laureate Education, 2016e). While the physical examination and laboratory studies were within normal limits, the mental status exam proved to be normal with reported “sad” mood, blunted affect but appropriately smiled at times and endorses thoughts of passive suicidal ideation (Laureate Education, 2016e). The client scored a 30 on the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, indicating significant depression (Laureate Education, 2016e). The purpose of this assignment is to consider the 8-year-old client and information and make three decisions concerning medications to prescribe to the client. Each decision offers multiple options to choose from. The decision will be chosen based on evidence consisting of recent academic resources and research studies along with a rational for why the other two options were not chosen. Each outcome will be discussed based on if it was expected or not and what the next step will be. Lastly, ethical considerations will be discussed and how they may impact the treatment plan for the client and the communication with the client and his family. Decision One The first decision point the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) must choose which medication the client will start. The medications to choose from include Zoloft (sertraline) 25 mg by mouth daily, Paxil (paroxetine) 10 mg by mouth daily, and Wellbutrin (bupropion) 75 mg by mouth twice daily (Laureate Education, 2016e). As the PMHNP caring for this client, Zoloft 25 mg daily would be the first choice of therapy for this patient. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are known to be the first line of treatment for children with depression (DeFilippis & Wagner, 2014). While sertraline and paroxetine are both SSRIs, sertraline is FDA approved when treating children whereas paroxetine has been found to be affective when treating children with depression, it is not specifically approved by the FDA at this point in time (Stahl, 2014b). Sertraline is approved by the FDA for use in children with depression beginning at the age of six (Stahl, 2013). Additionally, paroxetine is not recommended in use for children due to its short half-life which can lead to withdrawal when the medication is stopped abruptly (Nathan & Gorman, 2015). The safety and efficacy of bupropion have not been established thus far but it some research that has been done suggests that this medication is effective for treatment of a client with both attention deficit disorder and depression, something that the client in this case study does not exhibit (Stahl, 2014b). Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay. Research has also shown that often the placebo effect alone on prescription medications can play a part in reduction of depressive symptoms in both children and adults (DeFilippis & Wagner, 2014). As a new prescriber, I would most likely make a cautious decision when treating a child for the first time. Due to the fact that sertraline is FDA approved in the treatment of depression in children, I would most likely go with that medication as a primary action for prescribing for this client. The goal of this treatment is to alleviate depressive symptoms in the client while minimizing the risk for side effects of the medication. When the client returned to the clinic four weeks after starting on Zoloft 25 mg daily, there was no change in the depressive symptoms at all (Laureate Education, 2016e). I am surprised that there was absolutely no change given the fact that the effects can be either medicinal or placebo, with changes seen as early as a week into the medication trial (Nathan & Gorman, 2015). As with all medications, there is always the chance that the client does not see an improvement in symptoms. Decision Two After the initial trial of Zoloft 25 mg yielded no change in the client’s symptoms, the treatment options are to increase the dose to 37.5 mg daily, increase the dose to 50 mg daily or to change the medication completely to Prozac 10 mg daily (Laureate Education, 2016e). Because the patient has not exhibited any adverse reactions to the medication, there is no need to change the medication at this time. As for titrating the sertraline, it can be titrated in increments of 25 mg with the maximum dosage not to exceed 200 mg daily (Southammakosane & Schmitz, 2015). Once the medication is started and tolerated, research supports titrating the medication up to minimize depressive symptoms (Cheung et al., 2018). Paroxetine, in general, was not recommended for treatment of pediatric depression based on research by Nathan & Gorman (2015) and this will not be considered for this client. Based on this research, the decision was made to increase the Zoloft dose to 50 mg daily for the client. Again, the goals of treatment are to find a medication that reduces depressive symptoms in this pediatric patient while minimizing adverse effects. Once that goal is accomplished, long term goals for the client would be medication compliance and absence of relapse in depressive symptoms and suicidality. The client returned to the clinic in four weeks with a decrease in depressive symptoms by 50% and is tolerating the medication well (Laureate Education, 2016e). While I anticipated the patient to have a reduction in depressive symptoms with the increase in dose, I had hoped the low dose would be effective for this patient. I am pleasantly surprised that the patient is not exhibiting any side effects from the medication. Decision Three The increase in the Zoloft dose to 50 mg yielded decreased depressive symptoms and no side effects (Laureate Education, 2016e).


The next decision for the client involves maintaining the current dose, increasing the dose by 25 mg again to achieve a total dose of 75 mg daily or changing the medication to a SNRI (Laureate Education, 2016e). When discussing the medication with the client and parent, it would be important to discuss medication adherence to assure the client is taking the medication as directed. If this is the case, I would likely recommend increasing the dose to 75 mg due to the fact that the medication can be titrated up in 25 mg increments with the maximum prescribed dose of Zoloft being no more than 200 mg by mouth each day (Southammakosane & Schmitz, 2015). If the patient had seen no response and had reached the upper limit of Zoloft already, I would consider changing the medication, but it appears as though there is some desired effect from the medication without adverse reactions, which is the goal of treatment. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI’s) such as duloxetine, venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine are considered second-line or third-line treatments for children with depression (Koechlin et al., 2018). Additionally, some research shows that there is significant cost benefit as well as safety in using SSRI’s over SNRI’s (Locher et al., 2107). In this case, I would continue with the SSRI medication I have been utilizing for this patient, which is a first line medication until I have exhausted my dosage options. Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay.             With increasing the dose of the Zoloft to 75 mg daily, I am hopeful that the medication will have an increased effect, perhaps 75-100% effective with little to no side effects. The response to the decision was that the client had a sufficient response to the medication with associated symptom reduction (Laureate Education, 2016e). It was recommended to either continue the Zoloft at 50 mg daily considering there was a response to the medication and evaluate again in four weeks to see if the medication continues to work or to increase it to 75 mg daily considering it was not complete remission of depressive symptoms (Laureate Education, 2016e). While an increased dose may yield potential adverse effects, it can also give the necessary response of decreased depressive symptoms. This could be an opportunity to discuss the medication and symptoms with both the client and his parents to make them apart of the decision making. Although the client is only 8-years-old, he is capable of discussing his feelings as well as his response to the medication. Family can offer additional feedback from an external source about the client’s symptoms (Stahl, 2013). Should the patient not be able to tolerate the medication increase, the dose can be decreased as well. As I anticipated with the third decision, there is no reason to change the medication to an SNRI at this time considering the client is tolerating the Zoloft dose and exhibiting a response to it. Conclusion While there is not one correct answer when treating a child with depression, beginning drug therapy with a SSRI and titrating up slowly and as indicated has proved to be effective for my 8-year-old client with depression. When combined with therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment is enhanced and side effects of medications are diminished (Giles & Martini, 2016). Along with follow up for medication management, this client and his mom should also be educated on potential side effects including potential increase in suicidality. Should this happen, the client should be encouraged to reach out to a parent or adult he trusts and seek an appointment immediately. Ethically, when treating clients with medications, benefit of treatment must outweigh potential harm (Merry et al., 2017). When discussing the treatment plan with the client and family, we must remain transparent and educate them on the pros and cons of the medications and also the potential for a placebo effect from taking an antidepressant medication. Information should be provided based on educational level and should be basic enough for an 8-year-old to understand and also complex enough for the parent to gauge an understanding of the medication their child is taking. This assignment was an opportunity to examine different medication therapy for a child with depression and make changes as needed to help alleviate the client’s symptoms. Although there is not one clear answer when diagnosing and treating patients, it is important we treat each patient individually and based upon their needs and responses to medications prescribed. References Cheung, A. H., Zuckerbrot, R. A., Jensen, P. S., Laraque, D., Stein, R. E., & GLAD-PC STEERING GROUP. (2018). Guidelines for adolescent depression in primary care (GLAD-PC): Part II. Treatment and ongoing management. Pediatrics, 141(3), e20174082. DeFilippis, M., & Wagner, K. D. (2014). Management of treatment-resistant depression in children and adolescents. Pediatric Drugs, 16(5), 353-361 Giles, L. L., & Martini, D. R. (2016). Challenges and promises of pediatric psychopharmacology. Academic pediatrics, 16(6), 508-518. Koechlin, H., Kossowsky, J., Gaab, J., & Locher, C. (2018). How to address the placebo response in the prescription SSRIs and SNRIs in children and adolescents. Laureate Education (2016e). Case study: An African American child suffering from depression [Interactive media file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Locher, C., Koechlin, H., Zion, S. R., Werner, C., Pine, D. S., Kirsch, I. & Kossowsky, J. (2017). Efficacy and Safety of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, and Placebo for Common Psychiatric Disorders Among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 74(10), 1011–1020. http://doi.org/10.1001/ jamapsychiatry.2017.2432 Merry, S. N., Hetrick, S. E., & Stasiak, K. (2017). Effectiveness and Safety of Antidepressants for Children and Adolescents: Implications for Clinical Practice. JAMA psychiatry, 74(10), 985-986. Nathan, P. E., & Gorman, J. M. (Eds.). (2015). A guide to treatments that work. Oxford University Press.Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

Assessing and Treating Clients with Anxiety Disorder


Anxiety disorders refer to a syndrome of mental disorders typified by substantial feelings of fear and anxiety. The anxiety and fears may cause physical symptoms like shakiness and rapid heart rate. Various forms of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, among other disorders (Locke et al, 2015).  The focus of this assignment is on a 46-year-old male who presented with symptoms of anxiety disorder that included breath shortness, chest tightness as well as a feeling of impending doom. Results of ER and ECK were normal which ruled out myocardial infarction. (HAM-A) scale yielded a score of 26 and a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was made. Following the diagnosis, three decisions will be made about the treatment regimen for the client. After making each decision, a rationale supported by clinical evidence and patient data will be provided. Moreover, after making each decision, factors likely to impact the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes for the client will be considered when making decisions. Finally, ethical considerations likely to impact the client’s treatment plan will be discussed.

Decision Point One

The first choice for the client would be to begin Zoloft 50 mg orally daily. This decision was selected because Zoloft is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and SSRIs are the recommended first-line treatments for anxiety disorders. SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin within the brain; serotonin is a brain chemical that is very important for mood regulation (Locher et al, 2017). Accordingly, SSRIs such as Zoloft work by hindering serotonin reuptake in the brain and therefore increases the level of serotonin in the brain; availability of serotonin thus helps in regulating moods and hence improves anxiety symptoms. In addition, evidence shows that Zoloft is effective in improving anxiety symptoms manifest in GAD; this is because anxiety depletes serotonin in the brain and this is addressed by an SSRI such as Zoloft which replaces the depleted serotonin in the brain (Patel et al, 2018).Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

Imipramine (Tofranil) at 25 mg BID and Buspirone (Buspar) 10 mg orally twice daily choices were not selected because as aforementioned evidence recommends SSRIs as the first-line medications in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Moreover, these two medications are not well tolerated as Zoloft and also have numerous side effects when compared to Zoloft.

By selecting the decision to begin Zoloft 50 mg orally daily, it was expected that symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder manifested by the client would gradually clear away. It was also expected that the HAM-A score for the client would significantly reduce indicating an improvement of the anxiety symptoms. This is because evidence shows that Zoloft as an SSRI is effective in the treatment of GAD symptoms (Patel et al, 2018). In addition, it was hoped that the client would have minimal side effects and tolerate the medication because evidence shows that SSRIs have minimal side effects are well tolerated (Clevenger et al, 2018)

There was no significant difference between the actual outcome of the decision and the expected results because when the client came for review the anxiety symptoms had significantly reduced and manifested by the client not having symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest tightness. Moreover, the client reported that he had stopped worrying about his job and also the HAM-A score dropped from 28 to 18 which shows that the client was responding to treatment, although partially.Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

Decision Point Two

The chosen second decision is to increase the client’s Zoloft dose to 75 mg orally daily. This decision was selected because the client’s HAM-A score dropped from 28 to 18 which indicated a partial response to treatment which shows that the client is responding to the treatment. Therefore, the increase of the dose from 50 mg to 75mg will further increase the availability of serotonin within the brain and thus further improve the anxiety symptoms for the client.  Evidence supports the gradual increase of the SSRIs dosage if the clients are not satisfactorily responsive to the treatment (Jakubovskiet al, 2016). This decision was also based on the fact that the client seems to be tolerating Zoloft medication well and without any side effect.

The option to increase Zoloft to 100mg was not chosen because dosage increase and titration are supposed to be gradual to ensure the client continues to tolerate the medication well with minimal side effects.  On the other hand, the option to have the client continue with the same dose and have him reassessed after four weeks was not selected because the client’s response is partial and therefore it is essential to increase the dosage to ensure complete response to the medication(Jakubovskiet al, 2016).

By choosing this decision, the expectation was that the anxiety symptoms would continue reducing and this would be indicated by a significantly reduced HAM-A score. There was no noticeable difference between the actual decision and the expected decision because on coming to the clinic the client’s anxiety symptoms had further reduced as indicated by the further reduction of the HAM-A score.Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay

Decision Point Three

For the third decision, the chosen decision is to have the client maintain the current dose of Zoloft 75 mg orally daily. This decision was chosen because with the current decision the client is showing improvement of the anxiety symptoms as indicated by the subjective data and the HAM-A score; the client reported that he was no longer experiencing the symptoms and also the HAM-A score indicated significant reduction with the current dose. This means that the client is responding to the current medication and dose adequately. In addition, with the current dose, the client is not experiencing any side effects and he is tolerating the medication very well. Evidence and clinical guidelines recommend titration of medications according to the response of the client; in this case, the client is responding very well and hence there is no need to titrate medication any further (Jakobsenet al, 2017).

The option to either augment the current treatment with Buspar or the option of increasing the current dose of Zoloft to 100mg was not chosen since the client is showing a satisfactory response to the current dose of Zoloft 75 mg.

By selecting this decision, the expectation is that the client will show a complete response to the treatment where the client will report complete clearance of the symptoms and the HAM-A score will significantly reduce.

Impact of Ethical Considerations on the Treatment Plan

For this client, the ethical considerations will encompass informed consent, confidentiality,and autonomy. First, it is essential to seek informed consent from the client to ensure that the client has full information about the recommended treatment before he consents to the treatment(Millum, 2013). Secondly, the confidentiality of the client should be respected. This means that any information and the client’s treatment regimen should not be disclosed to any other party without the consent of the client. Lastly, the client’s autonomy should be respected where the client should not be forced or coerced to have any treatment; he should decide to accept or refuse the treatment. Any decision the client makes about the treatment should be respected (Millum, 2013).Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay



The selected first decision is to begin Zoloft 50 mg orally daily. The rationale for selecting this decision is because SSRIs such as Zoloft are the first treatment choice for anxiety disorders and evidence shows that the medication is effective in treating anxiety symptoms. There was significant improvement with this decision. The second decision was to increase the dose to the Zoloft dose to 75 mg orally daily. This decision was made because the client was showing partial response as indicated by the HAM-A score and hence increasing the dose would facilitate a satisfactory response. The third decision is to maintain the current dose because the client is showing a satisfactory response to the treatment as indicated by the reduced HAM-A score and reduced symptoms as per the subjective data. Finally, the ethical considerations that should be considered include autonomy, confidentiality,and informed consent.Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay



Clevenger S, Devvrat M, Dang J, Vanle B & William I. (2018). The role of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in preventing relapse of major depressive disorder. TherAdv Psychopharmacology. 8(1): 49–58.

Jakubovski E, Anjali V, Freemantle N, Taylr M & Bloch M. (2016). Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Dose-Response Relationship of Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Major Depressive Disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 173(2): 174–183.

Jakobsen J, Kumar K, Timm A, Gluud C, Ebert E et al. (2017). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors versus placebo in patients with major depressive disorder.A systematic review with meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis.BMC Psychiatry.17(58).

Locke A, Faafp M, Krist N & Shultz C. (2015).Diagnosis and Management of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder in Adults.Am Fam Physician.  1;91(9),617-624.

Locher, C., Koechlin, H., Zion, S. R., Werner, C., Pine, D. S., Kirsch, I. &Kossowsky, J. (2017).
Efficacy and Safety of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, and Placebo for Common Psychiatric Disorders Among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 74(10), 1011–1020.

Millum J. (2013). Introduction: Case Studies in the Ethics of Mental Health Research. J Nerv Ment Dis.200(3), 230–235.

Patel D, Feucht C, Brown K & Ramsay J. (2018). Pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: a review for practitioners. Transl Pediatr. 7(1): 23–35.Middle-Aged White Male With Anxiety Essay


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