Depression: A man who thought he would be better off dead

Depression: A man who thought he would be better off dead

Tim is married with three children. He has worked for many years on the oil rigs in the Timor Sea. For the past few years he has been team leader, working two weeks on and two weeks off. He usually enjoys life. He is fit and healthy, and rarely sees doctors.

For the past month, however, Tim has been feeling fed up and tired all the time. He is snappy with his family and workmates. He sometimes thinks he would be better off dead, but decided that would make life too difficult for his wife and family.

He says, ‘I just feel like crying for no reason.’

He is tired and edgy, restless at night and has lost his appetite. He finds it difficult to concentrate. He can’t see much point in anything, and he’s worried that he is letting his family down. He is anxious about returning to work. He does not get on with the other team leader who does the shifts when he is not there.

His wife is supportive but he is worried about letting her get too close to him. He doesn’t think it’s right to burden her with how he is feeling.

Tim sees a GP doctor agreed to see a Psychiatrist. He agreed that he needs some time off work and he is given a sick note for two weeks.

The Psychiatrist suggests that he is depressed and might benefit from medication treatment. He says he is prepared to ‘give anything a go if it helps’, so the doctor prescribes him an antidepressant and arranges to see him again in a fortnight.

After two weeks he tells the doctor he is a bit better. He says he has more good days than bad ones, though he finds he gets intense feelings of irritation at times, especially in shops. He is keeping himself busy, mainly doing weight training in the local gym and working in his garden. The doctor provides him with another fortnight’s sick note.

The next time when Psychiatrist sees him he is feeling worse, which he puts down to a conversation with his manager about the problems that are building up in work while he is off. He says he is very tense and finds he worries about ‘lots of small silly things’.

The Psychiatrist tells him that he has very high expectations of himself and strongly encourages him to talk to his wife about what has been happening to him recently. The doctor signs him off work for another four weeks, and repeats his antidepressant prescription.

After another two weeks he tells the Psychiatrist that he is now feeling fine. He has been able to talk things through with his wife and is much happier as a result.

He has just come back from a few days’ holiday with his family, the first time they have been away together for several years. He’s been told that the other team leader in his work is leaving, which is good news. He now intends to return to work in two weeks’ time, when his current sick note runs out.

Anti Depressant takes two to three weeks to work in the body and if there is ongoing support from the family recovery from Depression will quicker.

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