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Ruthie asked...

Tags: Depression

Our daughter of 21 years, normally a very happy bouncy young lady has been feeling tired, angry, upset, can't sleep, can't eat and quite poorly. She is in her final year at uni and managing to get herself to uni and is doing course work, she has been to see her GP and he has told her that she is depressed, after picking her up this weekend I agree, she is a very different and angry young lady to the one we are use to. She has studied depression at university and feels that meds are the only way forward as does her GP, we are trying to ask her to use the family private medical insurance and have a brain scan before starting any meds, at the moment anything that we suggest is falling on deaf ears (as she has studied this and so has her gp)just wanted another medical professionals point of view.

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The Answer

I wonder why you think she needs to have a brain scan? Depressive symptoms alone are not indicative of any conditions that would normally show up on a brain scan, so this is not the usual route to go down when someone presents feeling depressed. Your daughter has already sought appropriate help and advice from her doctor, so she is already taking the correct steps to get better. Medication is the quickest treatment and it will hopefully start to work in 3-4 weeks (so she can recover quickly and get on with her studies). As there is no risk in taking anti-depressants, there is no reason to delay starting them.

I recommend you provide as much support and empathy as you can over the next few weeks, until she starts to feels better. You could try sending her parcels of healthy meals/snacks and some money for a gym membership (exercise and a healthy diet can help the brain). In a few weeks’ time, if there is no sign of improvement despite the medication, it may be time to consider getting a second opinion. A private referral to a psychiatrist could then be suggested. Your daughter may be more open to extra help at that point. It is definitely not worth falling out over at the moment because your daughter is already taking the appropriate steps to get better, and she is likely to be feeling fragile.


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