Depression And Anxiety: Mary’s Case


Mary’s husband’s death precipitated her depression and anxiety diagnosis. She feels lonely and miserable as she struggles with her daily endeavors with limited emotional support. Mary’s feeling of loneliness emanates from her thoughts regarding her purpose in life. Her husband and children were her motivation in life, and she has since lost due to death and children moving out to start families. The lonely environment aggravates her depressive state as she sees no point in caring for the house since she is the only one who resides there. Mary views emotions as a hindrance to her managerial work brought about by her husband’s reminiscence. The store employees believe that she handled the death well as she did not show any emotional effect while on duty. She concealed her emotions from people to show strength as staff deemed her emotionally tough. However, the show she put up led her to depression since she had no one to talk to regarding her situation. Mary had distanced herself from her couple of friends as she did not pick up calls or respond to their game invitations. She deemed herself unworthy of going out to the parties as she would be the odd one out. After pushing everyone away, Mary grew lonely, and anxiety and depression began to manifest.

Cross-sectional View of Cognitions and Behaviors

Mary’s anxiety has elevated in the last three weeks as she feels bad for not attending the anniversary of her husband’s death. She had sad thoughts about going to church and thus abandoned the idea since she did not know what to do during the service. The service was special for the family as Mary’s children were present to celebrate their father’s life. However, Mary felt unworthy to attend the service as she felt an overwhelming sadness around her. Her lack of attendance has led to the progression of her anxiety and depression as she has been unfocused and feeling down most of the time (Worden, 2018). She has experienced insomnia, a lack of motivation to finish simple tasks, and a loss of appetite as she constantly thinks about the incident.

The second instance relates to her thoughts about how her husband died. Mary blames herself for the accident as her husband was speeding to be present at the baptism of their grandchild. She feels responsible for her husband’s reckless driving attributing it to her previous wish for him not to miss the event. The third instance relates to how she handled her husband’s demise. Mary was back to her job after a week following the death of her husband; thus, she did not have adequate time to grieve. Mary suppressed her sadness by limiting her grief period and exhibited strength in controlling her emotions. However, the repressed emotions haunt her as the anniversary floods her mind with her husband’s memories.

Longitudinal View of Cognitions and Behaviors

Mary bases her anxiety on her foolishness of not being able to control her emotions. She does not accept that she had an anxiety attack since she prides herself on analyzing situations logically instead of being emotional. The irrational part of grief makes her angry as she has trained herself to separate feelings from logic. Her husband’s death anniversary evokes emotions of sadness heightened by her thoughts regarding her failure to control them.

Mary views grief as a weakness and thus is upset that the anniversary stirred sad emotions affecting her logical thinking process. She views the emotions as foreign since her husband had died a year ago; thus, there was no logical explanation for the emotions. Mary is considered a strong woman; therefore, people flock to her for advice and help. However, she has never been on the opposite side of the table where she needs help from people regarding her life issues.

Her daughter’s insistence on helping her make an appointment with a therapist had demotivated her as she did not want to be viewed as weak and unable to control her life trajectory. She views the anniversary as a moment of weakness, and she does not have the playbook on how to navigate the issue of her being helped by her children. Accepting help from people is foreign to her, thus alleviating her anxiety.

Strengths and Assets

Mary assesses situations logically to solve issues and present ideas. She critically analyzes issues before presenting a reasonable judgment that makes sense to the situation. The action plan is always impeccable as it incorporates all interested parties. Mary has a competitive spirit as she works hard to implement practices that improve work standards at the store. She has a good health record regarding her heart and lungs obtained from the emergency room.

Working Hypothesis (Summary of Conceptualization)

Mary’s anxiety and depressive state emanate from her personality of being a resourceful person; thus, the reversal of roles breeds unfamiliar emotions. She is an analytical and logical thinker who solves issues based on the presented facts instead of being irrational. Her husband, the children, and the staff all confided in her due to her ability to offer sound advice in difficult times. After her husband’s death, she did not share her experiences with close contacts as she believed people viewed her as a resourceful person, not needful. Mary’s anxiety and depression result from maintaining a strong public image regarding lack of emotions in difficult situations. She has built a wall separating her emotions from reality where she is entitled to feel sad mourning her husband’s death.


Worden, J. W. (2018). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. Springer Publishing Company.