Depressed sister isn’t taken seriously by psychiatrist

Depressed sister isn’t taken seriously by psychiatrist

Depressed sister isn’t taken seriously by psychiatrist

Editor’s Note: Ann Landers answered her readers’ letters up to her death on June 22. The following was one of her last columns.

Dear Ann:

My younger sister, “Inez,” is suffering from severe postpartum depression. She has told me that she fantasizes about leaving her husband and two children. She ignores her 4-year-old daughter and visualizes horrible things happening to the 8-month-old baby. Inez doesn’t like to leave the house anymore because she “sees things.”

Inez has been going to a psychologist for two months, but I don’t think she is getting any better. She was referred to a psychiatrist for medication, but he said he didn’t believe in postpartum depression, and the anti-depressant he gave her isn’t doing the job. I have begged her to see another psychiatrist, but she insists she is managing and everything will be OK.

I am worried to death about my sister and her family. She doesn’t want anyone else in the family to know about her condition. Is there anything I can do to help her? — MICHIGAN SISTER Dear Sister:

Inez needs professional intervention, and thesooner the better. You also must involve the rest of the family, whether Inez likes it or not. Her health and the welfare of her children are at stake.

That psychiatrist who “doesn’t believe” in postpartum depression should have his head examined. Inez needs to see someone who is better informed. If she won’t discuss a referral with her psychologist, someone else in the family should step forward, get the necessary information and see that she follows through.

Meanwhile, offer to baby-sit the children, cook dinner or clean the house. Your sister is emotionally overwhelmed and needs all the help she can get.

Dear Ann:

I am datinga man who has an 8-year- old son. My boyfriend, “Tom,” believes he is raising the next Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods combined. The lad is constantly throwing balls inside the house — basketballs, footballs, golf balls, whatever. The walls are scuffed and dented, and he has broken several kitchen plates. Once, he accidentally hit me in the head with a football.

My boyfriend sees nothing wrong with tossing balls around the house. We have been talking seriously about marriage. I would never be able to tolerate such behavior. Am I being unreasonable? — HIT OR MISS IN NORTH CAROLINA Dear N.C.:

Not at all. It is dangerous to throw balls inside the house. Not only can things break, but people can be seriously hurt. There is no reason the boy cannottoss a ball around outside or in the basement. If Tom doesn’t care that the lad hit you in the head, perhaps you had better reconsider this relationship. These problems will notget better after you marry. Dear Ann:

My husband, “Jake,” and I divorced amicably one year ago. He traveled too much and refused to settle down. We parted ways, but I still had strong feelings for him. My last two boyfriends didn’t work out, and I mentioned to Jake that I was giving up datingfor a while. He surprised me by saying he hadn’t dated anyone since the divorce.

I thought Jake missed me and would call, but he hasn’t. It’s been two months since our last conversation, and I found out he was in town but didn’t stop by. I am still in love with him, Ann, and am hoping he will come back to me. Should I call him or give up? — PRAYING IN CINCINNATI Dear Cincinnati:

If you want to give Jake a second try, pick up the phone and tell him so. If it turns out he’s not interested, stop mooning over him, and move on.

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2002

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