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Question
Posted by: Purple | 2012/08/14

Various

Hi again CS

The hospital have indeed left us just to flounder with my sister, shall we call her Blue? who was close to successful with her suicide attempt.

Our mother has arranged for her to see a psychiatrist this week and she is amenable to at least seeing the psychiatrist, so I suppose that is a start.

I''m feeling a bit guilty though, because I feel quite angry with my sister for doing this, I''m struggling to focus on my work, I''m snapping at my husband and children. I''m also feeling that my sister was very selfish and has put everyone else out. I know I" m being selfish thinking that though - she can''t cope with her own emotions and problems never mind anybody elses so its not reasonable to expect her to think about how others might be affected by what she''s done.

This was really unexpected, none of us saw this coming. We knew ó ur sister wasn''t that mature in the way she copes with life, but so are many people.

Everyone else seems to be throwing themselves into their work to cope, but I can''t remember what I" m meant to be doing when and I''m forgetting appointments, making errors. I can''t get the picture of my sister and how she was found out of my head - its just playing on this endless loop - and I didn''t find her, so its my imagination, I didn''t see her like that. Those who did say that when they saw she was moving and alive it was fine so they aren''t having the endless loop going around.

The other thing that is worrying me is that everyone is weighing in with an opinion about how she must avoid medication or see a hypnotherapist and so on. I''m not very tolerant of pseudoscience, but I usualy manage to smile and nod vaguely, but now I''m just snapping " she needs genuine help not that crap"  at people. I know its rude, people should be free to believe in fairies and magic dust if they want to, but it will be harmful to her if anyone plants this seed in her currently very impressionable mind. This isn''t my family who think this (none of us tolerate pseudoscience well), but our mom is with her, and she is in a raw and confused state, and is clutching at straws, and I love my dear mom very much but she can sometimes be quite influenced by others when she is down like this, when she is not upset and fragile, she''ll listen and hear someone out, but shed the nonsense. I know I should just say " thanks for the info"  and then we just continue to do what we were planning anyway, but I''m just struggling to do that.

*sigh*.

Thank you
P  )

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As you're noticing, suicide attempts have a range of really common effects. SOme of us feel guilty as though we should have prevented it, even if there wasn't actually anything we could have done, or where the individual would not have allowed us to prevent it.
And anger is also a common response. Its like the mother whose child temporarily disappears when you're at the Mall, who finds herself praying that the child is safe, and feeling she'd like to murder the little beast if indeed she is safe, for causing so much anxiety to her and others.
In significant ways, a suicide attempt is indeed selfish, or at least it is self-centred and excluding others, however loving, and that feels selfish.
There's evidence to confirm that as people become significantly depressed, maybe even more so in those who become suicidal, their scope and mode of thinking becomes increasingly narrow, rigid, unhelpfully focussed, and excludes others or any thought of the impact of their choices and actions upon others.
Its probably also more difficult to handle for those of us in any form of helping profession, as we feel we have a larger obligation to have been able to decipher the secrets she constructed.
Ignore the daft advice, which is well-meant and potentially dangerous, but evidence that others also want to feel useful. Hypnotherapiy can be lethal in a suicidal person, and would be a highly irresponsible option, further reducing her capacity for helthy autonomy and self-control exactly when those need to be promoted. And only a psychiatrist should assess and recomment treatments, whether medication or otherwise.
But you know all that well. I'd tend to respond by saying something like :" Yes, I'm also very anxious that she receive the best and most effective treatment, but of course none of us are fully qualified specialists in this field, so lets leave that to the expert ; its his job. Lets maybe later ask him what if anything we can do to help and support proper treatment."
And do remind them very firmly, that their amateur recommendations should NOT be given to the woman herself, as this would only be confusing and unhelpful.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: purple | 2012/08/14

Thanks. She has full medical aid cover and if there is a shortfall, or it isn''t covered because it was a suicide attempt, our family is in the fortunate position to be able to pay cash.

Reply to purple
Posted by: Purple | 2012/08/14

Thanks for your info, its not the state system, she was in a private hospital and is seeing a private psychiatrist.

If this is how the private healthcare system deals with these types of issues, I shudder to think what would happen the government system - but doubt she would even be alive if she had needed to go to a government hospital.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Liza | 2012/08/14

I''m sorry you''re going through such a rough time. It''s absolutely terrible that our state health services don''t automatically do a psychiatric evalution after suicide attempts.

This evaluation can however be done if you get a referral from a government clinic. I remember after my last attempt some years back, I went to the clinic and got a referral to be admitted for 76 hours for an evaluation. There are three types of admission possible - voluntary admission (i.e the patient can discharge themselves from hospital), assisted admission (the patient can''t discharge themselves, but family can) as well as involuntary admission (only the psychiatrist can discharge the patient). Usually for a psychiatric evaluation, patients are admitted on an assisted/involuntary admission basis. The state hospitals usually don''t allow voluntary admission for psychiatric evalutations because if you''re well enough to make your own decisions, you''re not sick enough to be admitted. Now I don''t know whether you can use this information, but I thought it worth telling you because private psychiatric care can cost the earth if you don''t have medical cover...

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/14

As you're noticing, suicide attempts have a range of really common effects. SOme of us feel guilty as though we should have prevented it, even if there wasn't actually anything we could have done, or where the individual would not have allowed us to prevent it.
And anger is also a common response. Its like the mother whose child temporarily disappears when you're at the Mall, who finds herself praying that the child is safe, and feeling she'd like to murder the little beast if indeed she is safe, for causing so much anxiety to her and others.
In significant ways, a suicide attempt is indeed selfish, or at least it is self-centred and excluding others, however loving, and that feels selfish.
There's evidence to confirm that as people become significantly depressed, maybe even more so in those who become suicidal, their scope and mode of thinking becomes increasingly narrow, rigid, unhelpfully focussed, and excludes others or any thought of the impact of their choices and actions upon others.
Its probably also more difficult to handle for those of us in any form of helping profession, as we feel we have a larger obligation to have been able to decipher the secrets she constructed.
Ignore the daft advice, which is well-meant and potentially dangerous, but evidence that others also want to feel useful. Hypnotherapiy can be lethal in a suicidal person, and would be a highly irresponsible option, further reducing her capacity for helthy autonomy and self-control exactly when those need to be promoted. And only a psychiatrist should assess and recomment treatments, whether medication or otherwise.
But you know all that well. I'd tend to respond by saying something like :" Yes, I'm also very anxious that she receive the best and most effective treatment, but of course none of us are fully qualified specialists in this field, so lets leave that to the expert ; its his job. Lets maybe later ask him what if anything we can do to help and support proper treatment."
And do remind them very firmly, that their amateur recommendations should NOT be given to the woman herself, as this would only be confusing and unhelpful.

Reply to cybershrink

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