Wendy, a 41-year-old African American female, presents for an assessment


Wendy, a 41-year-old African American female, presents for an assessment with an immediate 

declaration: “it’s about time I got some help.” 

Wendy reports she was prompted to see a therapist after her close friend recently initiated a 

“Heart to heart” talk. “My friend tells me she has never seen a time where I have been happy… 

Sure, there are moments when I feel happy, but those moments are pretty fleeting.” Wendy and 

her friend has known each other six years. 

Wendy admits, for most of the time, she feels “just kind of blah.” “I can’t really 

remember the last time I felt consistently good…Maybe in my early 30’s?” Wendy further 

reports she struggles with her confidence level. “I’m just mediocre at things. What do I have to 

offer people? Therefore, I’m single… No one really wants to be with me and I think my friends 

just feel sorry for me.” Wendy doesn’t feel things can improve even when you attempt to engage 

her in the possibility that circumstances always have potential to change. “Nahh… You don’t 

know me… Things never really work out in my life.” 

Wendy’s doesn’t report any incidents of elevated feelings or emotions; she is alert and oriented 

in all four spheres. She has never heard voices or seen things that others have not. 

Wendy reports her sleep is normal and her appetite is typically unchanged. There are no 

medical issues – in fact, her recent physical indicated no abnormal findings. The only medication 

Wendy takes is a daily multi-vitamin as she seems to always be tired despite getting adequate 

sleep. Wendy denies any difficulty concentrating/decision making and denies current feelings of 

suicidal ideation. Wendy consumes alcohol sparingly (“maybe a glass of wine every few 

weeks”); she denies the use of illicit substances. Wendy’s friend told her during their

conversation that hanging out with Wendy was “kind of a buzz kill” and her friend thought it 

best that their activities together be limited. 

Wendy does report that about eight months ago she felt even worse than she does now. At that 

time, for about three weeks, she found herself having all the aforementioned symptoms along 

with increased sleep, poor appetite (she lost about eight pounds), an inability to make even the 

most simple decisions (“I would stand in front of my closet for minutes at a time not being able 

to decide what to wear”) and persistent thoughts of “driving into oncoming traffic” in order to 

“end it all.” There was one other period when she felt the same way about a year a half 

ago. That lasted for about three weeks as well.

Use the DSM-5 diagnosis and statistical manuel

Give the correct diagnosis and comprehensive description of process.

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