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How to manage depression and loneliness?

Q: My mother has been suffering from a problem (she is 50 years old). We are a family of five - my parents, my younger brother and my wife. I got married this year only. My parents are teachers and my brother & myself are finance professionals. My wife is also a teacher. The problem is that my mother is suffering from depression (at least the symptoms suggest the same). She starts crying over very small things and does not share her sorrow with anyone. Though she is of a very jovial nature but this problem occurs every other day. Earlier our family doctor used to say that it is because of her loneliness as she's the only lady at home but even now when she has a daughter-in-law who is well behaved, soft spoken and takes utmost care of her in-laws, these things keep happening. When asked, she herself does not know what is happening to her and fails to control her emotions and tears. We all love each other very much and our family is said to be a model family. Is there anything that she wants to say but is unable to do? Can you suggest something on this? Further I'd like to add that every time she starts seeing a doctor/psychologist, she leaves in between after 1 or 2 visits.

A:You have provided a very good description of the situation and that helps in opining that your mother has the psychiatric disorder of depression, which can and does occur even with all social circumstances being normal and there being no apparent reason for the depression. She certainly needs sustained treatment with a psychiatrist,and although as you have said, she may not continue with counsellors or psychologists beyond a few visits till now, it seems necessary to keep sustained consultation with a psychiatrist of your choice in your city or town, for a few months, if not years. This may not seem easy to do, but is certainly possible with competent psychiatrist. So, don't give up the effort to get help for her, and make sure that you get professional help for her in time and ensure that she continues to be in treatment. I am sure that she can recover well with appropriate treatment over time.

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