Help needed: I am really worried about my friend

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. She has a 21 year old son who in 2003 had a metal plate put in his head as his skull was split open in a fight. Since then he has been extremely agreesive and has tried to commit suiscide 10 times. The last time being on Wednesday and he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, they let him out on Friday. Her son in the past has smashed up her home and he has really bad mood swings which means she cannot have anything around that could be smashed or broken even all the doors in her house have gone. My friend is really scared to even leave her home now as he says he will kill himself if she does. She is in a real mess and needs help. She is off sick from work and her own mental health is now suffering. The doctors don’t seem to be able to help her and I am now really scared for her. Please advise.

A. I am sorry to hear about this extremely difficult situation. I have worked with a number of individuals in similar situations after a family member received a traumatic head or brain injury. I am not sure if her son has a traumatic brain injury per say but I know many families who have had a brain injured family member and have experienced problems similar to the one that you have described above. Your friend should do some Internet searching for traumatic brain injury foundations, help lines, groups, etc. This search may uncover different agencies or services that she can call to help her in her situation. If his behavior escalates, she will have to call the police. If his behavior continues to be an ongoing, unmanageable problem, she may have to consider a group home or some other type of living facility that can better manage his behavior. My advice is for her to begin searching for Internet information, to call the police if he gets too out of control, consider medication (if he is not already taking some) and explore the possibility a group home or another residential living facility staffed with individuals trained to manage his aggression and suicidal behavior. There are no easy answers in this situation. I do hope you and your friend are able to find some answers for her son.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Oct 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). Help needed: I am really worried about my friend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/13/help-needed-i-am-really-worried-about-my-friend/