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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Depression linked to communicating with dead?


 TomCat - Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:41 pm

My 27 year old girlfriend we will call "MISS" just informed me she has depression, which she says her family has in their history.

"MISS's" mother committed suicide when she was 5 and "MISS" increasingly shows some classic signs of depression, including: sadness, headaches, light-headedness, joint pain, reclusiveness, angry spouts at strangers out of the blue, and sleeping problems.

According to an RN with whom I shared this, the following is relevant: Approximately 6 weeks ago MISS began taking birth control after several years of abstaining from both birth control and sex. In the past 2-3 weeks she has had abnormal cramps & an extended menstrual period, and next to no appetite for sex. Prior to that she had very easily managed menstrual cycles and we were very sexually active. Finally this week, In MISS's words, she is "in a very dark place right now and unable to give the compassion and affection to sustain a relationship" We have spoken very little despite my efforts this week and she emailed me to tell me she just needs me as only a friend.

While I think it is fairly to extremely likely she has depression that needs to be treated, (I don't know if she's ever been treated) and want to help her with it; the following is what is most confusing/important to me...

Reluctantly a mutual friend disclosed to me that when MISS is at home in bed alone at night (and ONLY in these circumstances) MISS sees and/or senses--and sometimes communicates with--dead people and animals, and that MISS's grandmother does as well (I don't know if MISS's mother did prior to death). Apparently, these spirits with whom she communicates include people as well as her former pets (not sure if one of the people is her mother) and the spirits in HER house are not bad, because the only bad spirit she sees is that of a deceased person when she is at her family's cabin, alone, at night... she feels this spirit is bad, scary, and is eventually going to kill her. It is the spirit of a real person who was really murdered and ditched in the lake next to her cabin, all prior to MISS's lifetime.
I have tried to research psychotic depression and schizophrenia but these experiences MISS is having do not appear to be anything like the hallucinations that are typically described in the research I have seen.
I would like to know what sort of links there are between depression and this type of experience before I talk to her about it. She is not currently on any form of treatment.
Unless I can find some research that indicates this combination/behavior is a diagnosed illness, I feel I cannot even bring up the aforementioned interaction with dead people (since she has never actually told me about it herself). I fear she might reject my help if she learns that A) I have heard about her contact with dead people, and B) my reaction is to tell her to get help. Either way I would like to help her get the help she needs for the depression.
 Marceline F, RN - Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:50 am

User avatar Dear TomCat,

From what you have detailed, it does indeed appear that your friend "Miss" is severely depressed. It would be interesting to know how old her mother was when she committed suicide. Sometimes a person will think they are "doomed" to follow a particular pathway because it "runs in the family" or because a close loved one has made certain choices.
There appears to be on the surface, a deep interest in death and dying. The "spirit" of the murder victim has "haunted" her mind enough that she now fancies that this "spirit" may kill her.
I am particularly alarmed that "Miss" is closing off communications with you, and relegating your relationship to a non-essential level. (Thus one less reason to live.)
Her stating that she is in a dark place and unable to sustain a relationship is concerning - did her mother commit suicide due to a failed relationship? Did the 5 year old "Miss" feel somehow responsible for her death? Is she now perhaps feeling that it is her "turn" to die?
She surely needs emergent intervention before she acts out on her thoughts!
Some states have mental health laws that will allow the concerned citizen to arrange for psychiatric evaluation, especially when there is a possibility of attempted suicide. I encourage you to contact your local hospital, or police, who may tell you what your options are.
 Yellow Star - Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:55 pm

When you are dealing with "Spirits" or hauntings, it is best to contact the experts in this field, i.e. a Medium or Spiritualist Minister/Church if you have had no training in this area.
If this young lady is aware of a spirit in the family cabin, her inexperience in this field may cause her to feel the spirit is "bad". It is more likely that this spirit is reaching out for either help to catch the killer, or is "earthbound". If she meets this spirit with love, and suggest that she goes "to the light" where her family is waiting for her, it will, most probably leave. It is more common for a person to feel scared when they are aware of a spirit, run away and cause accidents to themselves, rather than a spirit actually "causing" the accident. The movies have done a good job of misinformation presented as factual experiences! The movie "Ghost" is more the truth, as I see it. Many people are not afraid after seeing it. If a person loved you in this lifetime, they still love you, if not more, after they have "passed over". They are never anyone to fear, just more proof that life goes on...........
As she appears to have abilities to see or "know", she may need help in turning herself "off". I would suggest that either of you contact one of the experts in this field as mentioned in the beginning of my reply.

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