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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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My husband has recurring periods of severe depression. THESE

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My husband has recurring periods of severe depression. THESE ARE GETTING MORE FREQUENT, longer and more intense. He is currently taking medication called Wellbutrin XL 300mg per day. I have no idea how to help him. Any suggestions


I am very sorry to hear of the situation. Can you tell me if he has had the same Psychiatrist the whole time? Does the Psychiatrist work in public or private health? How did your husband choose this particular Psychiatrist?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Cliff had reluctantly seen a GP who recognised the problem and prescribed the Venlor.He was on this for about 12 months. The main problem was his explosive reaction when he forgot to take a pill. Last Nov he was admitted to a clinic with severe bronchitis. He took no meds for about 2 weeks and had crazy mood swings. He finally agreed to see a private Psychiatrist there. I attended the first appointment with him. He has seen this man 4 times, and is VERY reluctant to see him or anyone else again. He is sure that his moods are my fault and nothing to do with him.

Hi Tina,

This really does sound like a difficult situation you find yourself in. My first reaction is that his case needs to be reviewed by a second Psychiatrist (preferably senior to his current doctor) as his treatment is clearly not working. The episodes should absolutely not be increasing in frequency and in fact this is usually an indicator of deteriorating mental health. Most antidepressants require a slow tapering off period as sudden cessation can cause significant complications - it sounds like this is exactly what happened!

It is absolutely ethical for you to approach his Psychiatrist as it appears that his treatment is failing and also that he is disengaging from treatment services. I appreciate that Cliff may not like you doing this but the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that his health is deteriorating and something needs to be done about it ASAP. If Cliff is unable or unwilling to recognise that a second opinion is required then it's going to have to be up to you to make it happen. It is standard practice to seek a second opinion and quite frankly after 12 + months of unsuccessful treatment his Psychiatrist should be doing this anyway.

This is a seriously clinical situation and far more than you can reasonably be expected to take care of on your own. Priority number 1 is to get him reviewed and if you can help to make that happen sooner than later then you are doing your part. Do you have easy access to his Psychiatrist?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think I do. He knows I initiated the first consultation and got most details from me while Cliff was present. Cliff is able to act perfectly in front of other people. Most of the time they only see his manic periods and are not shown the depressive or aggressive behavior, This is usually reserved for me and my adult son. I will contact the psyciatrist first thing tomorrow.

Ok, good. Unfortunately it's not uncommon for people to able to hide their more challenging behaviors outside the family.

I hope this been of some help. If you have further questions or would like to clarify/elaborate on any part of my answer please let me know. If not....I wish you the best of luck!

Dr John B and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Tina,

I hope you've had some luck dealing with Cliff's Psychiatrist. If I can be of further assistance or if you have other questions in the future please don't hesitate to contact me directly.