My girlfriend needs help, but her parents refuse to help her.

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by DJMeowth, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. DJMeowth

    DJMeowth New Member

    Hi. I'm still not approved yet but I hope this message is approved fairly soon, because I really need advice.

    I'm in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend. She is amazing in every way. I don't know what I'd do without her.

    She has been struggling with anxiety, depression, and self-harm for years now. She has panic attacks, occasional agoraphobia (fear of leaving home), and has on a few occasions gone as far as to cut herself with knives and razors. She has also burned herself with curling irons. This is on purpose.

    She had been feeling fine for months up until about two weeks ago. Now she feels terrible. She tells me that her problem has always been self-hate. When she feels fine, she doesn't hate herself. But sometimes she just starts despising herself. When she feels bad, she feels like she deserves to be in pain and that she deserves to die. She feels like she is a burden to people, ugly, stupid, and not deserving of life.

    Her parents are doing a terrible job of caring for her through this. They simply will not help her. They do not believe her. They try and prevent her from telling them about her problems. When she tries to speak with them, they end the conversation prematurely. When she tells them she feels terrible and feels like hurting herself, their advice is always something like "you're just hungry, eat something" or "take a nap" or "take a walk" or "watch a movie".

    Last week she got a chest cold. She started coughing up mucus. Her parents finally took her to a doctor, though this was a General Practitioner. My girlfriend took the chance to write a letter (a devastatingly sad and desperate letter) in case she wouldn't be able to put her thoughts into words. She gave this letter to her doctor who read it. Then her doctor asked some questions. Through these questions, she found out that my girlfriend (who, may I remind you, has been dealing with mental problems for years) has been sleeping poorly for about a week. Thus, her doctor elected to ignore everything but the week-old case of insomnia and prescribed her AMBIEN.

    Even I know that it is stupid and dangerous to give a suicidal person Ambien. She took it for three nights, had hallucinations, made strange and creepy blog posts, and woke up every day with a strange and instant urge to harm herself. Today she found herself counting her remaining Ambien Pills to see how much she would need to take to die. Thankfully, even though the pills were in her hand, she did not take them. Thank goodness for that. She is not going to take the Ambien anymore.

    Every day for the past week, my girlfriend has attempted to sit her parents down and explain that she needs help. She even knows exactly what she needs. She needs a mental health professional to help her through therapy. She is asking for this but her parents continue to refuse. They continue to tell her that they wish they could help but they do not know how. My girlfriend claims that she has told them flat-out on multiple occasions that she knows that they need to do for her, but they absolutely unconditionally flat-out refuse to help my girlfriend who is thinking of committing suicide.

    I do not know why her parents are putting their daughter's life in danger like this. My mind cannot grasp this. I didn't think a human being, an actual caring human being, could ever do anything like this to anyone. I honestly cannot come to terms with this, so right now me and my girlfriend are desperately trying to find some way in which she can go around her parents. I am sorry but they do not have the right to sit around doing nothing while their daughter contemplates ending her life. I refuse to believe that the law protects this garbage.

    She has no money or car (she occasionally drives her mom's car but her mom would not allow her to take the car to get herself help), and lives in the country, about 20 minutes from the nearest town. That town has two tiny little mental health clinics. Tomorrow, together, we will e-mail (or perhaps even directly call) these clinics and explain our situation. I am worried that they too will refuse to do anything for her. If my girlfriend cannot get help without her parent's permission, she is not going to get help and something awful is going to happen eventually. It could be the day after tomorrow, it could be next month, it could be next year. But the longer my baby goes on without help, the higher the chance that I am going to lose her.

    I have personally e-mailed her parents. It went ignored. I am not sure how much more involved I can get without her family turning against me. They like me very much, but if her parents have some sort of weird psychological issue that keeps them from wanting to help their own daughter (as I imagine they must have, it's the only explanation), they may act irrationally toward me. They might cut me off from her or try and accuse me of stalking her or something awful like that. I'm helping my girlfriend try to get help on her own, but there are so many obstacles in her path. She does not believe she can get past them. She feels helpless and hopeless. Every day that goes by, she feels more and more certain that she is going to die because no one believes her and no one wants to help her.

    What can she do? Please give me some advice. I'm not sure how much further she can make it.
  2. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    There may be various options but these options may be different from place to place and there is no indication from you as to state and/or country that she is in. This information would be helpful for giving some advice.
  3. DJMeowth

    DJMeowth New Member

    I apologize for leaving out that information. It's my first time trying to help anyone in this fashion.

    She lives in the United States, in South Carolina.
  4. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    No problem.
    You and she can start here:

    Additionally, though depending upon the size of her city and/or county, the police department has special divisions of "officers" who are specially trained and dedicated 100% to mental health crisis related response; sometimes referred to as a Mobile Outreach Team. They're officially officers, but they generally don't carry guns and handcuffs and they don't ride up in squad cars. They are able to meet and assess a person and determine if they are felt to be a danger to themselves. If they are, there are good facilities where they can take them to for assistance and treatment (parents have no say in that case - if they decide the person needs help, they have the legal authority over the parent to proceed). I know some of these people locally where I am at and they are good, caring individuals. While it is often true that "not every cop is good" (no offense to police officers, but they are just people like every body else), the individuals who train for and work in these special units generally do so because they have a dedication to caring about these things. It's not guarantee of a great experience with them, but I'd stake more on the odds that they can help vs. not. If you're concerned for her well being, you can contact them. Often you can call the police station in her area and ask to be connected to them or ask for a direct line number. Even 911 will work in a situation like this.

    Of course the crisis lines are good resources too. Even in the country away from the city, as long as she falls with in a county that has the special task force through the police, they should be able to assist.

    One thing to keep in mind always, a life is more important than getting someone mad or upset. Also, while there is not always a danger that someone will follow through with suicide, there is always that chance they will... and so even if the chance they will is only .0001%, it's still not worth choosing any other option than pursuing prevention.

    Good luck. You are doing the right thing.
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