Patient: I’m very concerned that my partner has depression. I have noticed a chance in him since his friend died just over 3 months ago. Just over a month ago it was like a switch flipped and he completely changed. He left the family home and has been consumed with anger, he has shown little interest in his own children, he is drinking an awful lot, he seems very irrational but he doesn’t realise he is, he’s very confrontational and aggressive, he says things forgets he’s said them then will say the opposite, he’s extremely apathetic and has become a workaholic. He was never like this before. He admitted to myself and his mother that he thought he was depressed, he even made a comment about committing suicide. I have told him I will help him but he denies there is anything wrong. Does this sound like depression? If so, is there any way to help someone who is in denial?
Symptoms: Anger, apathy at everything, low mood, increased alcohol consumption, loss of interest in his children, workaholic, irrational, unreasonable, disturbed sleep, physical pain which his doctor can’t explain and doesn’t respond to treatment.
Doctor: You have rightly made the diagnosis of depression. There are many people who deny anything wrong with them, even though they are going through significant problems or distress. The precipitating factor could be death of his friend. The anger, unable to enjoy life, drinking a lot and presents with irrational behavior are all could be related to depression. Though alcohol can mask the underlying depression, consultation with a psychiatrist and its treatment could solve the problem. Please consult the specialist early.