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How can my sister’s treatment for depression be started?

Q: My 39 years old sister who stays in USA has been declared a paranoid by a psychiatrist. She is into a depressive state of mind for the last six months. This depression started when she was denied a bonus and promotion even after she performed excellently at work. Her juniors and other colleagues got the bonus. She refuses to undergo treatment. My parents are with her for last one month but they are also feeling helpless as she does not believe that they are her parents. She feels that they also a part of her office team who want to hurt her by conspiring against her. Now her office has asked her to provide a health certificate and put her on leave. My parents don't know the laws of USA for taking my sister forcefully to a doctor / psychiatrist. She is becoming violent and doesn’t even trust her children and husband. What should we do?

A:Sorry to learn about your difficulties, it is a tricky situation. From the information provided, it seems your sister is suffering from Psychosis (to read more about it, go to Royal College of Psychiatrist, UK website. www.rcpsych.co.uk).

Few of the symptoms are impaired judgment, lack of understanding that help is needed and suspiciousness. For those reasons all country laws have provision of Mental Health Act, In USA each state has different laws, so need to find out local laws, but her family physician can initiate the process of commitment. It is called committed to the hospital against her will, and that needs to be done before she becomes more ill.

So the local psychiatrist whom your family visited in USA, can initiate the process, family members also can initiate the process.


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