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Why does my son develop depressive symptoms time and again?

Q: My 22 years old son gets headache whenever exposed to sunlight for the last nine years. As he was good in studies, we shifted to abroad for his studies 14 years back. But he was unable to manage because of different system of education, accent of language, although language was English and he started talking absurdly. Then, he was admitted in the hospital but nothing was diagnosed and he was discharged after some days. Then he became totally silent and could not even wear his clothes himself. After a month, he improved and became normal. We returned to India ten years back and here he did his 10th and 12th standard with very good percentage and got admission in engineering. Here he was staying in a flat with three other students. After 8-9 months, he started talking absurdly again, losing self-confidence and wanted to leave the college and to stay with us. We consulted a psychiatrist and he prescribed FOSTERA 5 once a day, which he took for about 15 days. He developed similar symptoms twice more before the completion of his engineering degree. Now, he develops similar symptoms every 7-8 months. He gets confused whenever he has to make a choice between two options. Moreover, he feels that whether he is not loved, or his parents love him a lot, but he does not reciprocate. In such situations, we again started giving him Fostera 5. He wants to stay with us but his job is in a different place but nearby city. What type of disease is he suffering from? Who should we consult - a neurologist or a psychologist? Can you suggest a good doctor for him in Mumbai?

A:I appreciate your concern given that it has been several years since your son has been suffering from these problems. There are a mix of symptoms that you are reporting. A complete assessment needs to be made and a diagnosis must be arrived at for successful treatment. I would strongly recommend consulting a psychiatrist first since he has been on medication. A psychiatrist will also be able to diagnose the problem. Once this is done, your son will benefit from regular counselling sessions for which you must consult a psychologist. He can learn effective ways of dealing with his issues and it appears from the information that you have provided that his self confidence has taken a beating through these years. Counselling will also help build his confidence and manage stress better that will help him perform better at work.


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