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A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man 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).  A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety Essay 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).
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.
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 (Jakubovski et 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 (Jakubovski et al, 2016) A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety Essay.
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.
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 (Jakobsen et 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) A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man 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.
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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).
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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. A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety Essay

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