Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Flanagan story a warning about the risks of depression

In reading Dan Rodricks' article, "Shadows of doubt — the life and death of Mike Flanagan" (Aug. 18), I was deeply touched not only by Mr. Rodricks' sensitivity and understanding of major depression but also of his love and caring for Mike Flanagan. I certainly was a fan of Mike Flanagan when he pitched at Memorial Stadium during the long hot summers in Baltimore and entertained his fans with his athleticism, ball control and professionalism. I later enjoyed his television baseball broadcasting. Like others, I did not know that he suffered from bouts of depression and "shadows," as he evidently masked this very well from others. I felt shocked and saddened when I heard of his suicide, as this was a major loss for baseball, Baltimore, and of course, for his wife, family and friends.

It is difficult to comprehend that major depression as a medical and psychiatric disorder can become so painful and unbearable that an individual's only solution is to attempt or commit suicide. Depression can cause an individual to suffer from self loathing, self defeating and irrational thinking, hopelessness and feelings of darkness. Depression, which is often accompanied by anxiety and mood agitation, can become debilitating and create severe impairment and loss of functioning. Suicidal thoughts and intent are symptoms of a severe and extreme depression which can be triggered by a sense of loss and failure and mounting and overwhelming stress in life. It is important and crucial that when an individual exhibits symptoms such as sadness, depressed mood, loss of energy and interest, irritability, anger, sleep and appetite impairment, and difficulties with thinking and concentration, lasting more than two weeks, that psychiatric and psychological treatment be quickly acquired. Depression in children and adolescents is manifested through defiant and rebellious behavior, poor school grades, irritability, and substance abuse. For individuals who express suicidal intent, immediate emergency room treatment is required. Psychiatric and psychological studies show that the most successful treatment for major depression is the combination of psychiatric and psychological treatment, e.g. medication and psychotherapy, which can lead to healing and positive mental health for the individual.

With respect to Alex Flanagan, she is absolutely right when she states, "It's OK to ask for help." I admire her work in promoting education and suicide prevention programs and assistance. Major and clinical depression can be medically treated when a person asks for help, directly or indirectly, and can learn to verbalize painful and tormenting thoughts and feelings in a supportive and therapeutic environment.

Lucille Romeo

The writer is a licensed psychologist.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Fishing with Flanny

    Dan Rodricks on shock, heartbreak and the soul-wrenching loss of a friend who couldn't keep the shadows away

  • Fee for ambulance ride is a mistake

    Fee for ambulance ride is a mistake

    I am writing in response to your editorial of July 22, "Ambulance fee, finally." In your editorial you comment about the decision by Baltimore County to begin charging a fee for emergency medical services and how it is long overdue.

  • EXIM limbo will hurt small businesses

    EXIM limbo will hurt small businesses

    I agree wholeheartedly with your July 27 editorial, "Revive Export-Import Bank," which rightly points out just how misguided it would be to sacrifice exports and jobs, as you wrote, "for the sake of laissez-faire purity." It is outrageous that House Republican leaders broke for recess without bringing...

  • Obama rewards criminals and stiffs law-abiding Americans

    Obama rewards criminals and stiffs law-abiding Americans

    President Barack Obama's effort to reward criminals by offering them Pell Grants is yet another reason why this country is going backward and is completely out of control! ("Obama Cabinet officials in Jessup to announce Pell grants for inmates," July 31.)

  • Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Verizon has persistently refused to bring FiOS to Baltimore, despite providing service to surrounding suburbs ("Baltimore remains a fiber desert,http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-broadband-letter-20150730-story.html July 30). If broadband service now comes under the...

  • Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Gov. Larry Hogan's decision to close the Baltimore City jail was bold, but a good one ("Closing Baltimore's jail," Aug. 1).

  • Divert jail savings to rehabilitation programs

    Divert jail savings to rehabilitation programs

    While I was disappointed that Gov. Larry Hogan did not reach out to those of us who serve on the legislative commission dealing with the Baltimore City Detention Center or with me as the state senator who represents the area where the jail is located, I along with the residents of East Baltimore...

  • Prison deters crime — just look at Baltimore

    Prison deters crime — just look at Baltimore

    The July 30 issue of The Sun presents an awkward picture. One article indicates that the average population of the Baltimore City Detention Center dropped 48 percent in Baltimore and applauds that as a positive development. Yet another article in the same edition carries the scary title: "Baltimore...

Comments
Loading
91°