Problem With Suicidal Son

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

Hi I am at wits end, about two months ago my son threated suicide, He went to a hotel and took pills and drank. I tracked him down and before he took the pills the police took him to the ER. They didnt help him because he didnt have insurance. 

SO I found him a therapist, he didnt like her, refused to go and lied to me that he was going.  Two months went by everthing seemed ok. Last saturday he got totally drunk called me at work to come home that he had taken 3 pills and alcohol. 

I found him another therapst, it sound terrible but I said if he doeant get help I was going to make him leave (he is 25)  so today he went to the therapist said she isnt helping and he is very mean to me. Infact lately he agrues with me all the time if thing dont go his way when he gets this way he agains tells me he is going to take pills. 

I am at a lose, I have no friends here or family I am new in the area. I dont know what to do I live in consent free, I count all the pills that I can find, and I dont know what to do. What do I say if he refuses to go to the therapist, pls help I am desperate.  Thanks  PS I have tired all the therapis in the area, it is very hard to get help when you dont have insurance and his cousin killed himself 5 yrs ago. 

A: Hello and thank you for your question:

We always have to take suicide threats seriously, but he certainly sounds like he is manipulating you. The problem is, if you do force him to either get help or move out and something were to happen, you would feel guilty.

My guess is that the therapists are telling him that he has to stop drinking before they can help him, and I doubt that he wants to quit.  You didn’t mention what kind of pills he’s allegedly taking, but it usually takes more than 3 of most medications to kill someone.  He’s also told you that he took the pills and when the police showed up, he hadn’t taken them.

He may be an alcoholic and may be using other drugs as well. He needs to get help for his drinking and there are free clinics all over the country. But he will only cooperate if he decides that he needs help. You are unfortunately enabling his bad behaviors and perhaps even giving him money to buy his booze.

Rather than get him into therapy, you should go to a few sessions for yourself. A good therapist can help you sort these things out while giving you the guidance and support you need so badly. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Remember this: if your son decides to kill himself, he won’t let you stop him.  On one hand, be thankful that he’s telling you. On the other hand, he’s making you a nervous wreck and making you jump whenever he calls. If you get help, you can stop this “game.”  You can find a therapist in your area that specializes in this kind of problem at Psychology Today. If that doesn’t work, contact the community mental health centers. You don’t need insurance to be a patient at those.  You might also contact your state psychological association. They can often give you names of doctors who will see you for very little money.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). Problem With Suicidal Son. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/07/02/problem-with-suicidal-son/