Do I Admit I’m Suicidal?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 34 and have alot of problems. The main one right now. I need to know if I should openly admit of being suicidal but can’t do nothing about it because I can’t do that to my only child. I just found a counselor and I think I have a good lead on a shrink to help me but I need to know how open I can be. I don’t wanna be in a psycho ward.

A: By all means, be honest with your therapist! We can’t help unless we know what’s really going on. The admission of suicidality doesn’t mean an automatic trip to an inpatient hospital. It does mean that your therapist will help you think about whether you can trust yourself not to act on it and what you need to do to stay safe while the therapy gets going. Often people feel better even after the first two sessions. That doesn’t mean the depression is lifted, but doing something about it by starting treatment sometimes brings people back from the brink. You can then look at what treatment options might be best.

And – I have to say it – “psycho wards” are in the movies. What goes on in present-day hospitalizations wouldn’t make a very good drama for the big screen. Hospitals do provide a safe place for dealing with personal pain. While there, patients usually go to both group and individual therapy. Freed of the need to fight off the feelings of despair by oneself, people can take better advantage of what therapy has to offer. Supportive staff often are available day and night. If medication is something you will consider, it’s a time to get started on it and to make sure you respond well to it. A hospital stay is meant as a kick-start to treatment and usually lasts less than a week. Aftercare can be to “partial hospitalization” which means returning to the hospital several times a week to follow up on group work. Or you might be discharged to the care of an outpatient therapist. If you continue to feel so depressed that suicide looks like an option, I sincerely hope you will talk to your therapist about an inpatient stay. You deserve it. As you so rightly pointed out, your child deserves it as well.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Do I Admit I’m Suicidal?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/06/14/do-i-admit-im-suicidal/