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Is my brother suffering from severe depression?

Q: I am seeking advice not for myself, but for my brother. He is presently in India and has got some mental problem. At the moment he is doing nothing, has left studies and is almost confined himself to his home. He is a kind of guy who is introvert, very jealous of others and this has been his nature since childhood. For the past few years, he is suffering from mental depression. This arose 2 years back when he suddenly started to realise that he is getting impotent, though few tests he did were fine. He is very fussy about health, looks at each problem related to health very seriously and always feels that he has some problem or the other. Though generally he is normal, but sometimes his actions are weird and his attitude is very adamant and aggressive. He has been to psychiatrists but they only have given sleeping pills to cool down his nerves. He has no urge to struggle and stand on his own feet. Will be obliged if you could provide some suggestion to tackle him.

A:It seems that though you realise that there is a problem with your brother, yet there is ambiguity about the exact nature of the problem. In order to manage any problem, the first step has to be to define the nature of the problem or look for a possible diagnosis. The management, whatever the psychological or psychiatric diagnosis, could be in the form of medication (if there is need) and/or psychotherapy. One opinion has been sought earlier but according to you, the results were not satisfactory. Therefore, it is important that you consult another psychiatrist or mental health professional for your brother. Whether you think it is depression or some kind of sexual dysfunction, it would be wise not to form your own diagnosis. Trying to handle this on your own could be quite fruitless and possibly counterproductive since it might lead to further time being wasted before you seek professional help. The most important reassurance that I can give you is that such problems are manageable and treatable.

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