9 Major Depression Nursing Care Plans


Included in this nursing care plan guide are nine (9) nursing diagnosis for major depression. Get to know the nursing assessment, interventions, goals, and related factors to the different nursing diagnosis for major depression.

What is Major Depression? 

Major depression (or major depressive disorder) is classified under mood disorders which are characterized by disturbances in the regulation of mood, behavior, and affect that go beyond the normal fluctuations that most people experience.

You can learn more about major depression in our study guide here.

Nursing Care Plans for Major Depression

Nursing care plan goals for patients with major depression includes determining a degree of impairment, assessing the client’s coping abilities, assisting the client to deal with the current situation, providing for meeting psychological needs, and promote health and wellness.

Here are nine (9) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for major depression:

  1. Risk For Self-Directed Violence
  2. Impaired Social Interaction
  3. Spiritual Distress
  4. Chronic Low Self-Esteem
  5. Disturbed Thought Processes
  6. Self-Care Deficit
  7. Grieving
  8. Hopelessness
  9. Deficient Knowledge

Impaired Social Interaction

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Impaired Social Interaction

May be related to

  • Altered thought processes.
  • Anergia (lack of energy and motivation).
  • Feelings of worthlessness.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Lack of support system.
  • Self-concept disturbance.

Possibly evidenced by

  • Dysfunctional interaction with family, peers, and/or others.
  • Family reports change of style or patterns of interaction.
  • Verbalized discomfort in social situations.
  • Remains feelings of seclusion, avoids contact with others and lacks eye contact.

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will identify feelings that lead to poor social interactions.
  • Patient will interact with family/friends/peers.
  • Patient will participate in certain community social activities (e.g.,leisure activity, church member).
  • Patient will participate in one activity by the end of the day.
  • Patient will discuss two-three alternative ways to take when feeling the need to withdraw.
  • Patient will identify two-three personal behaviors that might discourage others from seeking contact.
  • Patient will eventually voluntarily attend individual/group therapeutic meetings within a therapeutic milieu (community or hospital).
  • Patient will verbalize that he/she enjoys interacting with others in activities and one-on-one interactions to the extent they did before becoming depressed.
  • Patient will state and demonstrate progress in the resumption of sustaining relationships with friends and family members within one month.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Initially, provide activities that require minimal concentration (e.g., drawing, playing simple board games).Depressed people lack concentration and memory. Activities that have no “right or wrong” or “winner or loser” minimizes opportunities  for the client to put himself/herself down.
Involve the client in gross motor activities that call for very little concentration (e.g.,walking).Such activities will aid in relieving tensions and might help in elevating the mood.
When the client is at the most depressed state, Involve the client in one-to-one activity.Maximizes the potential for interactions  while minimizing anxiety levels.
Eventually involve the client in group activities (e.g., group discussions, art therapy, dance therapy).Socialization minimizes feelings of isolation. Genuine regard for others can increase feelings of self-worth.
Eventually maximize the client’s contacts with others (first one other, then two others, etc.).Contact with others distracts the client from self-preoccupation.
Refer the client and family to self-help groups in the community.The client and the family can gain tremendous support and insight from people sharing their experiences.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

Disclosure: Included below are affiliate links from Amazon at no additional cost from you. We may earn a small commission from your purchase. For more information, check out our privacy policy.

See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other care plans for mental health and psychiatric nursing:

References and Sources

References and recommended sources for this care plan guide for major depressive disorder:

  • Boyd, M. A. (Ed.). (2008). Psychiatric nursing: Contemporary practice. lippincott Williams & wilkins.
  • Keltner, N. L. (2013). Psychiatric nursing. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Videbeck, S. L. (2010). Psychiatric-mental health nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Doenges, M. E., Moorhouse, M. F., & Murr, A. C. (2016). Nurse’s pocket guide: Diagnoses, prioritized interventions, and rationales. FA Davis. [Link]
  • Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2016). Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes. Elsevier Health Sciences. [Link]

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.
  • >