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Question
Posted by: P | 2007/07/09

support to parent after child suicide?

My friend moved in with me last week after his child committed suicide 3 weeks ago. How do i treat this situation. I feel it is draining me completely as i have to support him all the time and their is a terrible atmosphere in my house. I want to support him and be there for him and i can see the hurt and torment he is going through and i dont expect him to snap out of it and go on, as i know the pain he's going through is hell. Thing is what do i do when i need to vent, i broke up with my boyfriend not too long ago and have tremendous work stress so i do have my own personal issues to deal with. There is nobody for me, although i started seeing a shrink, i can only get an appointment again the end of the month. I am giving my everything to my friend as i am so scared that he will end up taking his own life. He is crying and drinking the whole time. Nothing i do or say seem to help. everything i try to do or the things i say he will react with something negative. My mental state is at such a low. How does one handle your own screwed up life and then give somebody that has lost a child the support and care he desperately needs, and the pressure that he put on me that i am all that he has left and his only lifeline???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Obviously you can be helpful and supportive, but you are not a therapist --- surely he ought to be seeing a good local counsellor right now. And this is clearly a bad time for you, too, so you are less able to think only of him and his needs. Seeing a shrink for yourself is an excellent idea, but he also needs to see a shrink --- and a different one, so things don't get comple with any conflict of interest. Discourage him from drinking, as this does NOT help, no ever --- it makes him more depressed and more disinhibited. He should not consider you as "his only lifeline" and needs to build others, including his own personal therapist
Anon makes several good points, including the reference to the Compassionate Friends, a group specially for people who have lost a child, at any age

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Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2007/07/09

P, Wanted to add you can not be responsible for anyone else's actions, no matter how much you care for them and want to help them. If they want to do it, well its their choice and nothing you can do can prevent them, if they really want to do it. Its a call for help, obviously your friend is in a deep state of shock and despair and feeling helpless and hopeless, probably very depressed. You need to encourage your friend to seek professional help.

Reply to anon
Posted by: anon | 2007/07/09

I am sad to read your post. Firstly you are trying to support your friend but your friend also needs professional support in the way of counselling asap. Call Lifeline/Famsa...I think the Depression & Anxiety Support Group also has a suicide line, they will be able to counsel your friend and you, will be able to direct you as to how to comfort and support your friend. At the same time, you need to take care of yourself. Sounds like the emotional trauma has affected you and you need help. Please don't allow your friend's trauma to make you ill. You also need boundaries.

If you are able to see a private psychologist, do so, if not, try the Lifeline route.

You also need an outlet to express your emotions right now.

Another avenue for your friend is Compassionate Friends. Look it up in the tel directory, usually you will find one near to you.

Take care of yourself.

Reply to anon

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