Friday, March 27, 2015

Depression. How does someone other than the patient really know?

How does the doctor or psychologist really know what the patient is telling the truth when they ask those questions like;  Are you suicidal? Are you homicidal?

I ask this question because of the recent airline disaster in Europe.  But it is based in my own experiences. For instance, those tests we took in the Military.  You know, the ones that judges our emotions about certain "Hot" topics.  I knew what answers they were looking for and which answers would flag me as a risk, crazy, or the best person for the job!  The same applies on the Spiritual Gifts Tests that many Churches use.  I can make myself look like Billy Graham or Jim Jones, depending on how I answer the questions and I KNOW what answers they are poking for.

So, when I am in the doctors office, how DOES he know I am honestly answering those questions.   Since I know what answers will cause me to be institutionalized, and which ones will guarantee my freedom.

So, the question is;  Who know the mental health of the individual in question?

Certainly the individual impacted does.   At least in the early stages of depression.    I certainly knew when I was depressed and that is was impacting my job performance and my life.  But, I present that those closest to you may know before the individual that you are suffering from mental problems.

My friend at work, Don Bolick, knew two years before anyone else that I was having dementia issues and depression!   When I became too confused to do my job, Don helped me decide to retire on a disability.  The truth is, he carried me in my job for a long time.

My Wife knew and was reticent to confront me with what she knew.  But, when I asked for help, she took the lead to get me the medical assistance I desperately needed.

In my case, I was the last person to accept the suggestion of depression.  I fought it and saw that diagnosis as dehumanizing and emasculating.  I was a Master Chief Gunner's Mate.  Rough, tough, smart, ready for anything!!  The truth was and is, I was a broken human being in need of help, understanding, and medical assistance.

My point and premise of this post is to alert you, the caregivers and family members of individuals with Dementia of any type.   We will not always be honest and forthcoming about out mental issues.   As a matter of fact, we will discuss sexual dysfunction before we will discuss, honestly and openly, our mental problems!!

So, YOU have to see our problems and confront us about them.  You have to make the hard decisions about weapons in the home, wandering, driving, and independent movement.  And, YOU must make the decision to place us in a facility that can tend, 24/7/365. to our needs!!

While this is one of the most difficult and personal posts I have ever written.  But, as this disease progresses, I must be honest for the benefit of anyone reading my Blog.  So, there it is!  I hope this helps someone make the right decision for your loved one.


  1. As to the gotta go, I get that one. The depression, only you know what is in your head. No one else can really have a clue unless you let them in on it. Do you think the depression is the cause of the anger ? My husband gets angry over everything, pushing people away when he needs them most. Nothing could be less pleasant than feeling angry most of the time. He is not smelling the roses, enjoying his time with family or any enjoyable activities. The "why" escapes me. Is the LBD confusing emotions causing the anger?

  2. I suffered from depression for my whole life before I finally found something that worked. A lot of people do not know about natural depression treatments. A man who suffered from depression and cured it himself wrote a book on how to cure it. I can’t stress enough that people should give this alternative treatment a chance instead of drugs. It may have saved my life.