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Severe Clinical Depression


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Old 27th June 2008, 10:59 AM   #1
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Severe Clinical Depression

I have a sibling who has severe clinical depression. Only recently did we all find out just how severe it is. Apparently she hasn't worked in 3 years, and is months away from having her home foreclosed upon. Her BF tells me she lays around the house ALL day, and truly does nothing.

She also refuses to take meds...

Her BF is moving to the city where me and my folks live. Which is a state away from where she lives... He told me he can't live with her anymore and needs to get out of dodge. Sad, as he is a great guy.

Regardless, anyone else have a close family member with untreated severe depression? How did you and your family handle it?

My fear is that she will lose her house, and then what becomes of her? My folks will not give her any more money, and will not enable her. It pains me to no end to see the sadness she brings them. She was once on top of the world - top of her industry, fit, capable, etc. Now her life is slipping away.

It's possible for someone with severe depression to kill themselves slowly by letting their life erode, isn't it?
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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How old is she?

Yes if she doesn't get treated for her depression it WILL get worse, and who knows what she would be capable of, especially if she is alone and has no support system.

Google depression fallout. There's some very helpful information there..

Have a family meeting about this and all of you together try to get her into the hospital. She really needs to be fully evaluated and put on medication, let alone counselling.
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:15 AM   #3
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How old is she?

Yes if she doesn't get treated for her depression it WILL get worse, and who knows what she would be capable of, especially if she is alone and has no support system.

Google depression fallout. There's some very helpful information there..

Have a family meeting about this and all of you together try to get her into the hospital. She really needs to be fully evaluated and put on medication, let alone counselling.
Thanks, WWIU.

She just turned 43.

I am worried about when her BF leaves, too. Last break up with another guy left her suicidal.

My folks have talked about getting her institutionalized. Problem is, you need two docs to sign off on that, and she won't comply. Hell, if she won't take meds, then a hospital is not on the option list right now either. Though I agree 100% with you - it is exactly what she needs.

I do wonder if she will take her life once BF moves here.

How do you force someone into treatment? Im going to google depression fallout as you suggested.

THANKS!!!!
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Can they go to court? Maybe if they can legally get a piece of paper giving them the power to make her go, she'll have no choice. She needs to be in the hospital for a while..

You're welcome.
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Who in your family is talking to her at this point? I'm under the impression that you're not close if you're only now learning that she hasn't worked in 3 years.

Institutionalization seems like it should be a last resort, not a first resort. It definitely sounds like she needs treatment but boy having been depressed myself sometimes the hardest step is being willing/able to do anything about it. Would she be open to counseling as a first step?

You might consider getting the book Noonday Demon. I forget the author's name but it gives a very realistic portrait of what depression does to a person.
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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WWIU - from what my folks have told me, they would need the two docs to sign off on her condition to get her hospitalized. Not sure about pursuing court as an angle, but might bear looking into at this point...

Sunshine - we have all been in touch with her. She has come out for family events a few times a year, and my folks talk to her once a week or so. I am pretty tired of her antics, to be honest, and don't deal much with her. Plus, she gives them a ton of grief, and I am very protective of them. Regardless, my folks tell me she has been very close-lipped about her work status. She is self-employed, so I guess when asked how work was, she would reply with fine, good, that kind of thing. We all knew she was living off her HELOC, but I guess it's getting down to the point that she will lose the house. Her BF told me recently he always thought she was a trust fund baby. Yikes.

She has been in counseling for most of her adult life. And in one in-patient facility for a week (voluntarily). All short-term fixes.

Biggest thing I see right now is her flat-out refusal to take meds. And without that, I don't think any amount of counseling alone will help her out.

You say you have been depressed. Is that garden variety? Or, was it as severe as hers? Did you take meds?

Thank you for the book recommendation. I will check into it.

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Old 27th June 2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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You say you have been depressed. Is that garden variety? Or, was it as severe as hers? Did you take meds?
Thanks for the explanation. Tough situation, for sure.

My episodes of depression have been something more than garden variety but not chronic. Mine are situationally-driven (my worst breakups have triggered it, as did a traumatic trip to India a few years ago). I've successfully treated mine with counseling and, on two occasions, meds. I've recently learned there's a history of mental illness in my dad's family, so I'm pretty sure I've inherited a tendency toward depression.

Your sis sounds like a much more severe case, the kind that might well be described in Noonday Demon. I found the book depressing (ha) but sort of encouraging because I knew I was nowhere close to that severity.

One of the hardest things about treating depression is how the condition itself dampens its sufferer's interest in getting treatment.

What a tough thing for the family. Best of luck in getting her some help.
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Old 27th June 2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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One of the hardest things about treating depression is how the condition itself dampens its sufferer's interest in getting treatment.
As I am quickly learning! Sounds like yours was situational - and therefore a bit easier to treat. Im glad you found some relief from this disease.

She used to truly be on top of the world. Earned about 250k per year, had a fab guy, was super fit, traveled, had friends up the yin yang. She was the toast of her city!

Im pretty angry with her for ruining such a beautiful life.

My folks have kind of thrown up their hands, as they realize she is too old to really control, unless things get MORE out of control, if that makes sense. I guess for their own sanity, they have had to let her go on this.

Her current BF will be leaving her soon, and that will be the catalyst for something in her life. Either for good, or for bad. Time will tell.

It just seems to be that the people who need meds the most (like her) are the last ones to take it, and people like yourself who need a little boost now and again are the first ones to seek treatment. sigh.

Thanks again for sharing your story...
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Old 27th June 2008, 12:12 PM   #9
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How do you force someone into treatment? Im going to google depression fallout as you suggested.
Hey JB,

In FL they have something called the Baker Act. The police can Baker Act you, as can family. If they feel you are a danger to yourself or others, you can be involuntarily committed for up to 72 hours in order to be evaluated - if no one agrees to monitor you and take you out of the mental facility, you can actually stay there for up to 3 months AFAIK, though I'm not sure (a friend of mine was Baker Acted by a vengeful STBXH). They usually do this for people who are suicide risks.
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Old 27th June 2008, 12:19 PM   #10
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Hey JB,

In FL they have something called the Baker Act. The police can Baker Act you, as can family. If they feel you are a danger to yourself or others, you can be involuntarily committed for up to 72 hours in order to be evaluated - if no one agrees to monitor you and take you out of the mental facility, you can actually stay there for up to 3 months AFAIK, though I'm not sure (a friend of mine was Baker Acted by a vengeful STBXH). They usually do this for people who are suicide risks.
Thanks, BO. I fear once her BF moves out, then we may be close to something like this being required.

I just feel very antsy, because I know nothing good is on the horizon with this situation. You know how you are just idly waiting for the sh*t to the fan? That's where we are at.

I would LOVE to get her committed...
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Old 27th June 2008, 9:57 PM   #11
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She'll probably just snap out of it, in her own time. I think we've all been in her position at least once in our lives. Most depression resolves itself.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 27th June 2008 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:00 PM   #12
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I think depression is born from lack of hope, or walking far from a road that destiny planed really good for her. If a person lack of hope, she would lack of passion for life, nothing to strive for. Could be she really wants something deeper for her soul, but didn't find it yet.

It is very interesting a doctor talk about our brains. She said that if we are depressed, our brain branch will appear black hole; the more black hole appears, the more the person feel depression. BUT, there is a cure we actually can do it by changing our thinking. She said in four days a person can decrease those black hole just by adjusting their thinking. Faith, forgiveness, love and positive thinking can make our brain grow new branches to cover those black holes. But negative thought and unforgiveness, hate and bitterness can make those black holes grows. Isn't it amazing?

If you are interested, this is the book
Who Switched off My Brain?: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions by Caroline, Dr. Leaf

and Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind is very good too

people say that depression is a family desease, in fact, that is not true. In family, there are many behaviours patterns that aren't good, and later generations just picked up those destructive behaviours patterns. It is those behaviour patterns that cause problems.

As a family member, maybe help her to participate some spiritual activities?
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Last edited by Lovelybird; 27th June 2008 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:10 PM   #13
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[rant]

I would be very interested to hear whether Nemo and Lovelybird have experienced severe depression themselves and whether their prescriptions for solving it worked out for them?


Depression is very very complex, and it is misleading and inaccurate to say she'll just "snap out of it" one day; and it is misleading and inaccurate to say she can just change her thinking and it'll resolve itself. (I have no doubt that if she felt she could change her thinking, she would have already or that if she could just snap out of it, she would)

Let's please not forget the chemical side of depression. At least some of it is messed up brain chemistry and, were she willing to go on meds, she would probably experience some degree of stabilization.

[/end rant]
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:18 PM   #14
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Yes, I experienced depression myself, even wanted to kill myself, and also a period wanted to do nothing, just numb. and I remembered when I cried my eyes out, wanted to hit myself, I felt like Lord appeared in my heart, He talked to me. He revealed to me who He is, instantly I felt peace, one day at a step, I began to really eat Bible. although in life I meet situations here and there, but I always knows Lord is here with me. I am quite happy now

my parents who didn't know about God said my changes was amazing, and said that must take a real God to do that
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Old 27th June 2008, 11:22 PM   #15
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hey JB,

What about a family intervention?
Getting everyone together and putting some pressure on? Force-feeding a commitment to a program.

When people are severely depressed, there is no motivation, there is no hope, there is no end in sight for them. When things get that bad, people that severely compromised give in to the depression.

She is fortunate to have people around her aware of the problem - but a commitment to help is a big one, a long road.

Yeah, she needs a treatment program- she'll never go on her own.
An intervention is probably really important.

Bottoming out isn't necessarily a bad thing- it almost forces someone to make changes. If the bank forcloses on her house, there is incentive to make a change.

She is obviously very close to bottoming out if the bank is ready to forclose. Something to be aware of is that such a situation can lead in two different directions depending on her support system. She could end up suicidal, or homeless... or she could end up heading on a road to recovery. This is a huge crux in the road. It's almost certain she will go one way or another given the level of support available to her.

An intervention is crucial at this point. People who are that severely depressed can easily just slip away. Your sister sounds "listless"... which indicates a red flag for suicide. This is the time to intervene... someone who is listless is more likely to comply due to a lack of energy to fight an intervention.

Understandable that it must be freakin' frustrating to see a loved one with a copious amount of potential throw their life into the toilet... but I don't believe she has control over her destiny right now. It's a chemical imbalance, it probably means she needs to be on meds for life. The upside to this is that being on meds can restore your sis to the potential she posseses. The downside is that she will most likely always live with this.... and the chances of relapse without monitoring are high.

Is an invention a possibility? I think it's her only hope.
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