National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
He sat staring into space as if he could see movies of the terror taking place. He would respond to some direct questions but usually with only “yes” or “no” replies. He had been diagnosed with chronic depression about thirty years ago. He used oral medications for about six months but decided the medication made him drowsy. Fifteen years later he again sought psychiatric help at the urging of his wife of more than ten years. The medications prescribed caused him to “feel drowsy” so again he discontinued their use.
During the third bout of significant, observable depression which resulted in the loss of a job or the loss of the job caused the depression, misery was evident. No one can really determine which was first. The job was at a college and his job was ended after nine years that included being voted the college’s best professor for three of six years. Still the feelings of melancholia permeated his daily life. His bright brown eyes were dull and lifeless. No matter what the circumstances, his smile had faded into the background. He moved to another state after the job ended. He decided he would just retire since he was 67 years old.
The first year of retirement was even more depressing than his last year of employment. His youngest son who had disabilities got into trouble at school. He tried to reason with the school district but failed. His wife lost her job over the disagreement with the school district and had to move to a nearby state for employment after being “black balled” by the educational establishment. Sadness prevailed and sleeping on the couch during the day while complaining of not being able to sleep at night continued.
During the second year of the retirement he decided he would drive a bus for the local bus lines. Driving in circles for 6 hours a day caused more complaints of insomnia. Another medical professional prescribed antidepressants. Still the complaint was that the medications made him sleepy. He refused to take medication. He would sit for hours or lie on the couch for hours doing nothing. A second son returned home after a short time in the service. He began the same habits of his father. He chose to play video games as his escape and sleep patterns were nocturnal. Now there were two adults who either raged or were in the staring stages of depression.
During the third year of retirement, a brain tumor was discovered. Surgery yielded a 2 inch tumor but it was not cancerous. More days of isolation, lying on the couch, and sadness. The son depressive behaviors continued as well. Having located only fast food jobs and being fired for making fun of other workers, more isolation, sadness, and sorrow. Both are continuing to have sleep patterns that do not match the small city in which they live. Both are constantly sad, complaining of how hard life is. Both refuse medical interventions. The cycle seems to be forever.