Degree Name

Master of Science in Education

Department or Program

Rehabilitation Counseling


Upton, Thomas D.


The American Psychiatric Associations' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2013) provides diagnostic criteria and characteristics specific to the numerous classifications of adult depressive disorders that many consider broad and complex, having a great deal of subtle differences in symptomology and a significant amount of overlap and consistent co-morbidity with various other mental health disorders. Therefore, the depressive condition tends to be difficult to thoroughly understand and adequately treat in clinical settings. This type of clinical conundrum can lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment and interventions, leaving the client's core problems poorly-addressed and the client vulnerable to an increased risk of relapse. The inconclusive knowledge base and the emergent nature of current research relative to the depressive disorders will require that clinicians possess a thorough understanding of the adult depressive disorders in order to advance effective practices and positive client outcomes in the field of rehabilitation counseling and in all human services. The current literature review examined the current knowledge base with regard to the diagnosis, treatment, and the highlights of emergent and potential future studies surrounding the adult depressive disorders in an effort to increase awareness and understanding.