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Dr. Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 63757
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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We just found out very recently that our daughter in law has

Customer Question

We just found out very recently that our daughter in law has planned suicide. She seems okay when you see her but she isn't her bubbly self. We talked to our son and he says she doesn't cook or clean at all. They have two young children. She seems to be good to them. Friends of hers were concerned enough to come and tell us. They have said that everything and everybody plus herself is to blame. She is seeing a psychologist and really likes her. She goes once a week. We do not have any idea what to do. She was furious with her friends when she found out we knew. She is not receptive to talking and very standoffish. If she doesn't or won't go for help, what can and should we do? I am afraid that while we are all figuring out what or how to approach this, she may commit suicide. Her mother just said her daughter told her in January of this year she was suicidal. And they didn't tell anyone or do anything. How involved do we get and what to do??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

this is a very tough situation within a family.

Dr. David :

I am glad she is seeing a psychologist and she likes her.

Dr. David :

all you can do is try to be as supportive as possible

Dr. David :

you can visit her regularly and bring food and try to be social with her and not make it about snooping on her.

Dr. David :

if she is seeing a psychologist, she is getting help.

Dr. David :

if she needs her space, all you can give is give her space

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : That is such a general answer. I hope I am not paying for this.
Dr. David :

try to keep in contact with your son as best as you can .

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : He is not very open.
Dr. David :

I see. this can be tough.

Dr. David :

can you try to make regular visit just to see the grandkids?

Dr. David :

and bring food and presents and try to make it social and fun?

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Yes we do. We live in the same town.
Dr. David :

that might be all you can do for now.

Dr. David :

and hope for the best

Dr. David :

and hope she continues to see her psychologist

Dr. David :

and she continues to take medications to help with her situation.

Dr. David :

I wish there was an easy solution for this.

Dr. David :

do you have other questions?

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : I guess not. This has not helped at all.
Dr. David :

how would you like me to help you more?

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Better and more advice.
Dr. David :

there is nothing that you can do to try to prevent her from taking her life.

Dr. David :

without knowing her psychological condition, it is unknown what she is battling with.

Dr. David :

it could be severe depression or bipolar illness or something else.

Dr. David :

there is no way to commit her into a psychiatric ward against her will, that will not help.

Dr. David :

her psychologist will do this only if she is a danger to herself.

Dr. David :

but she is an adult

Dr. David :

and as an adult, she can choose who she allows to know her medical and psychological information.

Dr. David :

if she pushes you and other family away, there is nothing that I can do.

Dr. David :

all you can do is try to visit regularly and keep in touch with the family and suppport them and help them when needed.

Dr. David :

perhaps they need time away from the kids.

Dr. David :

you can offer to baby sit so they can go out for dinner once or twice a week.

Dr. David :

this way this can lessen their stress and you can be with the grand children and keep an eye on them closer.

Dr. David :

does this help?

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Not sure.
Dr. David :

talk to your son and see if they would like for you to baby sit once a week so they can go out for dinner.

Dr. David :

and have him talk it over with his wife

Dr. David :

and see if they are ok with this

Dr. David :

would you be willing to do this?

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Yes
Dr. David :

this would be a way to support them and keep in touch

Dr. David :

and decrease stress on her.

Dr. David :

and hopefully help her situation.

Dr. David :

and would be a sort of way to help monitor her situation as well

Dr. David :

and you see her declining, it would be a way to talk to your son and say, is she going to counseling,

Dr. David :

is she taking her medications

Dr. David :

and hopefully you can help get her help sooner.

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Once someone is suicidal is it possible to turn it around without being hospitalized and Meds getting changed?
Dr. David :

yes, it is possible to turn it around with counseling and with medications

Dr. David :

but something needs to be changed.

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : You said we could get her help?how?
Dr. David :

by getting her to see her counselor.

Dr. David :

if you find out she is a danger to herself or others, she can be admitted to the hospital right away for observation

Dr. David :

and there they can help her take medications that she needs.

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : If she is so badly depressed then if she is taking her Meds, they must need changing. Usually they have to be hospitalized to be taken off one medication and then to be put on another. Is this correct?
Dr. David :

no, medication changes can be done outside of the hospital.

Dr. David :

her counselor can do that with regular visits.

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : But usually you go off one to go on another. And if she is that depressed this would not be wise for her. Do you agree?
JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Hello? Are you still there?
Dr. David :

there are ways to decrease one medication and start another medication without having the patient in the hospital

Dr. David :

if she is suicidal at one point in time, she needs to go into the hospital, no matter what she is on.

Dr. David :

but just changing medications does not mean she has to go into the hospital

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : Thanks for now
Dr. David :

you are welcome

Dr. David :

please leave +++ positive feedback below if done

Dr. David :

you might have to scroll down to see the feedback area

Dr. David :

you can always reach me as Dr. David if you have other questions.

Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswers.com

Dr. David :

do you see the feedback area below?

Dr. David :

we only get credit for helping clients when we have positive feedback.

JACUSTOMER-g3zp9dqo- : I clicked on Save & Exit. I would like to know where it is saved. I will rate this after I see that I can refer to the chat we just had.
Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
Hello from JA


I am Dr. Thomas, board certified in internal medicine and I can help you with this and any follow up questions. I cover a lot of ground and might give you an answer or ask for information, but use reply to communicate with me for questions or added details.

I have a much different opinion for you.
I am a double board certified doctor and I have had years of experience in this situation in the practice of clinical medicine.

First of all, she would be seeing a psychiatrist for medication adjustments, not a counselor, and a counselor can not adjust medications.

Nor can a psychologist.

Now, things that you can do that will actually help.

First of all, suggest to your son to consider a PhD clinical psychologist trained in family psychotherapy. That way, both individual and group sessions with husband, and also with family members if indicated can be done when appropriate. When she is ready. This adds to the therapeutic effectivness in many situation. See anything written by David Berensen [psychiatrist] on this matter, or many other good authors.

Secondly, even if they don't do this, consider finding such a therapist for you and your immediate family. This not only serves to help you, but can teach you methods to communicate better with those that are in more serious trouble.

I have used this approach with family members for years and it is very effective.

OK. If you have further questions or details, use reply to expert.
Otherwise please choose a positive rating . But, still come back if you need to…think of something later, etc. Bonuses are appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is the other information from Dr David accurate?
Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.

Please ask me anything you question specifically.

 

I can only give you my answers.

 

I have stated what a counselor can do, what a psychiatrist does, that a counselor alone is not adequate here, they can not adjust medicine, etc.

 

And have given you several suggestions of what you can do.

 

As far as medication adjustements, in someone already suicidal if medication is not working then a doctor will usually hospitalized a patient to adjust medication...since increasing the dose or changing the medicine can in some cases increase the suicidal tendency.

 

If the patient is stable an not suicidal, outpatient adjustment is generally done.

 

As far as involuntary admission, in the UK it is initially for 72 hours for assessment but can be extended to 28 days, or even 6 months in the case of the mentally ill.

 

What other questions do you have ....anything at all

 

.

OK. If you have further questions or details, use reply to expert.

Otherwise please choose a positive rating . But, still come back if you need to…think of something later, etc. Bonuses are appreciated.

 

 

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I have you in the in box but no post
Further questions?
Use reply.

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