Medical Q&As

Clot on the brain - now depressed?

My father had a clot removed from his head in January of this year and thankfully suffered no visible disabilities as a result but has now confessed to being depressed. He is an extremely proud man and to get to this step is a huge achievement. How can I get him to the next step and visit a counsellor and whom should I contact?

There is an ongoing debate regarding depression following injury to the brain. Some experts maintain that the depression is caused by biological factors that are provoked by the injury whereas others maintain that the depression is a psychological response to a very stressful event. It is good that your father has acknowledged that he is depressed and that is an important step in his recovery. He certainly needs a great deal of support and encouragement. I am a strong advocate of counselling but in this specific instance I do believe that a course of anti-depressants would be the best next step for your father. His brain has been subjected to a physical injury and chemical changes have undoubtedly happened in the brain tissues in the immediate aftermath of the clot developing. Depression of biological origin does respond well to anti-depressants. I suspect from my experience in dealing with counsellors that many of them would be more comfortable in dealing with your father following an initial course of medication. Counselling and antidepressant medication are not mutually exclusive therapies and there is nothing to stop the two strands of action being followed concurrently. GPs and counsellors are usually very happy to liase with each other in the joint management of a client. Your fatherís GP should be consulted on this matter and that is the next step that I would take.