I was just reading Severe depression, how can I help? and it got me thinking about a problem I have.
My brother is depressed. He won’t talk about it, see a shrink or take medication (big no-no, see below). He’s been this way for a year and a half now, although he was probably “properly” depressed for 6 months or more before the full breakdown. He’s also been living with my parents for this time.
He’s been sectioned once (about a year ago), but was released after he refused treatment and was determined not to be a threat to himself or others.
As I can’t discuss it with him (he just walks away), I assume that the following is what he’s thinking. He has Crohns disease (roughly, ulceration of the digestive tract), which meant he needs to take the steroid prednisolone. This has led to a lot of thinning of his hair and has some nasty side effects re: moods and depression (when taken). I suspect that in the last of his (infrequent) visits to the specialist before he flipped, he was told he’d probably need a colostomy in the future.
At that point, he seems to have decided that all his problems were due to prednisolone and medication in general. This includes anything, natural remedies (such as aloe vera juice) or drugs, and is not restricted to medication for his Crohns. He’s stopped taking prednisolone, but is not rational enough to try to moderate his diet to control it (which would probably not be possible in his case - he has extensive and severe Crohns). I personally think that, after years of denying it was a problem (he wouldn’t talk about it, and we’re a fairly open family), he’s suddenly decided that his life is over, all he can look forward to is pain and he’ll never find a partner.
Anyway, my question is can we make a case that he is a threat to himself? Any damage suffered in his regular flare-ups is permanent and will, if not treated at the time of the flare-up, eventually lead to an inability to process solids. I’d rather force him to be sectioned, strapped down and medicated than see him continue to die by inches.