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Mom Won’t Believe Me When I Say I’m Suicidal

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Having a hard time with family. Mom won’t believe me when I say I’m suicidal. She thinks I want attention, but I don’t.

I have several thoughts/plans about killing myself. I tried talking to my parents about it but they just yelled at me and called me attention-seeking and said that I’m doing it to be dramatic and to be manipulative which is far from the truth. every time I try to open up to my parents they just yell at me and say it’s for attention. I recently tried to kill myself but it didn’t work. I’m in therapy and I just started being honest about how I’m really feeling with my therapist she thinks I should try and talk to my mom again and if that doesn’t help then have my mom call my therapist and she will tell my mom exactly what I said in our session. she also said that because mt thoughts of suicide are more severe she wants to see me twice a week plus group therapy which made my mom even madder. I’m taking an antidepressant 50mg of Zoloft once a day. I’ve been taking it for 2 months and still don’t feel any better. I suffer from Moderately Severe Depression and Anxiety, PTSD, BPD, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. does anyone have any idea on how I can try and get my mom to understand more about what’s going on without her yelling at me and calling this attention-seeking and stuff like that? I already tried writing her a note but she got mad and ripped it up then came and yelled at me about it. I feel so hopeless like she will never understand and like I will always feel alone.

Mom Won’t Believe Me When I Say I’m Suicidal

Answered by on -


I am sorry you are having to cope with such difficult thoughts. I admire and deeply respect your persistence in seeking treatment and some relief. You have a great deal of courage, determination and perspective to keep finding ways to cope and people to support you.

You’ve done the right thing by being honest with your therapist about how you are feeling. Right now your therapist is the person who is doing what he or she can to help you. Keep talking honestly to them and let them keep working with you to find a better way of getting your mom on board.

Because I don’t know you personally or the dynamics of the situation the best I can do is offer how I would think about the situation. But please remember your therapist needs to be the person to help guide this and my thoughts are not meant as anything other than another perspective. There could be many reasons why this perspective isn’t healthy, possible, or timely. That being said I will offer some thoughts that reflect what you’ve said — and more importantly what you haven’t said.

You mention that you’ve tried talking to your parents, but then focus on your mom, and there is nothing about where your dad is in this situation. You mention that they think you are doing it for attention, but the focus comes back to mom. The first thing I would think of is to get your mom and dad in the same room with the therapist. There can be many reasons why this may not be possible or viable and you’ll have to follow your therapist’s guidance on this, but it sounds like the therapist may need to articulate your situation more directly to mom and dad while you are there.

Again, there may be many reasons why this hasn’t happened that can be very legitimate, but if both of your parents are dismissing your suicidal thoughts and plans as attention-seeking rather than an important emotional issue it seems like educating them on what is happening may be necessary. Programs and therapists dealing with adolescent thoughts and plans of suicide are typically very familiar with needing to talk to the parents. There is very good research described here that speaks to this issue. There are also more general guidelines discussed here about this.

Finally, please know that there are other resources for you such as those found here and guidelines for parents here and a 24/7 hotline if you ever need it here.

The key here is to remember there is ALWAYS another solution, even if you can’t see it right now. Let your therapist help you in dealing with your parents and getting them to understand what they can do to help, while also helping you to find ways to continue to help yourself.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Mom Won’t Believe Me When I Say I’m Suicidal

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Mom Won’t Believe Me When I Say I’m Suicidal. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 18 Nov 2019 (Originally: 19 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 18 Nov 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.