Am I Insane?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi. I’m gonna resume my life so you understand why I’m asking if I’m insane. Basically, my parents were both drug addicts before they had me. They quit when they found out mom was pregnant and then moved in with my paternal grandparents. My dad, although he quit drugs, he did not quit drinking and became an alcoholic. He spent most of his time hitting mom and she would hit him back. After mom died when I was 8 he became even more violent and started hitting my grandparents. He once hit me too. My grandma is suicidal and has attempted suicide 4 times. In middle school, kids would make fun of me all the time, call me names, and hit me. High school is pretty much the same situation. At home, dad says I’m dumb and won’t get anywhere in life because, as he says, I can’t do anything right. Now I know I’m not the smartest person in the world but I don’t consider myself dumb either. I’ve thought about killing myself but I’m hoping I’ll live a happy life once I get out of this place. My dad makes everything miserable and I’ve planned on killing him. I’ve thought about buying some kind of poison and putting it in his drink. This is why I asked if I’m insane. I can’t go to a real (and by real I mean someone who’s in front of me) psychologist because my dad doesn’t like that.

A. I’m so sorry you are faced with such a difficult home life. No one should be subjected to abuse, violence, neglect, and misery.

You asked about whether you are “insane” for considering poisoning your father, the father who abuses you and also those around you. No, your desire is not “insane” given the very troubling set of circumstances you face on a daily basis but murder is immoral and illegal. Your desire may be understandable but you must never attempt to carry out your desire. You could spend the rest of your life in prison.

It is imperative that an adult or professional intervene in this situation. There are multiple ways to achieve this. One way would be to call child protective services and report what is happening in the home. Your father would be investigated and removed from the home if it is determined that he is perpetrating violence.

You could also speak to a school guidance counselor or a faculty member including the principal, school nurse, a teacher, etc. It’s imperative that you let someone know what is happening at home.

Finally, if you feel that you might harm your father or harm yourself, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately. You can be helped by emergency professionals. They will provide immediate assistance and connect you to mental health professionals.

It is important that you let someone know what is going on. I’m concerned about your safety and the safety of others in your home. When people are hurting and are in severe distress, they may make choices they will later regret. When people are highly emotional they’re not always thinking clearly, which underscores why intervention is needed promptly in this case. In the meantime, is there anyone with whom you can stay, another relative, a friend, etc? If it’s possible, you should temporarily remove yourself from the home.

I hope you will take my advice and seek assistance immediately. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 May 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Am I Insane?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/30/am-i-insane/

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