More than usual I have been obsessed with thoughts of killing myself. More so than any other time in my life. I am currently seeing a therapist once a month for head trauma, depression and total loss of my sense of smell due to head injury. I really can’t talk to him about it because he gets so angry at me when I mention my thoughts of suicide. He thinks I am bipolar and borderline which I had to read up on because I had no idea what it was. All I know is that I can’t go back into the hospital again but the intense feeling to hurt myself is escalating and I am starting to feel so much anxiety and detachment from all aspects of life. I guess my question is, do I change doctors or will things ever get better?
A. It is simply not acceptable for your therapist to become angry when you mention thoughts of suicide. It’s not a professional response. Perhaps there is “more to the story.” You may be correct that he becomes angry but it is also possible that it’s a misunderstanding.
Suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously. They have become an obsession for you. It is important for you to work with a mental health professional with whom you can report your suicidal thoughts. I do not know if things will get better for you with your therapist but if you feel that he can’t help, then you should try a new therapist.
It is possible that you have chosen the wrong therapist. It is also possible that you might be misperceiving your therapist’s response. Be very upfront with your therapist. Be frank. Ask, your therapist if he is angry with you. Tell your therapist how you feel and why your feel that way. Never hold anything back from your therapist. When you withhold information from your therapist you are asking them to be more detective than therapist. It might not be appropriate to tell a friend all that you feel. It might not be appropriate to tell your dentist all that you are feeling but is very, very appropriate to tell your therapist. What I am saying is that your therapist is very unique. He or she deals with emotion. You should share all of your thoughts and feelings with your therapist. If you feel pain in your tooth, don’t share that with your therapist. If you feel fear of going to the dentist to have your tooth fixed, share that with your therapist. He will help you overcome that fear.
I understand that you do not want to be hospitalized but perhaps a short-term hospital stay is necessary to keep you safe. It may not be ideal but it might be necessary to save your life. If you feel that you cannot keep yourself safe, then you must seek emergency services. Change therapists if necessary and ultimately do what you must to keep yourself safe. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Mar 2013
Randle, K. (2013). Thoughts of Death. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/16/thoughts-of-death/