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10 Aug 2010

Help for depressed husband
Dear Dr,

I am convinced my husband is depressed. His mom died suddenly a year back and at the same time he was being shot at during a failed highjack attempt, and being promoted. Since his mom passed, he''s asked for a divorce, he rarely eats, started drinking MUCH more than the usual drink with braai''s over weekends, smokes all the time and works himself to the bone. Eventhough he''s finalising divorce papers I really do worry myself sick about his emotional wellbeing. I am so scared to leave our little girl alone with him, as he''s so short tempered these days, and loses himself in a split second. He says the most horrible things to me, and in the morning remembers nothing of it. I don''t think he''s using drugs, but at the moment I''m not really sure about anything anymore. I really want him to just go and see somebody, anybody, to just asess him and see if he''s indeed depressed and help him before he does something stupid. But I don''t know where to start or how to convince him seeing that he hates me. Do I beg him to go to a GP or a psychiatrist? Should I rather tie him up and drop him at the hospital... I really am desperate to get him some help. I''m sure that he really does need it. I just don''t know how. Any advice?

Thanks so much,
Answer 335 views

01 Jan 0001

The eperiences you descibe are of course far above the level of usual life trauma and stress most people could handle without problems. And while drink is a common form of self-medication, it actually worsens depression, as alcohol is a depressing drug. He would do best to see a psychiatrist for a proper assessment, and a discussion of treatment options based on that ; at the least a good and skilled GP, as a start.
If there is a family doc who knows you both, you could discuss possible tactics, including taking note of the fact that until a divorce goes through, you as next of kin may have some authority in helping to get him assessed and even treated, which perhaps nopbody would have after a divorce.
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