Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Flanagan story a warning about the risks of depression

SuicideMike FlanaganMemorial Stadium

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 © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
SuicideMike FlanaganMemorial Stadium
  • How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?
    How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?

    It saddens me to see the former congressman and governor of Maryland salivating with anticipation at the thought of depriving millions of Americans of decent health insurance by rolling back the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare is a varsity stinker," Nov. 23).

  • On 'rain tax,' Hogan has the right idea
    On 'rain tax,' Hogan has the right idea

    The Sun really doesn't get it! Larry Hogan is "repealing" the "rain tax" because it is emblematic of the over-taxing of our state's residents ("The bogus 'rain tax' repeal," Nov. 24). You can engage in all the legalistic finger-wagging you care to, but the people of this state are not impressed...

  • Farrakhan should pipe down
    Farrakhan should pipe down

    Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan needs to shut his pie hole ("Speaking at Morgan, Farrakhan predicts violence in Ferguson," Nov. 22). Mr. Farrakhan's modus operandi is to instill hatred aimed at Caucasians and Jews into his rants. What he has done, in effect, is to set the race...

  • What's so bad about plastic bags?
    What's so bad about plastic bags?

    Plastic grocery/retail bags have many post first-time uses ("Bag it, City Council," Nov 11). We use many of them along with an inner paper bag as liners for our house garbage cans. They are efficient and easy to handle. Once thrown into the garbage, they are hauled away to the Baltimore...

  • Farrakhan the false prophet
    Farrakhan the false prophet

    We are fortunate to have had three great leaders in the 20th century — each a man of color, each a man having no conventional power, each a man of peace. First, Mohandas Gandhi, then Martin Luther King Jr. and finally Nelson Mandela. Each taught us that change, change which is significant...

  • Ferguson: Is there justice for all?
    Ferguson: Is there justice for all?

    While I can, I go on hoping a majority of the grand jury in Ferguson votes to indict Officer Darren Wilson ("Far from Missouri, Baltimore readies for Ferguson ruling," Nov. 24). If they fail in that, the obvious choice is for everyone to go out and protest. The police in most of the country...

Comments
Loading