NRNP 6665 Assessing and Treating Mood Disorders: Petunia Park Soap Notes

NRNP6665 week 4 Assignment Instructions

Assessing, diagnosing, and treating adults with mood disorders

It is important for the PMHNP to have a comprehensive understanding of mood disorders in order to assess and accurately formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan for patients presenting with these disorders. Mood disorders may be diagnosed when a patient’s emotional state meets the diagnostic criteria for severity, functional impact, and length of time. Those with a mood disorder may find that their emotions interfere with work, relationships, or other parts of their lives that impact daily functioning. Mood disorders may also lead to substance abuse or suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and although they are not likely to go away on their own, they can be managed with an effective treatment plan and managing symptoms.

In this Assignment, you will assess, diagnose, and devise a treatment plan for a patient in a case study who is presenting with a mood disorder.


Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources. 


  • Review this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the insights they provide about diagnosing, assessing, and treating mood disorders.
  • Review the Focused SOAP Note template, to use to complete this assignment. There is also a Focused SOAP Note Exemplar to use as a guide for Assignment expectations.
  • Review the video, Case Study: Petunia Park. You will use this case as the basis of this Assignment.
  • Consider what history would be necessary to collect from this patient.
  • Consider what interview questions you would need to ask this patient.
  • Consider patient diagnostics missing from the video: 

Provider Review outside of interview:

Temp 98.2  Pulse  90 Respiration 18  B/P  138/88

Laboratory Data Available: Urine drug and alcohol screen negative.  CBC within normal ranges, CMP within normal ranges. Lipid panel within normal ranges. Prolactin Level 8; TSH 6.3 (H)


Develop a Focused SOAP Note, including your differential diagnosis and critical-thinking process to formulate a primary diagnosis. Incorporate the following into your responses in the template:

  • Subjective: What details did the patient provide regarding their chief complaint and symptomatology to derive your differential diagnosis? What is the duration and severity of their symptoms? How are their symptoms impacting their functioning in life? 
  • Objective: What observations did you make during the psychiatric assessment?  
  • Assessment: Discuss the patient’s mental status examination results. What were your differential diagnoses? Provide a minimum of three possible diagnoses with supporting evidence, listed in order from highest to lowest priority. Compare the DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria for each differential diagnosis and explain what DSM-5 criteria rules out the differential diagnosis to find an accurate diagnosis. Explain the critical-thinking process that led you to the primary diagnosis you selected. Include pertinent positives and pertinent negatives for the specific patient case.
  • Plan: What is your plan for psychotherapy? What is your plan for treatment and management, including alternative therapies? Include pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments, alternative therapies, and follow-up parameters as well as a rationale for this treatment and management plan. Also incorporate one health promotion activity and one patient education strategy.
  • Reflection notes: Reflect on this case. Discuss what you learned and what you might do differently. Also include in your reflection a discussion related to legal/ethical considerations (demonstrate critical thinking beyond confidentiality and consent for treatment!), social determinates of health, health promotion, and disease prevention that takes into consideration patient factors (such as ethnic group, age, etc.), PMH, and other risk factors (e.g., socioeconomic, cultural background, etc.).


Submit your Focused SOAP Note.

  [SOLUTION]Assessing and Treating Mood Disorders: Petunia Park Soap Notes


In young adults, identification and management of mood symptoms can be challenging for clinicians. Tolliver & Anton (2015) claim the prevalence of comorbid mood disorders among these individuals increases. Thus, a thorough family and medical history assessment are often critical to implementing an optimal treatment plan. Failure to identify mood disorders increases the rates of relapse, recurring mood disorders, and suicidal rates. This paper aims to develop a focused soap note of a young-adult patient with a mood disorder, assess and develop a differential diagnosis list, and implement a treatment plan.

Chief complaint: The patients visit the clinic for a mental health assessment.

HPI: Petunia Park is a 24-year-old patient who presents to the clinic for a mental health assessment. The Patient reports having a hex of taking medications and stops as she feels she doesn’t need and they squash her. The Patient also says she has hypothyroidism and is currently under medication.

Past Psychiatric History

General statement: The patient’s first encounter with mental health was when she was a teenager, and after, she went for five days without sleep. She is unsure of what her mental condition was at that time.

Caregiver: Not applicable.

Hospitalization: The Patient reports being hospitalized four times; her last time was during the past spring. She says her hospitalization in 2017 was due to a Benadryl overdose. The Patient denies any detox or residential rehabilitation.

Medication trial: The Patient reports having used Zoloft, which made her feel high, risperidone and Seroquel, which made her gain significant weight, and Klonopin, which slowed her down. She also reports an uncertain medication that squashed her creativity.

Previous psychiatric diagnosis: The Patient reports a history of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Substance Use History: The Patient reports smoking about a pack a day, admits to taking alcohol at 19, and tried marijuana, which caused paranoia. Denies any attempts on cocaine, stimulants, inhalants, sedative medication, and synthetic substances.

Family psychiatric/substance use history: Pt’s mother has a hx of bipolar and suicidal attempts. The father went to prison for drugs and claimed his brother is a little ‘schizo’ but has never visited a doctor.

Social History: The Patient was born on July 1, 1995, and was raised by her mother and older brother. She has one older brother and lives partially with her boyfriend. The Patient is single with no children. She is currently in vo-tech school for cosmetology and enjoys writing and painting as her hobbies. She works part-time at her aunt’s bookstore. She reports having been taken by police to the hospital once. Denies any traumatic or violent experiences.

Medical History: The Patient has hyperthyroidism, and she takes medication. She reports having depression that prevents her from working in the bookshop. During her depression episode, she has no energy or motivation, does not want to get out of bed, and feels unworthy after being up and working for five days.

Current Medication: Medication for hypothyroidism.

Allergies: Denies allergy.

Reproductive Hx: The Patient is heterosexual, has regular menses, has no pregnancy, is not lactating, and takes a birth control pill for polycystic ovaries. She admits to having multiple sexual partners.


GENERAL: The Patient is alert and oriented but agitated with some questions. Denies fever, chills, weakness, and fatigue. Reports having a good appetite and sleeping 5-6 hours on average.

HEENT: Denies headache and dizziness. No visual loss, blurred vision or double vision. No ear pain or loss, no sinus allergies and infection. No neck stiffness, pain or injury. No past dental examination.

SKIN: No skin rash, itchiness or wounds.

RESPIRATORY: No chest pains, breath shortness, hemoptysis, congestion, coughs or oedema.

CARDIOVASCULAR: No palpitations, wheezing, murmurs or chest pains.

GASTROINTESTINAL: No abdominal pains, nausea, diarrhoea or anorexia.

GENITOURINARY: No burning urination, urgency or bad colour.

NEUROLOGICAL: Patient reports episodes of abnormal sleep patterns, decreased energy and feeling of worthlessness

MUSCULOSKELETAL: No muscle cramps, muscle weakness, painful joints or stiffness.

HEMATOLOGY: No anaemia or bleeding.

LYMPHATIC: No nodes enlarged and no splenectomy.

ENDOCRINE: No sweating, heat or cold intolerance.


Physical exam: Temp 98.2, Pulse 90, Respiration 18, B/P 138/88.

The Patient is alert and oriented but seems agitated when some questions are asked. She is appropriately groomed and gives information adequately.

Diagnostic Results: Urine drug and alcohol screen negative. CBC within normal ranges, CMP within normal ranges. Lipid panel within normal ranges. Prolactin Level 8; TSH 6.3 (H).


Mental Health Examination.

 The Patient is a 24-year-old female who appears anxious and easily agitated. She is alert and oriented to place and time. She is appropriately groomed and maintains eye contact throughout the interview. Pt. has clear and coherent speech with a normal tone. She can express thoughts and feelings without hallucination, delusion or paranoia. Patient reports having depressed mood episodes after five days of working hard. During the episodes, she has no energy or motivation, does not want to get out of bed and feels unworthy.

Differential Diagnosis

Manic Depression: Calabrese et al. (2017) cite the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder as the patient must experience abnormal and persistent elevated or irritable mood, goal-directed energy lasting for one week and present most of the day, during mood disturbances, the Patient present with increased energy and at least four of the following decreased sleep, inflated self-esteem, more talkative than usual and excessive involvement in pleasurable activities. The Patient reports having depressed mood episodes after five days of working hard. During the episodes, she has no energy or motivation, does not want to get out of bed and feels unworthy.

Major depressive disorder:  The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for MDD is the Patient must present with either depressed mood or loss of interest for at least two weeks and have at least five other symptoms, including loss of interest, depressed mood, weight loss, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, decreased concentration, fatigue and retardation (Tolentino & Schmidt, 2018). The Patient reports a depressed mood and loss of interest, which elapses after one week.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: According to Reid (2017), the diagnostic criteria is the patient, during or before their menstrual cycle, must present with at least marked affective lability and irritability and at five of depressed mood, anxiety, decreased interest in activities, difficulty in concentration, change in appetite and insomnia.

The accurate diagnosis for the patient is manic depression. This is because the Patient presents with depression episodes when she feels she has no energy or motivation, does not want to get out of bed and feels unworthy, which happens after she has had lots of energy and done a lot of work. She reports the episodes last for a week.

Treatment Plan

The treatment plan is based on several patient factors, including current medication, previous drug reactions, and existing comorbidities will guide the implementation of a treatment plan. In addition, the treatment plan should be re-evaluated and modified as needed. The treatment option for the patient is initiating valproate 250mg BD rather than lithium as she has hyperthyroidism which may be worsened by lithium. According to Shah et al. (2017), Valproate has been studied and proven effective in treating acute mania. The medication is associated with less severe side effects, but educating the patient on possible signs of hepatic and haematological dysfunction is significant. It is essential to monitor serum valproate levels and reduced symptoms of mania to determine whether to increase or discontinue the medication (Shah et al., 2017). It is also necessary to recommend the patient develop a consistent and healthy daily routine that effectively stabilizes moods.


The case study was very insightful as I identified that diagnosis of mood disorders involves a thorough evaluation to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Different types of mood disorders share common signs and symptoms; thus, a diagnostic tool is essential in ruling out possible differential diagnoses. In addition, I learned that treatment is guided by the diagnosis while considering other patient factors. What I would do differently is involve the patient’s caregiver, as I believe their information would be insightful. Ethical considerations include informed consent and confidentiality. Specific social determinants of health might increase the risk for a mood disorder, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, low income, and low educational status. Thus clinicians must consider all factors when recommending health promotion strategies. 


Calabrese, J. R., Gao, K., & Sachs, G. (2017). Diagnosing mania in the age of DSM-5. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(1), 8–10.

Reid RL. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (Formerly Premenstrual Syndrome) [Updated 2017 Jan 23]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. Table 1, Diagnostic Criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Available from:

Shah, N., Grover, S., & Rao, G. P. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines for management of bipolar disorder. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(5), 51.

Tolentino, J. C., & Schmidt, S. L. (2018). DSM-5 criteria and depression severity: Implications for clinical practice. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9.

Tolliver, B. K., & Anton, R. F. (2015). Assessment and treatment of mood disorders in the context of substance abuse. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 17(2), 181–190.