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How can my husband be permanently cured of depression?

Q: My 31 years old husband stays abroad and is getting treated for depression. He takes some tablets as prescribed by his doctor but his depressive symptoms keep recurring. His symptoms include numbness, a state of confusion and panic and shouting. What further action should we take to ensure that he gets well soon?

A:I understand your concern for your husband's health. You have mentioned that your husband has been staying abroad and has been under treatment from a doctor there for some psychiatric illness. You have mentioned certain symptoms in your husband relating to mood, anger outbursts and certain bodily symptoms viz. numbness.

One needs to carefully go through a detailed history and mental state examination to be able to clearly diagnose your husband's illnesses and understand the underlying factors contributing to the illness. There is a strong mind-body link and psychiatric problems are known to be associated with bodily symptoms. Even depression can be of different types and accordingly needs to be dealt with differently. Detailed psychiatric evaluation and regular reviews should be helpful. May I suggest that he should not be staying alone in a phase of depression. Major life decisions by oneself should better be avoided during a phase of depression/acute psychiatric ailment. Social support helps in recovery. Medications should not be manipulated or stopped without proper psychiatric consultation.

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