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Ask the Experts

Question:

How do you get a clinically depressed person to get the help that is needed? We know someone who has sat in a dark room for 2 weeks, lost his job and is in trouble. He is not eating or watching TV. Just sitting there. What can we do?

Answered by: David Kahn

His friends, family, or whoever cares about him and has influence, need to help him get to a doctor's office or, if necessary, to a good psychiatric emergency room. Try TLC first; but if he resists, and assuming he is not a violent person, everyone will have to insist he go for help and be ready to take him. As a preliminary step, you should also check to see if there a psychiatrist or a mental health clinic team that makes home visits in your community.