May 30, 2024

SOAP notes for Depression

SOAP notes for Depression

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Here is an example of a SOAP note for a patient with depression:


The patient is a 25-year-old female who presents to the clinic with complaints of persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. She reports that she has been feeling this way for several months, and that it has been affecting her ability to enjoy life and complete everyday tasks. She also reports difficulty sleeping and changes in appetite.


On examination, the patient appears sad and tearful. She reports difficulty concentrating and memory problems. There are no obvious physical abnormalities noted. Screening tools such as the PHQ-9 or BDI-II can be used to confirm the diagnosis of depression.


The patient has symptoms consistent with depression, including persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, and changes in appetite.


The patient will be referred to a mental health provider for further evaluation and treatment. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or pharmacotherapy, such as antidepressant medication, will be recommended based on the patient’s preferences and the severity of her symptoms. The patient will also be advised to practice good sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and healthy eating habits. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor her response to treatment and adjust the treatment plan as needed. The patient will also be advised to report any new symptoms or changes in her condition to her healthcare provider immediately.

Mental health SOAP note


The patient is a 28-year-old female who presents to the mental health clinic today. She reports feeling overwhelmed and anxious for the past several weeks. She describes persistent feelings of worry, restlessness, and tension. The patient mentions that she has difficulty sleeping and often wakes up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts. She admits to a loss of appetite and a recent decrease in her overall interest in activities she once enjoyed. She denies any thoughts of self-harm or suicide.


On examination, the patient appears anxious with tense body language. She maintains eye contact but is notably fidgety during the interview. Her speech is rapid, and she frequently expresses her worries about various aspects of her life. Her mood is predominantly anxious, and affect is constricted. Cognitive functioning appears intact, and the patient denies any hallucinations or delusions. Vital signs are within normal limits.


The patient presents with symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). She reports persistent anxiety, restlessness, sleep disturbances, and diminished interest in activities. There is no evidence of psychotic symptoms or suicidal ideation during this assessment.


The patient will be started on psychotherapy, specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to address her anxiety symptoms. Medication management will also be considered, and the patient will be referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation if necessary. She will be educated on relaxation techniques and stress management strategies to practice at home. The patient is encouraged to maintain regular follow-up appointments to monitor her progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

The patient’s primary care physician will be informed of her mental health concerns for comprehensive care coordination. Additionally, the patient is advised to seek immediate help if she experiences any thoughts of self-harm or suicide in the future. A follow-up appointment is scheduled in two weeks to assess her response to treatment and make any necessary adjustments to her care plan.

Psychiatric soap note


The patient is a 28-year-old female who presents to the psychiatric clinic for a follow-up appointment. She reports her mood as “fair” but mentions feeling persistently anxious and overwhelmed over the past two weeks. She describes difficulty sleeping, racing thoughts, and decreased appetite. The patient denies any suicidal thoughts or intent. She reports a history of generalized anxiety disorder and a previous trial of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).


Physical examination reveals no abnormal findings. The patient’s vital signs are within normal limits. On mental status examination, the patient appears anxious, with a restless demeanor. Her affect is anxious, and she demonstrates rapid speech. Cognitive function and insight appear intact. The patient’s score on the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7) questionnaire is 18, indicating moderate to severe anxiety symptoms.


The patient presents with a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and is currently experiencing a moderate to severe anxiety exacerbation. Her symptoms include persistent anxiety, insomnia, racing thoughts, and decreased appetite. The absence of suicidal thoughts is reassuring.


  1. Medication Review: The patient’s previous trial of SSRIs will be discussed. Given the severity of her symptoms and previous response to SSRIs, she will be started on sertraline (Zoloft) at a low dose, with close monitoring for side effects and therapeutic response.
  2. Therapy: The patient will be referred to a licensed therapist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address her anxiety and develop coping strategies.
  3. Lifestyle Modification: The patient will be advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep hygiene.
  4. Follow-up: A follow-up appointment will be scheduled in two weeks to assess the patient’s response to treatment, side effects, and any adjustments needed in the medication regimen. Additionally, therapy progress will be discussed during follow-up visits.
  5. Education: The patient and her family will receive education on the importance of medication adherence, potential side effects, and the expected timeline for therapeutic effects. They will also be educated on recognizing signs of worsening anxiety and when to seek immediate help.
  6. Safety Plan: Given the absence of suicidal thoughts at this time, the patient and her family will be provided with a safety plan outlining emergency contacts and steps to take in case of any worsening symptoms or crisis.

This SOAP note provides a structured assessment and treatment plan for a psychiatric patient with anxiety symptoms. It ensures that the patient receives appropriate care, including medication, therapy, and education, while monitoring progress and safety.

Anxiety soap note


The patient is a 28-year-old female who presents to the clinic with complaints of persistent anxiety and worry. She reports feeling on edge, restlessness, and a sense of impending doom over the past three months. She mentions that these feelings are often accompanied by physical symptoms such as muscle tension, sweating, and heart palpitations. The patient admits difficulty falling asleep and frequent irritability. She denies any recent significant life changes but notes a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


During the physical examination, the patient appears tense and restless. She exhibits rapid speech and fidgeting movements. There are no signs of physical illness. Vital signs, including blood pressure and heart rate, are within the normal range. The patient’s affect is anxious and worried.


The patient has a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and presents with worsening anxiety symptoms, including restlessness, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, and irritability. These symptoms have persisted for three months, indicating a need for intervention and management.


  1. Medication Management: The patient will be prescribed an antidepressant medication, typically a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), as a first-line treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. The risks and benefits of the medication will be discussed with the patient.
  2. Psychotherapy: The patient will be referred to a licensed therapist for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or another evidence-based psychotherapy approach. Regular therapy sessions will help the patient learn coping strategies and techniques to manage her anxiety.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications: The patient will receive education on stress management techniques, including relaxation exercises, deep breathing, and mindfulness. She will be encouraged to engage in regular physical activity and maintain a balanced diet.
  4. Follow-up: A follow-up appointment will be scheduled in two weeks to monitor the patient’s response to treatment and assess any side effects of the prescribed medication. Subsequent appointments will be scheduled as needed to support ongoing treatment and evaluate progress.
  5. Safety Planning: Given the patient’s history of GAD, a safety plan will be developed in collaboration with the patient to address any potential suicidal ideation or self-harm concerns. Emergency contact information will be provided.
  6. Patient Education: The patient and her family will be educated about the nature of generalized anxiety disorder, treatment options, and the importance of adherence to medication and therapy.

The goal of treatment is to alleviate the patient’s anxiety symptoms, improve her overall quality of life, and provide her with effective coping mechanisms for managing anxiety in the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on SOAP Notes for Depression

What are SOAP notes in the context of depression?

SOAP notes stand for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. They are a widely used method for documenting patient encounters, including those related to mental health issues like depression. These notes help healthcare professionals organize and communicate information effectively.

What is the “S” in SOAP notes for depression?

The “S” stands for “Subjective.” It includes the patient’s self-reported information, such as their thoughts, feelings, symptoms, and concerns related to depression.

What is the “O” in SOAP notes for depression?

The “O” stands for “Objective.” This section comprises measurable and observable data, often collected by the healthcare provider, including physical assessments, test results, and observed behaviors.

What is the “A” in SOAP notes for depression?

The “A” stands for “Assessment.” Here, the healthcare provider offers their professional assessment and interpretation of the patient’s condition, based on both subjective and objective information.

What is the “P” in SOAP notes for depression?

The “P” stands for “Plan.” In this section, the healthcare provider outlines the treatment plan, interventions, and recommendations for addressing the patient’s depression.

What kind of information is included in the “Subjective” section for depression?

The “Subjective” section may include the patient’s self-reported mood, emotional state, thoughts of hopelessness or sadness, any triggers, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, and any other symptoms they are experiencing.

What kind of information is included in the “Objective” section for depression?

The “Objective” section might include the healthcare provider’s observations of the patient’s appearance, behavior, psychomotor activity, vital signs, and any physical symptoms related to depression.

What does the “Assessment” section involve for depression?

The “Assessment” section involves the healthcare provider’s clinical judgment of the patient’s depression based on the gathered information. It may include diagnostic impressions, severity assessment, risk evaluation, and consideration of coexisting conditions.

What does the “Plan” section entail for depression?

The “Plan” section outlines the proposed interventions and treatments for managing the patient’s depression. This can include therapy options (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or medication), frequency of follow-up appointments, and strategies for coping and support.

Are SOAP notes only used by mental health professionals?

No, SOAP notes are used across various healthcare disciplines, including mental health. They provide a structured way to document patient encounters, making communication and continuity of care more effective.

How often are SOAP notes updated for depression treatment?

The frequency of updating SOAP notes depends on the patient’s needs and the treatment plan. They can be updated after each session or as significant changes occur in the patient’s condition.

Can patients access their own SOAP notes for depression?

In some cases, patients may have access to their medical records, including SOAP notes, as part of their right to access their health information. However, policies can vary, and it’s best to inquire with the healthcare provider or facility.

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