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How to deal with a husband who is suffering from severe depression?

Q: My husband is 53 years old. He is suffering from severe depression since 10 years. In the beginning he experienced excessive fear and hallucinations (like some people will come and take him along after tying him up with ropes) for which he was given electric shock treatment. For the last 4-5 years he has become overly religious and fasts thrice a week. He has lost a lot of weight and has become irritable and very negative in his thinking. He is irregular with his medicines. Sometimes he quarrels with God and spits on him. He is unwilling to go to the doctor and loses his temper when we mention this. He is taking these following medicines: 1. Relitil 50mg once at night 2. Relicalm plus 5mg twice a day 3. Activan 2mg once at night Please guide.

A:It seems from your account that your husband does need consultation, and possibly hospitalisation, urgently as the psychiatric and medical complications which are likely to arise due to the current state of his health can be serious. I do understand the difficulty in taking him for consultation but it will have to be done somehow. The options are to get a psychiatrist in private practice for a home visit or, as a last resort, obtain help from the police to get him to a psychiatric hospital as per the law, in his own interest. It does seem to me that the medications he is taking currently are not the most appropriate or in the required doses. So, the need for consultation/hospitalisation becomes more important and urgent. The positive aspect is that treatment should be possible once contact has been made with a psychiatrist and/or a mental health team in your town/city. Wish you all the very best.

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