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What should I do to overcome depression?

Q: I am a 31 years old woman having double postgraduate degrees and was always an outstanding student. I was even awarded best all-rounder student of my college. I was chairperson of the cultural association and was a socially active person. I have done programmes with the All India radio and television. I used to come first not only in studies but also in sports and other extra curricular activities I used to sing, dance, write poetry, was chief editor of our college magazines. People use to admire my charming personality and had great expectations from me in life. But now I am so withdrawn that I refuse to step out of my house. My weight is 100 kg and I look too old for my age. After delivery, I use to cry very quickly at the slightest of provocation or even if I saw someone suffer or cry. I had controlled it to a great extent and cry mostly when alone. Nowadays I turn violent and get angry very easily. Many a times I even hit my husband and feel very guilty. All this started when I got married. I am a south Indian and got married to a North Indian. We married with our parents' consent. But was always criticised for being dark skinned than my husband, preference was given more for the looks than my package. People made fun of my customs and the way I looked and ate. When I got married I was working, but quit after marriage, as there were not many opportunities in the small town we lived. So I did my MBA, gave exams with a 6 months baby in hand but scored 66%. My husband is a graduate and so are my sister-in-laws. Except my husband, my in laws started mentally harassing me with insults as I had no job, no looks and said that I had trapped my husband and called my husband henpecked for supporting me. I have never ever argued with anybody verbally but kept crying to my husband at nights. I have undergone such a mental trauma that I want to end my life. I feel worthless. Do I have any psychiatric problem? Please help.

A:I am hearing depression in your story. You have been feeling anhedonic, lost pleasure in all activities that you used to enjoy in the past. Your attention and concentration is impaired. You seem to suffer from low self-esteem and shame. Also there is a feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness. Change in appetite, sleep and weight gain. These are the indicators for your depression. Unless you treat your depression your irritability and anger will not get resolved. You are hitting your husband, as he is the only support that you have. But you are also partially blaming him for your current situation. My suggestion to you will be two fold:

  • Go to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get therapy (talk therapy with CBT - Cognitive behavioural therapy). Later you might consider family therapy/couples therapy if possible.
  • Get ASAP on an antidepressant (make sure you address your weight gain and sexual side effects before you choose any antidepressant). Talk to your doctor about the antidepressant treatment.


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