How to Tell Doctor I am Planning Suicide

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I don’t know where to start with this. Everything in my life is going wrong. I have a history of abuse. I self harm a few times a day and am currently suicidal. I attempted suicide recently but survived and failed my attempt. I now attend a psychiatric unit as an outpatient. I am not getting on well there, I bring in blades and self harm…I cannot control it or my urges. If I carry on self harming there I will be discharged and all hope for a better life would be gone as really its my last chance. But I cannot stop the cutting. I try so hard but I cant.

I have a plan for suicide next week. I know i should tell my psychiatrist but i don’t want my mum to be called. i have the stuff to do it and stuff……can you please help me tell my doctor …. how do i approach the subject?

A. You need to be honest and straightforward. If this way of communicating is not comfortable for you write a note to your psychiatrist and hand it to him or her during your session. Whichever way you decide to reveal this plan does not matter as much as being sure that you relay this information to your psychiatrist immediately.

I know that you are worried about your mother being called but what matters the most in this situation is that you are safe. At this point in time, by your own admission, you cannot stop yourself from self-harm. In this situation, you may need to be placed back in the hospital until the impulse to self-harm is dealt with effectively or subsides. Please go immediately to your psychiatrist and tell him or her of your plan.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jul 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How to Tell Doctor I am Planning Suicide. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/07/07/how-to-tell-doctor-i-am-planning-suicide/