Journal Posts

Tag: depression

Poor Ophelia
While vacationing in Denmark, I visited an ex-psychology classmate. He was reviewing a case on the drowning of a young woman named Ophelia, and asked me to assist him. While looking at the file, I noticed that after her father’s death her behavior changed drastically.

We went on to her father’s boss, Claudius, to get a better understanding of Ophelia’s behavior. To my surprise, Claudius was very helpful. He explained that the day before her death, his messenger had seen her walking around the palace in a robe singing old songs. He also stated that Ophelia and his nephew Hamlet may have been lovers. When asked where his nephew was, he said he had been sent to England. He went on to tell us another shocking piece of information. Hamlet killed Polonius, Ophelia’s dad!

I walked away to look around as my classmate continued a conversation with Claudius. “ Wow, who would’ve known he rlover, Hamlet, killed her father, “ I thought to myself. That could have been a reason Ophelia went insane, and drove her to commit suicide, but who is to say she knew Hamlet killed her father? My thoughts were soon interrupted by a woman. She introduced herself as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. We started conversating about Ophelia.

Gertrude told me how Ophelia was a timid and shy girl. She said once her father died and Hamlet left for England, Ophelia turned into a mad woman. She went everywhere singing love songs, some about love and faithfulness, the rest about a woman not being able to marry because her body was no longer pure. As she talked to me, I realized that she not only knew Ophelia, but had also witnessed her death. She explained how Ophelia was carrying violets by the river bank, and began to try to hang them on a tree limb. Obviously, it couldn’t support her, and that is when Ophelia fell in the river and started to float. Her clothes began to get heavy and pulled her under the water as Ophelia kept singing, and she drowned. I was shocked. Ophelia didn’t scream for help nor did she try to save herself, and Gertrude did not seem to help her either. I thanked Gertrude and went to get my classmate so we could sum up the case. He was waiting on me.

I started off by telling him that as I dug deeper in the case, it had gotten weirder by the moment. Ophelia obviously showed signs of depression, but her death was still unexplainable. At this moment, I’m still going to consider it a suicide. I let him in on the fact that Gertrude was there when Ophelia died, and just like me, he was shocked. I wanted to tell him more, but we had to get back to diagnosing Ophelia before it was my time to depart. We left the palace, and shortly arrived at his office to get to work. With little evidence and our two strange witnesses, we came up with a diagnosis. Ophelia was suffering from depression. Then, since she had no one else, and her brother were too worried about avenges rather than seeking help for her, it became major depression. With this people show signs of restlessness, which could explain her wandering. The also have feelings of helplessness, which could describe her singing the sentimental songs. It’s also a possibility that Ophelia could have been pessimistic, and without proper treatment people can become suicidal. That can explain why she didn’t save herself or call for help while she was in the water. I feel Ophelia wanted to die, and suicide was what she chose.Due to the lack of evidence, it was harder to process her, and who is to say our witnesses were being truthful., but since that was the only evidence we could say Ophelia was depressed. We finished up the case and I thanked my good friend and left denmark feeling accomplished.
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