Will I Be Committed to a Mental Hospital if I Tell a Therapist about my Suicidal Thoughts?

This is a Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital, designed by JDS Architects. Here, we see the courtyard adjacent to wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows. On the other side of the windows is a large table with chairs.

Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital. Photo used with permission from JDS Architects.

You may be considering suicide and yet not want to tell a therapist, because you fear landing in a mental hospital.

If you go to a therapist or psychiatrist and tell them you’re seriously thinking of killing yourself, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be hospitalized – even if you want to be admitted. Hospitals are pretty strict these days about who they admit, and insurance companies are equally strict about covering a hospital stay. Some therapists joke that it’s harder to get into a mental hospital than Harvard University.

Who Gets Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital for Suicide Risk


Suicidal thoughts alone aren’t usually enough to warrant psychiatric hospitalization for adults. Instead, you’d need to be in significant and immediate danger of killing yourself. This generally means you’re intent on acting on your suicidal wishes very soon or you’re unable to control your suicidal urges. Perhaps you already have a plan for how you’d kill yourself, you have whatever you need to carry out that plan, and you have some intent to follow through on that plan very soon. And, on top of all that, you don’t want to try to stay safe.

If so, then yes, hospitalization would almost certainly be necessary. If you don’t consent to be hospitalized (that is, you won’t voluntarily admit yourself), then you might be committed to a hospital. This should an absolute last resort, but it can happen if someone’s suicide seems imminent.

People get admitted to a psychiatric hospital when suicidal danger is extreme because serious suicidal intent is almost always temporary. Consider that even among people who attempt suicide and survive, more than 90% do not go on to die by suicide.

So, if you’re thinking of killing yourself but don’t intend to act on those thoughts any time soon, then a mental health professional shouldn’t try to have you hospitalized. Instead, they should work to understand your reasons for wanting to die, to help you feel better, to increase your hope and reasons for living, and to build up your coping skills. (I say “should,” because unfortunately some therapists and doctors overreact. Here are ways to try to avoid a therapist who panics.)

Children and Adolescents

At many psychiatric hospitals, the standards for hospital admission tend to be more relaxed for children and adolescents. The younger a person is, the more alarming it can be that they consider suicide. And adolescents tend to be more impulsive than adults. So what I wrote above about strict criteria for hospitalization may not apply as much to young patients, because of the extra caution that they warrant. 

If You Do Need Psychiatric Hospitalization for Suicide Risk…

What are your fears of being hospitalized? Would you really rather die than go to a psychiatric hospital? If so, why?

A doctor talks with a nurse at a hospital's nurse's station

Perhaps you fear being locked away for a long time. It might help you to know that, on average, people admitted to a mental hospital with suicidal thoughts or behavior don’t stay more than a few days. Once upon a time, a great deal of patients did remain hospitalized for months and even years. Those days ended in the 1990s, when it became apparent that many hospitals were keeping patients longer than necessary for the sole purpose of collecting insurance money.

Perhaps you think mental hospitals are like the ones in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or other Hollywood movies. But these days, hospitals don’t use straitjackets. In fact, they’re not supposed to use restraints at all unless a patient is out of control and potentially violent. There are no bars on the windows unless it is a very old building. And nobody is forced to take “shock therapy,” more technically called electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). (Some people choose to receive ECT. It is a much safer, more humane procedure than it used to be, though it still can have dangerous side effects.)

What Happens If You are Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital for Suicide Risk

A man with gray hair and a white beard speaks with a female doctor. Both have serious expressions on their face.There are some important things to know about what happens in a psychiatric hospital. If you are admitted, a nurse or therapist will interview you about your problems, thoughts and feelings, and symptoms. You’ll be asked to turn over anything that you could use to try to hurt or kill yourself. This includes things like shoelaces, sharp items like razor blades (called “sharps”), and belts. You might be examined without your clothes on, to ensure you aren’t hiding any weapons or pills.

During your stay, you’ll likely be evaluated to see if medication might help you. Depending on the hospital, you may participate in individual and group psychotherapy. You may have a room to yourself, or you may share. You probably won’t be able to keep your phone with you at all times.

There are definitely things that are scary about being in a psychiatric hospital. Staying with strangers, some of whom may have more serious problems than you, is frightening. Just as happens in any hospital, you don’t have much privacy. Being searched can be unsettling, even traumatic for somebody who’s been sexually abused in the past.

The unit is locked, and that can feel confining. You can’t come and go as you please. If you’re very dangerous to yourself, you might have someone who shadows you, watching you even when you’re using the bathroom. 

All these measures are intended to keep you safe. Suicides occur even in psychiatric hospitals, so every effort is made to protect you from killing yourself.

Someday, even if it’s hard to imagine now, you may even be thankful that you were protected in this way.


Copyright 2013 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, All Rights Reserved. Written for Speaking of SuicidePhotos purchased from Fotolia.com, except where noted.

Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, is the author of “Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals,” a psychotherapist and consultant, and an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

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  1. Chewly says:

    psychiatric wards are actually pretty traumatic , and “help” can actually make people worse sadly, especially when empathy is lacking in psych wards. They are not safe or good spaces, and they do still abuse patients. And yes, due to traumatic events that take place in these places, some people may actually feel like dying is a more logical option than being treated at one of these places.

  2. caden says:

    for context, i’m 16. i have attempted suicide three times within the past year, and have been self harming since i was 12. i have never told anybody about my problems only told my mom that i’m always “sad.” i have a doctors appointment in two weeks and am thinking about telling them about it. i have been struggling a lot and suicide specifically has been in my mind a lot the past month and i want it to stop and i want help. would telling my doctor about all of this maybe get me the help i need? will i be admitted?

    • Barbara says:

      Hey you are worth more then you know, suicide is only a way out of all the great things you can do in this world for other people maybe even be a counselor for suicidal people so don’t give up and do this because that would make the devil so happy which means he has you forever, show him your stronger than that and live on have babies get married and make yourself proud and make God proud of you then you will have hope forever. Don’t forget you are a good person and Gods child and worth everything and yes tell someone so you can get started on a brand new life. God bless you sweetie

    • Sami says:

      Please tell them, sweetheart. Going to the ER and then a facility changed my life. The ER experience was so hard, but the facility I went to was a gift from God. And you may not even need to go 🤍 you are not alone. Many of us are struggling. Reach out. Sending love
      -a 24 year old version of you, who loves and cares about you.
      Ps, tell your doctor. The support means everything.

  3. Theone says:

    I have made 3 suicide attempts two recently on friday and saturday and I know that obviously I need help but I know my mothers reaction will be her trying to tell me that I dont have stress cos im 13. I started sh [self-harm] at 11. I stopped now roughly a month ago. I always struggled with my mental health as my mother wasnt the most comforting like at all when it came to emotions so I learned to bottle everything up and then I started exploding at people and myself and I couldnt eat properly and would just not eat. I just need advice on how I should ask for help from someone

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thank you so much for reaching out here. You must be hurting badly or otherwise under a lot of stress. The thought of you having attempted suicide twice in the last few days and being all alone with that breaks my heart. I’m relieved to have the opportunity to urge you to PLEASE tell someone.

      If you don’t want to talk with your mom and you’re in the U.S., you could call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK). The counselor call call for emergency help for you or problem-solve with you about telling someone (or both).

      Do you have any other adult in your life you could tell? Another parent, an aunt or uncle, a minister, a teacher, a school counselor, your family physician? A friend’s parent could help, too.

      You also could call 911 and tell the operator you’re suicidal and need help, and the police and/or paramedics would come to take you somewhere. That might sound extreme, but if it’s your only option, please do it!

      Another option is the Crisis Text Line at 741741 (just text HELLO or HELP or whatever you want). Unfortunately, I’ve heard from people that they’ve had to wait hours for a response, so if they can’t help you right away, please try somewhere else.

      I list some other resources at https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      You need help, and you deserve not only to stay alive, but to have a life worth living. I hope you experience all of those. Please, tell someone who can help you stay safe and get help. Thanks again for writing here.

    • Miss Tam says:

      I understand. When I was a little younger than you I asked my mother to put me in counseling. She signed herself up for counseling instead and said, “When I’m well, you’ll start to feel better.” A year later I got the nerve up to ask if I could see her counselor. During that meeting I tried to tell him that I was in pain. He proceeded to grill me on what type of pain? Shoulder? Stomach? Head? I didn’t have the words then so I said constant headaches. He told my mother that I was experiencing tension headaches and that I was “stressed out” from my home life (alcoholic father).
      But today I know the pain was not stress. It was metal illness. It was not “tension headaches” but psychic pain caused by the struggle against suicidal ideation. When we self harm we get a slight relief from this pain because our brain is flooded with dopamine…but as those chemicals dissipate the psychic pain returns and more urgent. I wish I had the words and confidence I needed to get help then. Instead I held on by the skin of my teeth, fighting those thoughts and managed to survive until I got proper help years later.
      I know how quickly our wills can crumble in the face of rejection so I suggest you bypass your mom just this once and talk to your best friends mom or an aunt. They are less likely to jump right to denial. And say these words: “I am a danger to myself. I keep have recurring thoughts of taking my own life. I’m afraid to tell my mother so will you be my voice? I need to see a doctor right away.”
      If this seems too hard to say, write it down and give it to someone. I’m praying for you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i’m suicidal, but knowing how my family would hurt keeps from going through. 2 questions
    1. does it count as a suicide attempt if you talked yourself out of it?
    2. ive felt this way for 3 years. how urgent or non essential is it to get help? should i wait for it to pass?

    • Miss Tam says:

      1. You are describing suicidal ideation. Though it is not an attempt it is very dangerous.
      2. It is both essential and urgent that you get help. Anyone who has committed suicide has simply lost their battle fighting against these vicious ideas. You are correct it will pass but you CAN feel better and experience these thoughts less often with help. There are medicines that can reduce the cycling and therapies that can help you stay ahead of or if necessary, endure the wait time. Any doctor (but preferably a psychiatrist) can help you.

  5. David says:

    A doctor gave me medicine that made me more depressed than I was before. I could not exercise and could not cook my meals and could not contact my sister and it was just horrible. The medicine was Citalopram and I told him I needed something to help me sleep. I have no friends and my sister will not speak to me. I am all alone and just have to do all the things that I did when I was a teenager. I was tested for my IQ and it was 189. I have 5 college degrees and 5 minor degrees. I am a minister who loves the Lord and trust that in the end all will be fine.

  6. Lorin says:

    I’m a 12 year old female. I hear voices and sometimes see a black eerie figure(sometimes more than one) near/following me, but nobody knows. My step-mother said that she is thinking of sending me to a psych ward due to suicidal thoughts/ harm. I came here to see what a psych ward is like. I have no social-life and I have very very bad self-confidence problems due to the voices. I know what is happening to me is not normal and that i should seek help. I’m just scared of being alone. I believe I might possibly have schizophrenia. I feel that being in a psych ward might help me but might also make it worse, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thanks for sharing your experience here. What you’re describing sounds scary and isolating, especially since you probably don’t know others with the same experience who you can talk to about it. There’s an Internet site that might be helpful to you called Hearing Voices Network: for people who hear voices, see visions, or have other unusual perceptions. Specifically, the page Basic Information about Voices and Visions might interest you, though others are good, too. Those links are for the UK group. There’s also a U.S. group: Hearing Voices Network USA.

      I hope you’re talking with your stepmother or some other adult you trust about your thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Those are scary, too, and you don’t need to be alone with them! You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741, if you’re in the U.S. I list other resources, too, at https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      Like almost everything else in life, hospitals are a mixed bag. Some are good. Some aren’t. One thing I’ve observed that some people find especially helpful about a psych hospitalization is not feeling so alone anymore, because they connect with others who are dealing with similar symptoms and situations. It’s also possible that therapy or medication, or both, could help you.

      Whatever path you take, I hope you’ll feel better soon!

      • Lorin says:

        Thank you so much, i appreciate it a lot, I’m far too scared to talk to adults about it but, i decided to tell a really close friend (lets call him steel) He was really helpful, and insisted on me letting my parents know. I have decided, next time i see a therapist, i wish to talk to them about what I am experiencing. I believe that i can be helped. Just know, if anyone out there is experiencing schizophrenia, you are not a monster, our nightmares just continue even while we are awake. Have a wonderful day, and again, thank you so much.

  7. Universal Healthcare says:

    I’m not necessarily afraid of the hospital, I’m more afraid that going will leave me in financial ruin and I won’t be able to take care of myself any more.

  8. maecee hrnjak says:

    will i be put in there if i can not stop cutting myself?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      That’s a good question. It would depend on many factors: the judgment of your health care provider, your age (and your parents’ concerns, if you’re a minor), the severity of your injuries, whether you have suicidal thoughts, whether you cut yourself with the intent to die, and so on. So, it’s impossible to say, but in general non-suicidal self-injury by itself usually doesn’t justify such a high level of care.

  9. Lea says:

    I have a serious fear of being confined/controlled or medicated. I feel I am more likely to try to kill myself at the threat of hospitalisation than I would already be. I find it stupid that if someone has committed to the fact they do not want to live that they should be stopped. How would this effect the prospects of hospitalisation and why are peoples free wills being harmed in such way?

  10. Rik says:

    I am a Vietnam veteran with five years.of University

    I was admitted to psychiatric hospital when I was awake 4 days and nights and days
    It was supposed to.be just overnight.but the docs were running.an.insurance scam

    I . threatened them with.a.lawsuit. And they complied

    It was.strange.to.have nurses watch me take showers

  11. Sis says:

    I thought at one time finding help for mental health problems ,in hospitals would help me .but for the last 40 years the truth is they don’t.
    It’s not about the patients it’s about money.
    What? , seeing u for 15 min’s a doctor.
    That can tell u what problems are, and what medication i should take.
    Well shit, easy money and don’t have to leave his office. Sometimes they use the internet, how layed back is that.

  12. Helen says:

    If you refused to hand anything over to the nurses eg belt,knifes or tablets will the police get involved.?

    • Pattie says:

      Probably. Sorry.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It’s hard to say, as every facility has its own procedures. But, generally speaking, hospital staff would take away items that could be used for suicide and not call the police. I could see the police being called if a patient were holding a firearm or a knife, though, because it’d be too dangerous for staff to try to manage on their own.

      Now, that’s just answering your question about the police. The bigger question seems to be, can you keep belts, tablets, etc. in your possession while you’re in a psychiatric hospital? The answer is no, not if staff find them. And they will likely search you and your belongings. Not only could you use those items to kill yourself, but they could be used by other patients, too.

      If you’re considering going into a psychiatric hospital, I hope this information won’t deter you. If anything, I hope it helps you to know that hospital staff are invested in protecting you. And if you want or need to go into a hospital but are worried about giving up potentially dangerous items, that might just be an indicator that your thinking isn’t very healthy right now. Take care!

  13. Donna says:

    Is there a support group for families of an adult child that is being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts to learn how to cope with when they are out of the hospital?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      That’s a good question. If you live in the U.S., I recommend calling 211 (or go to the online search tool for 211) or SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). The hospital itself where the child is being treated also might know of a support group. And another resource for families is the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, which has information especially for family members and caregivers.

    • Pattie says:

      Whats really sad is that there aren’t even support groups or support for the people who end up in the hospital. Thats what I’m struggling with as I hide from the people (mostly unqualified professionals) who try to hospitalize people because they don’t know how to help people.
      Years ago I’ve even started support groups, but now I’m struggling to survive here and I can’t find anyone interested in starting one .
      NAMI is primarily a family support organization, and agree with Stacey to contact them, and perhaps start one if there’s nothing around. You would be doing many a great service.

  14. Julian Potter says:

    Why not include fear of cost? I spent 5 days in hospital for suicide risk and got approx. 1 hour of consultation by a psychiatrist. The cost with insurance? $12,000. I’m sorry, but I will never tell a therapist my thoughts if they require me to go to hospital again.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s so sad. That’s why you need insurance like we have in Canada. We pay it through our taxes. No matter how long you have to spend in hospital, or how many doctor or specialist visits you make, you will never receive a bill. Even your medication is covered. Bernie Sanders came to Canada to view our healthcare system. Never had a problem and I’m 73.

      • Anonymous says:

        You lucky, lucky Canadians! Across the border we envy your healthcare system and much more. Here, the craven politicians, big pharma and insurance swindlers bankrupt us. There is no reason for this in a country as rich as the United States except for the greed and corruption that thrives in our “free market democracy.” Bollocks! Further, there is no reason for the large and growing homeless and hungry population of all ages, race and mental health status. The reality of our growing underserved underclass is a heartbreaking abomination. So please – Canadians, Brits, Germans, Scandinavians and others who reside in countries that value all their countrymen (including immigrants & refugees) by providing a social and economic safety net through fair & judicious governance — do be a model to the failed American experiment, but be gentle, not gloating. We well know and live the tragic consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry, Julian. That’s our broken, corrupt, greed-driven healthcare system — particularly mental healthcare. Thanks for sharing your experience. We are forewarned but hamstrung. In the midst of a crisis, who can pause to research and wrangle potential costs with an insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid? One new concern I have is the ubiquitous advice to turn to a hospital ER if no other help is available. Is this still the best advice in this age COVID? Can anyone speak to this? I have seen no alternatives for those in crisis to help us keep safe from harming ourselves or others.

  15. Josh says:

    I suffer from major depression with psychotic tendencies.. i sit and think of killing myself everyday sometimes all day.. my doctor tells me this is normal for me to think like this.. is it normal??

    • Tamarra says:

      Josh, get a new doctor immediately! Thoughts of suicide are NOT normal. Fleeting thoughts, maybe, but you say “sit and think of killing myself.” Now, in OUR community of depressives this type of ideation may be common but it is absolutely a symptom of our disease and deserves treatment just like any other deadly symptom.

  16. Sandra Banks says:

    A significant amount of people come out of a psychiatric hospital broken, traumatized and their faith in the system is shattered. This makes them unable to trust any mental health organization, hospital, doctors, nurses ect. There is no help for them, no hope, no future just more pain.

    This comment was edited to abide by the Comments Policy. – SF

    • A W says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your statement. When I was reading the last part of this article talking about what people’s fears might be, all I thought about was, “ya these are all legitimate fears people have of going to a mental hospital, and the article does absolutely nothing to help them feel better about these fears, it merely points out they exist, and I can tell you that based on my time in a mental hospital, people’s fears of these things are justified. All the article says is that these measures of loss of freedom and privacy are to keep you safe, that’s an asshole thing to say Stacey Freedenthal. There’s an enormous difference between being safe and feeling safe. If someone feels safe and supported, they’re less likely to want to end their life.

    • Devon says:

      I totally agree. I have Androphobia which is a fear of men. ALL psychiatrist that I have come across while inpatient have been males whom I’m forced to interact with or threatened with state hospitalization. I end up self harming after those forced interactions by slamming my head against walls and floors until they give me something to calm down and once released I burn and cut well more then 100 times the day I get home. I literally count how many times I self harm. There are even times after I self harm like that I also overdose on pills just enough to make me sick. I am ALWAYS worse after being inpatient and have been inpatient 9 times in the last 2 years.

    • none says:

      This. They are evil. I was thrown in one not for any sort of suicide risk but because my doctors and family have given up on me. I was imprisoned for two months and abused, including physically to the point of bruises. They “investigated” that and cleared themselves, of course. I gave up on life after getting out.

    • tf gage says:

      I think that is a fair assessment in many cases. I have had my experience with the psychiatric ward, due to depression.

    • Robert H says:

      I agree entirely. I am 24 and have been admitted to a mental hospital three times. The only thing these institutions care about is how much they can make from prescribing medications and how long they can prolong your stay, even if it’s not necessary. The only support system you have to rely on is the other patients who are just as broken. After every release, I feel even more broken and depressed, starting all over again. Even after being in three times against my will, I’ve still thought of admitting myself here out of complete desperation, but I know that they wont truly do anything to help me. It’s all about the money Its so difficult, to say the least. After how hard ive worked this year and how much ive progressed, I still feel like I have no one to really turn to and I’m becoming extremely depressed again, being intoxicated the majority of the time to get by just another day. I’m exhausted. I wanna save my money and fly far away from this dreadful country. I really can’t go on for much longer.

      • Pattie H says:

        Robert, I’m much older than you but feel like i could have written that almost to the word.
        I have not been hospitalized many times in my life, and not for a long time now but I have that same sense of futility, knowing there is no hope or help available through hospitals.
        I’m wondering what, if you were asked, would you think would be helpful. I very much a believer in people being able to talk together about their experiences, and sharing tips they’ve learned. The peer service movement is growing — in some places better than others– and peer provided crisis services and centers are growing, as a way to keep people out of ers and hospitals. Some provide overnight accomodations, many involve spiritual and yoga meditation practices.
        I’m a firm believer that we could do so much for each other if we just had a place to go where someone genuinely cared, and would listen, and then help us find what we need in a supportive way. This coercive, abrasive punitive model in use now is only making people feel worse, and less likely to reach out for help. That’s only going to increase the suicide rate in the long run.

      • Tamarra says:

        Robert, my heart hurts for you. I understand this feeling of hopelessness and exhaustion. These are major signs of depression but having a diagnosis is not enough. Your psychiatrist needs to know that your current therapies aren’t working. You’ve resorted to self-medicating, indicating the absolute need for an adjustment in more effective meds. There are so many combinations of therapies and one size does not fit all. I am blessed to have a psychiatrist that knows this and we have tried many different combos over the years. I realize that I’ll never be “cured” but it is so much easier for me to prevent my own suicide now that I’m on the best combo for me. You deserve a great doctor. If this one isn’t willing to fight for you fire them and pick another. Hang in there. You are loved.

        • Robert h says:

          Tamara, thank you. I was diagnosed with bipolar depression as a young teen and while I think the diagnosis is probably accurate, I don’t take medications. I was on several antidepressants and mood stabilizilers growing up and they made me have like a complete change in personality. I almost feel like I’ve been stripped entirely of my identity. I’m very confused and lost. I’ve only been contemplating suicide even more. Does anyone know of meds for bipolar depression that works? I feel like my case is extremely severe and dire. This whole thing is causing issues in every aspect of my life, including relationships. I have no one to talk to. Never had a good therapist that benefited me. Im terrified of meds but I am at a loss right now. I really need help

      • D says:

        After reading some comments…I dont think I will be telling anyone about the way I feel inside…I have my plan, haven’t told anyone…just waiting for the day when I cannot take another moment of sadness ,aloneness. I am such a pathetic person. My personality is adverse to other people. I am so uncomfortable with others, but extremely lonely. I am afraid I will go to hell, but I have one foot there now. I am not sure if I am mentally I’ll or not…I guess I am. Will God send me to hell for ending my life

        • Robert h says:

          Please try to talk to someone. A friend maybe. I relate A lot to how you feel.

        • Tamarra says:

          D, God will not send you to hell but you will be sending your family to hell if you complete. One thing that helps me resist the temptation to end it is the fear that (as you said) I’m already in Hell, what if ending my life just continues the suffering only with no future hope for relief?

          Please don’t let our armchair-quarterback-type answers stop you from sharing your story. You can feel better.

      • Tamarra says:

        Robert, i am also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It took many years to find a good combo of drugs. Currently taking Zoloft and Lamictal (the generic versions). I’m not free of depression (or hypomanic spells for that matter) but the cycles are much less severe and frequent.

        I lost my sister 2 years ago. She’s the only one that “understood”. The rest of the family knows but doesn’t understand. I have been so lonely at times that I have called the “At the tone the Time will be…” phone number just to be able to hear a human voice. Now I keep the Hotline number in my phone for myself and others. 1 (800) 273-8255

      • Healer says:

        I hope you are feeling better

  17. itsasecret says:

    I’m only 16 and the thought of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital quite literally terrifies me. I’ve known I’ve had issues from a young age because of the stuff I was exposed to. When my health took a serious decline at the start of my freshman year, my mental health went with it and all of these issues that I had stuffed in the closet came out. I was to sick to do anything else besides spending my days in a hospital bed alone. I developed social anxiety (because my therapist told me I apparently already had GAD) and suicidal thoughts. I started to get better but every time I would have a serious flare-up those thoughts became deafeningly loud. No amount of effort I put into anything even mattered because I would always have to drop everything over this stupid disease that I have no control over. I hated it, and in return, hated myself because there was no one else to blame for how horribly my life was going. I fell deeper and deeper into that dark mindset and eventually caved. I ended up trying twice, and even after failing both times, the thoughts didn’t go away. They’re still here and still bad. I had to reach out to a hotline on new year’s eve because I couldn’t bring myself to put the knife down on my own. I know I should be getting help, and I’m trying to, but the waiting process of getting a therapist over here takes forever. I had to wait seven months just to get my last one, and she moved offices after two sessions. When she was there, I found myself lying to her about things like this in fear of what she would do with the information. I don’t want to end up in a place like that. I don’t think I would be able to handle it.

    • Miss Tam says:

      Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m so sorry for your pain and have experienced similar….not being able to put down the knife, thoughts getting louder. I have been hospitalized twice and it is scary especially succumbing to the help…admitting that, “no, I am not exaggerating my pain.” You are not exaggerating and you do deserve help and there is help and in my experience it often takes a hospitalization to jump start that help. Please don’t wait for strangers to work out the scheduling. I know it’s not easy to say but here are the words, “Mom/Dad/Sister/Brother/Best Friend/or Best Friend’s Parent, I am in a state of crisis. I need to see a specialist right away. Will you take me to the hospital AND speak for me?”

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you

  18. noone says:

    im 15 and i have c-ptsd , but ive been too worried about being completely honest with therapists because ik my mom will send me to a mental hospital if she finds out its worse than she thinks and that shes my main trigger , she threatens to send me alot when shes mad at me lol, but that sounds humiliating having people constantly worrying about you oof

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Hi. I am 58 and have been divorced for 3.5 years. I was divorced for very good reasons, felt I had no choice but the fall out has been unbelievable. My lawyer did not represent me well and it literally was not apparent until the end….when it was too late. I am financially destroyed due to the taxes I have to pay (my 401K has paid them, and they were a total surprise to me) . Any way, the problem is that I see no way for life to improve. I have two older kids who are very close to my ex and he is good to them. I have no family (tragic deaths) and I have no friends. Stayed home for 27 years with the kids so have literally no skills….any job I could get would cost me more than it is worth between having someone walk my dog and the taxes…..I am just now starting to feel that I don’t want to be here, I do not believe taking my life is an option but it is so hard to feel this way. Sorry if this seems like “woe is me” but I’m petrified and so sad and lonely and see no light at end of tunnel. I hate feeling like this…..I don’t know, there’s not much anyone can say but it sure felt good to write it all down and know that someone might read it.

    • Sheek says:

      Elizabeth I don’t have a lot in common with your problems but it still feels as though I do if that makes any sense. I wish for your life to turn around and for you to be happy. Wish we could be friends. I would walk the dogs for free!

    • Christine says:

      I read it. I felt it. I’m 55 so I know how you feel. It’s like not being able to crawl out of a black hole. Are you any better? Your comment was from a year or so ago.

    • Lynne V. says:

      Elizabeth, I hope you are doing better. After reading your story it was like a mirror image of my life then and now. I’m just hanging on by a thread. Not certain what will happen me me. I pray that you will find comfort and love. Thank you so much for sharing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I can tell you I have been hospitalized 5 times and I’m 22 I have autism,anxiety and depression.I felt suicidal because I had this rare auto-immune blood disease for 7 years and I had the worst experiences.

  21. Dean says:

    Last year April 5th 2018 i woke up to my wife dead. She was only 28 years young. She had given birth 12 days prior to our second daughter. She died from coronary artery dissection. Since then i have been sinking into deep depression worst ive ever been. 3 months ago my kids were taken from me and i was told id never see them again. I am at the point ive got nothing to lose and no fight left in me. I sleep 3 hours a night. I think about taking my own life all day everyday. The urge to carry out with it gets stronger every night. I have no support system. I sleep in the same room my wife died and honestly if i passed away no one would notice me gone or care. My wife is dead my kids are gone theres nothing left to keep me here.

    • Andrea says:

      Dean- one person saw this and would care and would listen. My name is Andrea

    • Anonymous says:

      I care

    • Someone who cares says:

      Your kids are not gone. And who’s going to stop them when they get older and want to see you, and need you? Nobody will stop them. And none of them can predict the future. And nobody can replace you in your kids lives. There’s way too many stories where kids want to know their parents later, and do everything possible to reconnect. They’re just not with you right now so you can focus on getting better without the added pressure of raising kids right this moment, even though that might not be best for you. So stick around. People in this society need you too, not just the kids, even if it seems like otherwise, so yes, you would be missed. Those thoughts about taking your life are not from you. Your body was not given to you to use as a weapon against yourself. That’s not what it’s for. Just remember that. You’re here because there’s a purpose for you to be here. Remember to get out and talk to people sometimes. They need someone to talk to just like you do, but people these days have just forgotten how to start coversations and be social, but they still need it.

  22. Elijah says:

    Im 18 and the only reason i dont kill myself is because of my mom. She says that she is good when i am good. So i always hold in stuff and just tell her “im good” “im okay”. Because if im not okay then she isn’t. Im in a bad place rn. Im not okay. Life is too hard and its supposed to just be starting for me. Idk what to do.

    • LostBeyondLife says:

      You are young, reach out to a free service. Youth is on your side in this thankfully. If you are connected to the lgbtqia+ try the trevor project. There are many more. I deleted my facebook, then created a new one just for support groups. It seems that these thoughts aren’t new. You’ve probably been checking on these thoughts for awhile. I know what it is to shelter the ppl that are supposed to shelter you. Your so strong because you have made it this long alone. Getting help, is not weak, it is absolute strength. It requires honesty we have hidden for so long. It requires removing the mask that makes us seem okay. You will also make friends easier if you get help now. I put it off till now. Im 26, live 1200 miles from all family, and have only allowed myself one friend and dated once but left due to fear of being left. Im sure that your strife is harder than all that, you still wear that mask to protect others, I just hide now. I believe your stronger than me, and you can get help with the rest of your life ahead of you. I know life might seem overwhelming out of control, crushing. That is the not well voice in your mind that tears us down. I believe in you.

  23. Cristian says:

    I have posted here before my name is Cristian. I think if there’s a limit I’m about to reach it. My family and I are just distant. I have tried to reach out but I don’t think there’s much there. There’s a kink when your parents are immigrants. My parents don’t speak English and had rough lives they don’t think my panic disorder or depression can be real. I don’t blame them. Growing up I think their life’s were harder too. In high school I expressed thoughts about being atheist. My parents are religious and I don’t hate anyone’s religion or criticize it I was just beginning to explore my own thoughts and beliefs. They were not understanding they got a priest to talk to me and almost thought I needed an exorcist. As part of this I got shunned from my family, excluded from family meals and told I was ungrateful and stupid. I had to attend group sessions with my priest as my parents didn’t want me to be a nonbeliever. Among the crowd were alcoholics, other non believers, and homosexual teens. The priest and whole church were not kind or understanding of homosexuality they tried to convert these teens into being straight and called them sinners. I’m bisexual and the whole experience stayed with me. I realized I could never be bisexual and be with my family. One time I wore skinny jeans and a drunk uncle of mine slapped my ass as he confused me for a girl from behind. My parents were embarrassed and I was the ridicule of my whole extended family. I was told to never dress like a “women”and a lot of clothes got torn up. I got blamed for an adult attempting to feel up a teenager. I can’t be myself around my family. My parents don’t speak English and didn’t get much of an education. I found something I’m passionate about in college but I can’t communicate any of it to them. The language barrier is too much and they only attended grade school. They don’t understand my need for seeking out a higher education and it’s hard I try really hard and they don’t understand my achievements.
    I try to be the bigger person and compromise even hide myself for them. For a while I thought that I’m lucky that I’m bisexual because at least maybe I can end up with a girl and my parents never have to face ridicule. Anyway hiding was not a solution I feel bare and empty. I lied to my past girlfriend and any friend I met about my sexuality and never opened up about avoiding home. I have spent 3 christmases, New Years, summers, and thanksgivings alone. I am worried about being disowned by my family if I try to reach for a higher connection and show them who I am and what I’m feeling. I know friends aren’t family so I never lean on them for help on suicidal thoughts or mental health. But gosh do I want that. I want someone to care about me. I have never felt wanted or okay to be myself. I have never been myself because no one wants a depressed bisexual person who is prone to panic attacks everyday. I feel alone and this spring break everyone in my college home is leaving and I’m going to be home alone all over again. I wish I had someone who can tell me what the right things to do are. I wish someone could take me and be there with me to check into a psychiatric hospital. I’m afraid to do it alone. I have done so much alone I don’t want to go in there alone. I want to feel wanted on the outside if I ever go to a psychiatric hospital. I know if I go my family will see me differently and things will be final between us. Either they’ll surprise me and be accepting or they’ll finally dis own me for being so broken. I’m afraid of going through this journey alone and at the end being told I was overreacting or I’m just broken. I think death is easier than facing all these serious issues. I have been alone so long I think if I go to a psychiatric hospital there is no more pretending or lying from my part, people will just not want me.

    • Zay says:

      You dont have to be alone 🙂

    • Monica says:

      Right there with you
      No joy in my life ruined my relationships
      I feel nothing

    • LostBeyondLife says:

      This sounds like me. Im adopted my family is religous, I remember what they told me when I was 8 everyday. Boys dont like boys, it’s wrong and disgusting, boys that like boys go to hell, God doesnt like little gay boys…anywho. I spent from the age of 11 to 21 trying to pray the gay away. I couldnt even tell them when I was molested because if they found out I was gay I’d probably be at fault somehow or asking for it. It does help to see that even in 2019 I’m not alone. Im 26 now still not out and on the verge of being committed. Im terrified that if people find me out they will want to kill me. My current roommates would probably kick me out. You should reach out to the lgbtqia+free counseling services. Im in cali if you need a depression friend. No worries I have no relationship desires, or really any right now. I just relate all too much. You sound like your in your early 20’s the trevor project has so much to offer if you 10-24 yrs old. Chat, text, phone, and other services. You arent alone with these problems. I’ll make sure to receive feedback if you need to talk. Im here for now.

  24. Jw says:

    I was molested by my brother and raped by my father and a friend of my brother by age of 6 and on. My mom took DES drug when she was pregnant with me and now i have gender disorder. My dad would violently beat me then demand hugs. I was very close to my mother she and my father died first 2 weeks in november 2018 7 days apart.
    My brother who molested me died in 1997. I have worked like a dog all my life i am 54 and i dont get out of bed. I have ptsd, addhd,major depressive disorder, dissociative , some type of personality disorder, major stress ruptured disc in my neck
    And spinal stenosis and curvature of spine, never went on disability.
    I tried to kill myself last night with 25 NEURONTIN tylenol and 25 aleve
    I never thought id be so weak
    Im not working because after 5 years management released my medical records and it was all over
    I tried
    My family doesnt care
    I dont know what to do
    I cant get out of bed for 6 months it is my safe PLACE

  25. Bob G says:

    I’ve never had thoughts on suicide,I knew that if I was going for it, I would drink myself to death, maybe with pills. I’m 58 and blown all my great opportunitys. Lost my whole family and wife 💔 to drugs and alcohol 😭. I’m alone and I had a accident, so I can’t have sex, it’s been 15 years since I’ve been with a woman. Then hit by a car, permanent damage to my foot and lower back, lost a lot of money due to my brother not paying my mom’s insurance premiums. No life insurance at all. Like 350,000$ I missed out on. Took care of my mom for 16 year’s and was happy to do it, I owed her everything. I’m 58, go to the gym sober for 6 years and I have the WORST luck anybody can rival. So I think it’s not a big deal to be with my family. I love GOD,I hope he can pull me through. When you do everything right and all goes wrong, there’s got to be a reason. I’m a good person, so why is my life fight always up hill. So much more I can say but why 😭 you get the point
    Bob G.

  26. Jesse says:

    My psychiatrist has just told me it’s ok to kill myself, your thoughts

    • LostBeyondLife says:

      Post his name and comment on social media. Dont give him a voice into our dark thoughts. At our point we dont need help or more words in our head. Get a diffrent person. Report him as well. You need to live. Please go see someone new

      • Mr Janus says:

        You have no right to tell people to publicly expose someone on Social Media. You have no idea how true this is and your answer is irresponsible to say the least. People across the world are getting killed because of this stupid and vindictive social-media shaming. If this doctor really did something wrong, then you report them through the proper channels. If this is what you bring to a support site, go somewhere else.

        Personally, it sounds like this user is trolling to cause trouble, because their post is no different to the typical troll post of “I have an unpopular opinion… change my mind”. I suggest you spend less time on Social Media and even less time trying to give out advice.

        If this user has genuine problems, then I advise them to have accountability for their own thoughts and not deflect them onto others. If they are genuine, then it sounds like they’re hunting for approval of their decision. Support sites aren’t here to approve or disapprove, they’re not here to judge. They’re here to advise and not roll out BS like “You need to live”. You don’t get to make that decision… you’re not qualified to make that decision.

  27. Charles P says:

    I have depression. Should i go to a hospital?

    • D.H. says:

      Just because you have depression does not mean you have to go to a hospital, but you should make an appointment and talk with your doctor. If you have spoken to your doctor about your depression and their recommendation is not working, you need to let them know. If you were to go to a hospital and voluntarily admit yourself all they usually do is put you on medication that your doctor can prescribe, and they have several group sessions that teach you coping skills that your doctor and a counselor can discuss with you, and find out which ones work best for you.

  28. D.H. says:

    Been struggling with PTSD triggers for just over a year now and have tried to commit suicide twice in the past 11 months, most recently last month. Not even a week after I got out of the hospital, I informed my doctor that I planned on doing it again, and even have a date picked out, which I do. All they said is when I have my hospital follow-up at the end of this month, we will talk more about it. I even left my counselor a message saying it’s all I think about, which it is. I’m open and honest with both my doctor and counselor, I don’t hold anything back from either of them, but it doesn’t seem like either of them can help me. During the 3 hospital stays I’ve had this past 11 months they don’t help either, it’s like a band-aid and doesn’t help the issue. I feel like a successful suicide is my only way out, and even told my doctor at my follow-up I want to discuss and fill out advanced directives that way I have control over what the doctors and hospitals can and can’t do at my next attempt.

  29. Cristian says:

    I want to know if it goes away? I posted on Feb 10, 2019. My name is Cristian. After I posted here and I checked religiously for a reply until I couldn’t take it anymore. I talked to my therapist about suicide finally. I first asked about the procedure to know the rules and understand what actions he would take once I started talking.
    I delved into my first attempt and things got emotional. As a school therapist he told me he has to report certain behaviors so I didn’t mention my second attempt I was scared I would get hospitalized. I had a midterm that morning actually 30 min after that meeting so I urged to end things earlier obviously we were in the middle of a serious topic so he urged me to be late or forget about the test. I left out a lot of important details that I regret and he recommended that I hospitalize myself, he told me he wouldn’t force me he even advised me to take time off school. I didn’t I went to my exam in tears and did okay. My therapist checked up on me religiously that weekend he asked me about my day 3 days in a row and gave me advice and articles to read constantly throughout the day. It helped talking to him my thoughts of suicide faded away for a while. A part of me likes that my therapist okayed me as not a threat to myself but I left things out so I feel like thats not true and a healthy version of me is a convenient lie I tell myself. I also feel like my therapist only checked on me not out of compassion but of fear for his job. I bet if I killed myself him checking up on me as much as he did would absolve him of responsibility. I hate thinking like this its harsh realizing its my therapist’s JOB to try and help me its harsh realizing that it might not be compassion, his words of advice. To him it could be that helping me or someone might be as loathsome as washing dirty dishes is to a dishwasher. I think I’m in an emotionally abusive relationship. Im bisexual and it made my partner embarrassed to be with me so they left me, but after some months they began to talk to me and eventually see me in secret. They leave for long periods of time and never ask about my life and stress that I’m a secret and not one of her friends could ever know. I love this person but it becomes painful I got diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Major depression while I was alone and now she won’t ever let me even mention it. She doesn’t want to know the intimate details of my life. Im still holding on for this person to change. I know that this person doesn’t love 100% of me but I don’t think I even love 100% of myself. It makes me so fucking upset that I don’t love myself fully. I thought about how I kind of want to be pushed off the edge. I kind of want my life to end. I want a traumatic event to happen so that if I try to commit suicide my survival instinct or reflexes or impulse to stop won’t be enough to derail my attempt. I think I’m broken I feel like everything I try is just a bandage on a permanent wound and Im not scared of death only the physical pain that can come with it. I want to know if these mindsets ever change, my partner I don’t think will ever love someone who is like me, so how am I different how will I ever change how will I ever love myself and stop thinking about suicide every other freaking week? Do people ever really change, can I ever change?

    • darjeelingjelly says:

      Please dont end your life. Youre a great person. I would never hate anyone for being bi. A real gf or bf would never do that to you! Please be well and possibly see someone. Theres a great book you should read about fitting in when you feel left out and self love. I read it because I was struggling. Its called braving the wilderness by brene brown. Also please practice self love for your own sake. Im sure youre a lovely person and that other person doesnt deserve you.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I think about suicide a lot. I want the peace that would come with being gone from this life,stress, memories ect. Being hospitalized still wouldn’t stop me from reliving certain things or feeling certain ways. In that way it feels even more bleak and hopeless. I just have a few more things to put in order. That is what is stopping me at this point. One day I already know I will succumb to the call of suicide and not the ambivelance.

  31. Michael W says:

    I had a therapist who I wrote in a book I had to turn in to her several mentions of suicide (at least once every 2-3 pages in a book around 30 pages or so long). I remember at one point in the book it had a column about regrets. I wrote how I regretted that I attempted suicide by spitting on a cop literally in order to make him deliberately startled/angry in the hopes that he would actually shoot and kill me. In the next column I wrote about what I’d do differently, “Find a better way to kill myself.” I’m not going to harass or insult or antagonize that therapist in any kind of negative way that would come back to me negatively, but because of her apathy and disregard, I really hope that she someday contracts cancer or AIDS. She still has a license to practice.

  32. Noah says:

    My life isn’t the best… My parents are both poor. I’ve been in two accidents now. I’ve cut. One of those accidents was me driving into a tree cuz I lost it. Now I’m sitting at work in my car because while I was heading back from a delivery I had a inner voice that said I should fear into a tree and I didn’t but it’s still scary and I don’t know who to talk to I’ve been to a mental health psych ward before and it scared me and it didn’t help it more scared me of anything… I don’t know what to do I don’t I’m lost…

  33. Lisa says:

    I don’t have insurance, and every day I want to go stand by the Hwy and wait for a semi and step in front of it. I’ve raised 3 daughters, one has had 3 open heart surgeries, I cared for my terminal Aunt and found her dead in the bathroom floor, I have taken care of my husband who was diagnosed with SJS, also I’m struggling with Hypothyroidism, stage 3 moderate kidney disease, heart disease. I’ve been to the RE because I’m without insurance. I haven’t seen one specialist in almost a year and to top it off, my cat (Tigger) died in my arms , he was 19 right before Christmas 2018. I feel isolated and my husband thinks I’m faking and gets very verbally abusive and throws things . Mercy on Ballas RD St. Louis hospital said an ambulance transport from DeSOTO mo to them but it’s pretty far. I’m lost

  34. Ela says:

    I don’t believe that a doctor can help me. I will never tell anyone.

  35. Cristian says:

    I guess my whole question is how can I fight suicidal tendencies, without health insurance, as a college student, and with parents who earn around the poverty line? I hate being miserable. I feel like a waste, my parents had a hard life and I feel like a privileged asshole feeling like this. I have read a lot on suicide and a lot of people ask why I’m being so hard on myself, but its not something I can finely tune Im not being hard on myself consciously it happens, and I cant escape it sometimes. (I posted earlier as Cristian I just wanted to add some things)

  36. Cristian says:

    I’m in college, and I have been having panic attacks and general anxiety since freshman year.. its my senior year now. I have started seeing our school therapist semi-regularly now (twice a month). I’m honest with my therapist and he thinks I might have panic disorder, major depression and are possibly bi-polar. I try to be honest with him except about suicidal thoughts. I just feel like I have no direction in life. I feel alone like Ive distanced myself from family friends and anyone who has ever tried to get to know me. I have had two serious attempts where I almost swerved my car off the rode, Someone who I was close to told me their life and my friends lifes would all be better without me, I was driving and I thought if I just get my car up to 100 mph then undo my seatbelt close my eyes and move the steering wheel all this will be over. I didnt do it but I sought therapy after that. Then another day I was back home and I just felt out of place, I never felt like my house in college was a home and when I came back it felt odd too, I felt like a stranger who didnt belong in my own home. I thought about hanging myself, but I didnt want to ruin my parents house with that memory. So I figured I would get a hotel and do it there. I got in my car and filled up for gas and got as far as Home Depot I was there to buy rope. A part of me is scared because the next thought like that might be my last. I think one day the voice of reason or impulse that has stopped me will disappear. The reason Im afraid to tell my therapist is not because I’m embarrassed but because, my parents are immigrants and we don’t have health insurance. I went to the hospital freshman year for a panic attack and it took my father over a year to pay the bill. My school therapist is free but if I need more help I don’t want to put my parents through financial ruin. They make 17,000 dollars a year, my hospital bill for the panic attack was around 4,000-5,000 dollars. I sometimes feel like I dont want to be a waste anymore I dont want to take more from my parents and family. I think I want help but I feel like what if Im broken and I just put my family through terribly worry and financial strain only to end it all.

  37. Morgan says:

    I have a friend who was told she could be sectioned , when she told her pain specialist she was considering euthanaisia in Switzerland. She has been chronically ill and bed ridden for over a decade, and is deteriorating all the time. Is this true ? That someone can be sectioned for feeling suicidal and fed up and wanting an exit from a miserable painful life?

    • Anonymous says:

      Depends how bad she is mentally and if she is acting on thought or intending to. Or maybe to keep her safe or to change meds.

  38. Mary says:

    I was sexually abused by my brother, who is a great deal older than me, when I was 4… I’m 19, and think about suicide all the time. I have even tried to kill myself several times over the years with the most recent attempt being just 5 days ago. I don’t know what to do, going on like this is pure torture, but I don’t see how a therapist could possibly help me.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I’m so sorry that happened to you. There are many evidence-based treatments for people who have survived sexual abuse, such as cognitive processing therapy, exposure therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).

      There also are evidence-based therapies for people with suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, such as dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality.

      I hope you will at least give therapy a chance. What if it truly helps you to stop experiencing “pure torture” and, instead, to experience healing, relief, and growth?

    • Dev says:

      Mary, I as well have been sexually abused by several family members both female and male. I am currently 39 and have been seeing counselors since I was 12. It is hard to find a counselor that you can trust, and work well with. Heck after 26 years, and moving to 7 different states to get away from my abusers, I finally found one that is a good fit for me. I will not tell them what happened, but they are the first to know the abuse happened. Until you can find a counselor that you know you can trust there is an interactive book called “The Courage to Heal Workbook” that is for sexual abuse survivors. I know Amazon sells the book for about $20.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I just want to thank you for taking the time to post this. It’s very reassuring

  40. Ann says:

    Hi.I have no mental problems.But my parents send me to mental hospital twice without my consent.They have been giving me injection for two years now.It’s been 25th time.They regularly threatens me to send me there again and this time they won’t be taking me home.The mental hospital only wants money and are willing to keep me there until i die.What do i do ?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      What you describe sounds terribly unfair. I recommend consulting with an attorney in your area. The hospital also might have an ombudsman or patient rights representative you can talk to.

      Also, you also might check out the site MadInAmerica.com, which posts a lot of material about preserving psych patients’ civil rights.

  41. Tina says:

    I was having suicidal thoughts last night. The urge was strong because I felt more trapped than I have been. It felt like I had no way out. I ended up self harming. I told my case manager last week I was having suicidal thoughts, and she said she was going to have to call the ambulance. I reassured her I would be fine. She let me alone and now I see her this week to go to therapy and get an injection. I’m afraid the nurse is going to see the self harm. If my case manager wanted to commit me twice this last month, what is going to happen if I acted out on it? Are they going to commit me when the nurse tells me to take off my shirt to give the injection in my arm?

    • Tina says:

      My thoughts went away, but it seems like every day is a struggle. I have no purpose, and it seems like the injection is making things worse. I’m in my 20s and right now I feel like I will never be able to work. I dont know how to socialize with people. Tonight I had like 5 glasses of wine, drank the whole bottle because its a relief. My mind feels like its on fire now because I over did it and I feel like I’m having a break from reality. How do I get out of this cycle. I also take other medications and Im never compliant thats why Im on the injection.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


        It’s good to hear that your suicidal thoughts went away, but sad that you are struggling. I encourage you to talk with your case manager and others on your care team about your fears and concerns.

        Also, remember that you can talk with someone 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line, at 741-741. I also list other resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

  42. keith h says:

    i was raped when i was 13 and made fun of and bullied my whole life
    i cry all day every day and think about killing my self all time and even tried to just 2 days ago
    the problem is i cant tell the the docs the truth
    i dont tell them i tried to do it so i have to wait in line for a doc
    im 43 when i was 31 i tried to and lied to the doc to get out
    i never told them i was raped i told them i tried because my dad died
    i lied maybe one day i will have the balls to get real help

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Keith H,

      I’m so sorry about all you’ve been through. I understand it’s frightening to tell a doctor or therapist about your suicidal thoughts — and the reasons you want to kill yourself. Many people are afraid. But … so much good can come of it. There are effective treatments for people who have experienced trauma such as sexual abuse, and who have thought of suicide.

      Maybe reading this post will help you: Letter from a Therapist to a Suicidal Person.

      In the meantime, you could practice by talking to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255. It’s free and available 24/7, every day. I list other resources, too, here.

      Thanks for sharing here!

  43. Janet says:

    I am very depressed..I am in alot of pain..I really want it to stop and been thinking alot about killing myself to end this pain!! Where can I turn too?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      If you are in the U.S., you can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Both are free and available 24/7. I list other places, too, where you can get help by email, chat, etc. See the list at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

    • keith h says:

      hi hang in there
      i think about killing my self every day and try all the time since i was raped when i was 13 and hit myself and so much more
      life is hard but dont give up

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Keith H,

        It’s very kind of you to reach out to help Janet when you yourself are hurting so much. Thank you.

        (Please also see my response to your long comment, where I discuss getting help.)

  44. Jolie says:

    Is it legal for a pcp to discharge you as a patient after a suicide attempt?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I’m sorry if that happened to you, or to someone you know. It’s impossible for somebody to answer your question without more information, and even then they’d need to be a lawyer in your area. I’m not an attorney, but I don’t think there’s a law governing such an action in the state where I live (Colorado). However, someone could have a licensing complaint or lawsuit filed against them for “abandoning” a patient if they didn’t provide proper referrals, continuity of care, etc. So, you might want to Google “patient abandonment” and see if that is relevant to your situation.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I have only cut once but i want to tell an adult because i want help, but i don’t know how to tell someone.

    • Solomon Winfield says:

      You should know you aren’t alone, I’m not sure how this helps but I don’t know what to do about this either…

    • Lana says:

      It is very hard to tell someone you have cut. You just have to know they are there to help and support you. I told my parents by just sitting them down and telling them what I’m going through it might be hard but you have to do it if you want to be safe and healthy again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey it’s okay But you should really tell someone because usually when you cut once you get an urge to cut again i do not know why but you do, I know by experience, I started cutting because 2 of my good friends did but the thing is they got help and stopped I did stop but no one knows about the thoughts I have or how many times I want to cut. I know its bad to cut I do but idk anyways you should tell an adult you will feel so much better 🙂

  46. Michael says:

    I drove myself into a hospital to get an increase of Effexor for which I was taking for 15 years. I was in ER they moved me into a locked down area. A social worker woke me up at 3 in the morning for 5 minutes. I explained how I been depressed. Was asked and told them I have NO want to hurt myself or others. They kept me locked up spanning 3 days. Denied me to see a doctor or psychiatrist. Told me I was being admitted to psyc ward. Family had to rescue me.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Someone Ik is in jail even tho they were suicidal what can I do I’ve been told take involuntary commitment papers out on her but if she is in jail would they even take her to the hospital if that’s the case

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It depends on the situation. Is she in jail *because* she’s suicidal? Sadly, in many areas people who are at imminent risk for suicide are jailed as a means to monitor and protect the person, even though the person has committed no crime (and even though suicides do occur in jails).

      If that’s not why she’s in jail, I recommend letting the jail personnel know of her risk. There might be other steps to take, too, but that should be a first step. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has a helpline at 800-950-NAMI (6264), and they might have further advice. (Or you can email them at info@nami.org.)

      • Pattie says:

        Stacy, In response to comments about being taken to jail because you are suicidal – or mentally ill: I hear these things ..anectdotally– but always thinking “is that even legal”??? I mean, I know there are a lot of things that happen around the country that aren’t legal, and I feel like this has to be one of them. How could that be justified anywhere, legally? How can that NOT be a total violation of constitutional rights to be taken to jail for something that reflects either a mental disorder, or at the very least, extreme pain?
        I just wonder if that’s ever been been legally justified anywhere? It’s wrong on so many levels.

  48. Anonymous says:

    i am 14. i have been to like 25 mental hospital so far. and i have suicide thoughts. what do i do?

    [This comment was edited to abide by the Comments Policy. – SF]

  49. Andrea H says:

    My fear of being unable to get out of the facility is stronger than my fear of dying.

    • Anonymous says:

      You won’t be there forever. Maybe a few days at the most. The only reason people get locked up forever is if they are a huge threat to people around them. Their primary goal is to make you feel better.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      The average length of stay at a psych hospital is 5 days. It’s very uncommon for someone to be hospitalized for a long time now unless 1) they are wealthy and can afford to pay privately, and 2) they have been committed to a forensic facility. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part psych hospitalizations are very brief.

    • Gene says:

      Exactly how I feel but I can’t shake the negative thoughts that go through my mind so it becomes a cycle I try to deter myself by concentrating on my son but urges are becoming overwhelming..

  50. troubledsoul says:

    hi all, would like to seek advice on this matter. im 19yo, male, and currently in a conscripted army mandatory in my country. ive recently been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and have recurring thoughts of suicide while in camp on weekdays. im living with my parents atm and do not want them to know about my mental illness because (1) itll worry them too much (2) i wish to solve this by myself with the help of counsellor and psychiatrist. i am afraid that if i tell my psychiatrist about my suicidal thoughts, s/he will inform my parents about it and they will overworry for me while im in camp on weekdays and on weekends when im home, i wont be able to enjoy my free time (my asian parents show concern in a very different way, as asian children should know…). i also read online that potential harm to self or others overrides patient confidentiality. is it ethical for the psychiatrist/counsellor to inform my parents despite explicit requests not to?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It depends on the laws where you live, but in general, here in the U.S., confidentiality laws don’t apply in the case of an acute medical emergency. That is, medical personnel can share information with significant others but only inasmuch as is needed to keep the person safe. Merely having suicidal thoughts (without, for example, indications that the person intends to attempt suicide very soon) would not justify breaking confidentiality in such a circumstance.

      That said, I recommend you seek advice from someone with knowledge of the confidentiality laws specific to your area.

  51. Disgruntled reader says:

    Dr Freedenthal, this just isn’t true. Some five or six years ago — as an adult — I visited my parents on their invitation. When I tried to discuss what I considered to have been childhood abuse in order to come to an understanding (no yelling, screaming, or other immaturity my father was so prone to on my part), my parents had me committed based on bogus claims that involved supposedly having not had water in 24 hours (when I’d only been over for maybe five or six, and there is no scientific validity to this claim regardless).

    All this because I dared to say something that offended their holiness. I was not suicidal; in contrast, I was fighting to try and stop being taken advantage of emotionally in a dysfunctional parent-adult child relationship.

    There was no true burden of proof. There was no immediacy. It was a simple “he’s trying to kill himself” and off I went.

    Perhaps you are overgeneralizing from your experiences or perhaps you are idealistcally naive – but I’d think more would come forward if you asked in the right places.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Disgruntled reader,

      I’m sorry that happened to you. With respect, I’d like to point out that my article pertains to telling a therapist that one is having suicidal thoughts. Your situation sounds quite different — you neither went to a therapist nor disclosed suicidal thoughts, based on what you wrote — so I don’t think what I said here applies to your situation.

      In general, if a competent health professional examines someone who isn’t at imminent risk for suicide or otherwise a grave danger to themselves or others, then the person will not be hospitalized against their will (or even at their request). No doubt there are some exceptions and wrongdoings, much as I wish that were not so.

      I hope that you subsequently have found the healing you sought that afternoon 5-6 years ago.

  52. Chloe says:

    I’m 12 and I think I might talk to me councillor about my almost committing suicide what would happen if I did?

    • Anonymous says:

      First of all I am very sorry to hear about that. Second you should talk to your counselor. The worst that could happen is you he sent to a therapist to discuss these feelings. Worst case scenario you might be put in a mental hospital for a few days. Pop culture has bad mouthed mental hospitals, they aren’t as bad as they are portrayed. Keep in mind that probably won’t happen. If these feelings keep coming back talk to a therapist as opposed to a school counselor.

    • mallory says:

      they would call your parents and tell them the counsler would give them the choice to either take u to the hospital and if not the school would forcefully take u im 12 i wanted to die i told my counsler and then my parents took me to a medical hosptal they determined i needed to go to a phych ward so i was in the phych ward for 6 days and medical hospital for 1

  53. Taylor says:

    how do i go about finding a therapist? i went to my doctor about my suicidal thouhts/depression and he said i should look into getting one. when i told him about my self-harm he told me that im only doing it for attention. im 18, and very nervous about who i tell this and even more nervous about going to a therapist if they will just admit me for my cutting. i just want to not feel like shit anymore. i want to be able to enjoy activites like everyone else.

    • Anonymous says:

      go to another dr!! or call the suicide prevention line!!! u also can google counselors near u. …trust me ur going to be okay. remember that no issue is too big to be resolved!

    • DJ says:

      I have the same questions, though no one knows about my self-harm/depression/suicidal thoughts currently. I want to see a therapist and talk to my doctor… but I’m 16 and would have to talk to my parents, I’m not ready for them to know. I’m scared that my doctor will see my self-harm during my next appointment, since I have to strip and use a robe and my self-harm is very visible without sleeves, I’m afraid they’ll ask, I just don’t know whats going to happen if they do see it… and if I’ll be put in a hospital or what..

      • Anonymous says:

        I am no expert. However I doubt you will be put in a hospital for that. If you do it won’t be forever. Media has often portrayed them as lifetime wards for psychotic people. But in this day and age that’s not the case. Worst case scenario you would be in a mental hospital for a few days. Tell someone. When you keep these things bottled up it only gets worse. You need to tell those who can help you and trust they will do what’s right.

    • Anonymous says:

      First off that is a horrible thing for a doctor to say. And tell your therapist! You will not be locked up for life, you will not be put in a rubber room. Your therapist will help you to work out these feelings and you will feel better. History has portrayed mental hospitals as torture chambers where people go insane. But that is not the case anymore, you need to talk about these feelings to someone you trust.

  54. RudyM says:

    This article includes some realistic discussion of the issue (although it’s still too positive about involuntary commitment, for my taste):


  55. John says:

    When psychiatrists and psychologists are committed to indefinite stays in mental hospitals then they may see how inhumane this is. I doubt it though. The arrogance and unwilling nature of the people within the profession to examine even the most basic assumptions seems endemic.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      With respect, I know of many mental health professionals who share your concerns, even though they haven’t been involuntarily committed. I am one of them.

      To commit someone to a hospital is to deprive them of fundamental civil rights. The person is not free to come and go, or to have access to all their belongings, or to be with their family and friends, and so on. Such a huge suspension of civil rights should not be taken lightly and should be used only as an absolute last resort to protect a person (or people) when significant harm or death seems certain to occur otherwise.

      This is why in my book I wrote, “Avoid involuntary hospitalization whenever possible. Forcing people to receive inpatient care deprives them of civil liberties, disrupts their lives, and is fraught with potential for negative effects. It also can damage the therapeutic alliance beyond repair and close the door to a suicidal person seeking help in the future. Pursue involuntary hospitalization only after careful analysis that the benefits will outweigh the considerable risks. If time permits, consultation is advised.” (My book is Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals.)

  56. Ruined in Virginia says:

    My vindictive ex-partner got me drunk and manipulated 911/EMS into holding me for 72 hours against my will. The employment setbacks, humiliation, and imprisonment took me from a troubled but functional young woman to a basket case. People lie about suicidal ideation in intimate partnerships, so that they can dump you without being the “bad guy or girl.” I’ll never trust a mental health professional again.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Ruined in Virginia,

      It’s terrible that happened to you. I’m so sorry.

      Thanks for sharing here.

  57. Allison James says:

    I’m a 35 year old woman.

    My first thoughts of suicide were when I was 4. I wanted to hang myself but was unable to tie a noose.

    Everyday for the past 30 years I have thought about suicide. Some days more than others.

    At 14 I made my one single attempt. A failed overdose. After that confusing therapy with multiple therapists. Medications that made me a great deal worse than when I started. A diagnoses of depression.

    I quit taking medication and talking at 16 and just decided to live with the thoughts. At least they are level without medication.

    But now over the past 3 years they are getting harder to ignore.

    Every day.

    It never stops.

    It never gets better.

    I am not young anymore. My life is already set. My race is run and I’ve lost.

    I want to go tell someone but the fear of those first weeks on medication that make my condition so much worse, is frightening.

    And if I tell the people that should be helping I will end up incarcerated.

    I’m hanging by a thread.

    With no safety net

    • Ben says:

      Allison, I suffer from Major Depression, and yet refuse medication as it makes me overtly suicidal.

      Forgive me for asking a couple of rhetorical questions:

      1. How did you know it was possible to kill yourself at age 4?
      2. How did you know that hanging was even an option?

      My guess is, you experienced a serious trauma by age 4. Reason being, 4 y/o children do not become suicidal without a significant reason. Also, a 4 y/o child would not know suicide was possible, let alone how to accomplish the act, unless she had witnessed it or experienced hanging in some form.

      Major Depression and suicidality due to trauma do not just go away without treatment. Medication often does not help, or at least not substantially.

      HOWEVER, a trauma therapist can help you get to the root of your pain. The memories can be processed and the pain subsequently released through special treatment modalities such as EMDR. You would be amazed at how well some of these trauma treatments work!

      Please do not give up yet. Like you, I suffered for decades before a therapist finally figured out that I am a survivor of severe child abuse. Once that fact came out, a trauma therapist was able to help me. I do believe there is hope for you!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m 13 and I understand. I have those times when my mind is tipping itself apart over anything it can. But it does get better, there is always another way to find a new perspective. Or to find something to give your life meaning. I hope you get better

    • AnonyMous says:

      Tell someone. No problem is too big to be solved. Your time and life is still starting you have so much ahead. You won’t be locked up, things are different then they once were. You need to talk to someone you trust, and you will feel better.

    • keith h says:

      i pray for us all
      i tried to kill my self when i was 31
      i am on meds but still no shrinks
      i am trying to get one

  58. Anonymous says:

    I told my pain management doc I was depressed and couldn’t sleep to the point I was hallucinating. He interpreted it as admission of drug use and dismissed me. No other similar specialty will see me with that finding. Soonest appointment appointment with Psychiatrist who accepts my insurance books 3 months out. I haven’t slept in 5 days. I just want to die

  59. Matthew says:

    I don’t wanna live anymore and I wanna kill myself every day

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I’m sorry to hear that. Please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK), using the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or checking out other resources at http://www.SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      • Beth says:

        I tried to commit suicide last night… Woke up during the night thought about what I’ve done and thought I didn’t feel sorry for trying then I went and laid back down in the bed. I’m like another person in this article that mentioned her life is pretty much done mine is too I don’t have anything to hope 4. I have a master’s in counseling psychology, and I’m good at it by the grace of God. But I no longer have a car my entire family can’t stand me and I have multiple incidences that have caused my PTSD to compound. I’ll let you guys go I started being suicidal at the age of 10 and God removed completely from me till I was 35 at the age of 35 and now it’s back and I’m 58 years old damn thanks for listening God bless you all

  60. Dianne says:

    I think its horrendous that anyone else has the right to decide if a person takes their life or not. I think that should remain with the person who is suffering. We take more compassionate care of our pets than we do humans.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree I’ve been suffering in pain for years it to the point that I can’t shower or clean my house. I ask my husband and kids for help and they won’t as of today I’ve been living on soups when I’m able to eat at all and haven’t showered had a clean house or clean clothes in 2 weeks

    • Pattie says:

      Dianne, aint that a fact!

  61. michael says:

    What if you know why you’re sucidal but there isn’t anything anyone could do or say that would help you? I mean it there’s some things that just can’t be helped I’m sucidal because of the sick thoughts that is constantly in my head! I wouldn’t care if they locked me in a dungeon and left me to die with no food or water! It would be preferable than telling anyone the thoughts in my head!

    • Ben says:

      Well, having suffered from Major Depression and suicidality for some forty plus years, I can say that the vast majority (if not all) of suicidal individuals believe “there isn’t anything anyone could do or say that would help.” That’s part of the nature of suicidality: One believes there is literally no hope, and so one becomes suicidal.

      But often there is good reason to hope. Sometimes, the depression has so warped a person’s thinking process (in the moment, not permanently) that he cannot see the Open Door that others see. So, often the trick is to help the person to stay alive long enough to get through this temporary myopic state.

      Once one ‘pops out the other side’ of the worst of the depression, those Open Doors others see will become visible to you, too.

      Regarding the unspeakable thoughts in your head, please know there is great power in speaking of those unspeakable thoughts. When we keep these thoughts secret, they loom large in our heads, but when we speak them out, those thoughts ‘shrink’ to normal proportions and so lose their deadly power. Given this, I highly suggest you find someone safe to talk to about your ‘unspeakable’ thoughts.

      Best wishes – and a speedy healing – to you.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


        What a loving, supportive, hopeful, and wise thing to say. Thank you for so generously sharing here.

      • Ben says:

        Even a lifetime of Major Depression and pain can come to have meaning if one uses the lessons learned to help others.

        Be well.

    • Bk says:

      Oh Michael you know you’ve got the name of an archangel whether you believe it or not that’s okay I double checked. But I’ve counseled people that have PTSD that have gone to war one of which was my uncle he told me I was one of the only people he’s ever told the stories of war 2. I’ve heard stories about what vets will do once they get away from combat. I have had some way Twisted thoughts in my life. But when various people share their stories I always feel honored that they chose me to tell it to. And of course I always respect that person as whole and complete and it’s just as much a two-way street then it is me being the counselor dot-dot-dot you patient. That’s a lie it’s always a two-way street peace and blessings Michael Rave one positive thing in the morning before you start your day. Just give it 5 minutes, Watch What Happens peace out

  62. Hunter says:

    I don’t know how to tell my parents these things. My fear is being taken away forever, or them never seeing me the same. My dream in life is to do Youtube full time as a job, and everyone says that will never happen. The thought of not being able to do what I love and get payed for it, and having to resort to a boring office job just depresses me. I’m 13 at the moment and I don’t plan on killing myself its just my parents are so black and white with this sort of thing. I don’t know how to tell them because I don’t want to be seen as a psychotic child or be taken away forever. I don’t have the courage to tell them, and I refuse to go back to a therapist, and that forces me to lock it up inside me and it hurts. I tend to just resort to doing schoolwork and then going on my computer to just get away from reality, and I know that is not healthy. Idk just please someone say something since I can’t talk to my parents.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Hunter!

      Actually, distracting yourself with schoolwork or another healthy activity (sports, visiting with friends, etc.) is a great way to deal with these feelings. I encourage you to continue to distract yourself when necessary.

      It is normal, at your age, to not want to discuss these things with your parents. I do hope you have a good friend, though, to talk to. Please do share your thoughts and feelings with a very good safe friend. Perhaps you even have a favorite uncle or grandparent you could talk to, as well. Teachers are also often happy to talk to their students about all sorts of issues. (I’m a high school teacher, so I know this is true.)

      At this point in your life, I would encourage you to dream ‘big’, no matter what your parents say. Don’t lose hope! You have plenty of time to make all your dreams come true. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I can relate with you except with whole YouTube thing I already have my equipment just haven’t started any videos just so insecure

    • Anonymouse says:

      I find that work itself helps distract me from issues. As for youtubr, start small and be consistent. Think markiplier, took him two years to get anywhere with one video a day.

      I use meditation for my problem, it helps sometimes. No proper way to meditate, just clear your mind or focus on a thought.

  63. Ben says:

    Stacey, while I greatly appreciate your personal paradigm when it comes to the admission of suicidal patients, unfortunately I must inform your readers that many to most therapists are not so liberal. For instance, suicidal ideation with a plan – even if you are ambivalent about suicide and make it clear you have no intention of acting, it’s just that you keep thinking about it – will often land a person in the hospital. One need not be adament and state suicidal intent or unwillingness to put a safety plan into action, you’ll be incarcerated, anyhow. (And, yes, I have heard mental health professionals refer to even voluntary hospitalization as ‘incarceration’.)

    Please note: Even if you agree to a voluntary admission, the admitting physician will often admit you as an involuntary patient just to insure that your insurance policy will pony up and pay your bill. So, even though your attending psychiatrist might release you to voluntary status the day or two after admission, please understand that during the admitting process you may very well be treated as an involuntary patient, and that will most likely include various insults, such as temporary restraints.

    Also, even though we patients ‘enjoy’ a Patient Bill of Rights, those rights are often not observed during transport or on-unit. So I suggest that, if you must be admitted, you bring a family member along to make sure you have a witness to any attempt at abuse. A witness is necessary because, generally, abusive acts are not properly documented by staff members, and so, in court, it will be your word against the hospital’s – and hospital psych people love to remind us that, as psych patients, no one will ever pay any attention to any of our concerns or complaints. So, bring that witness!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      These are all excellent points. It is true that some clinicians panic or otherwise move to hospitalize people unnecessarily, often as a means to allay the clinician’s own anxiety. I wish it were not so. That said, I’m happy to report that the majority of emergency psychiatrists and other physicians I’ve met are quite conservative about involuntary (and, even, voluntary) hospitalization.

  64. Nancy says:

    I left the hospital more suicidal than when I went in 7 out of the 9 times that i was involuntarily hospitalized within a 2 year period. The problem is that the only way mental health professionals have ever tried to help me was by playing head games. In San Jose my breakfast and lunch was thrown in the garbage can because I couldn’t walk fast enough to the nurses desk to get my meals. I have pins and plates in both my ankles and in withdrawal from pain meds because the doctors refused to give me pain meds or anything for withdrawal. They would barge into the room and take my bar of soap to try and trigger me. A lot of the professionals that I’ve met get a kick out of unnecessarily triggering patients which forces them to see suicide as their only option to stop from being treated badly. When you call the state to turn the hospital in they say they can’t prove anything if they didn’t see it allowing staff to further abuse the patients.

  65. Reau says:

    All I have to say is I am considering in the future, to possibly speak with a professional. BUT, I am afraid that I will be admitted to a mental hospital. Let me specify; I have had thoughts of suicide (specifically twice), I just imagined myself doing it and basically being gone and no one really noticing. I am a victim of the past, how I grew up all alone living with 2 complicated adults – my parents. But the IRONIC thing is at the same time, I fear death. I fear life ending, I could go on of this topic and others. But this is as much as I will give, but I am hesitating on committing to seeing a professional all because I will simply be admitted to a mental hospital and never know if I will be released, ever. I will admit I know I seem to overthink in all this, but I am the first out of family and the few people who know me, to go through this so I know I am too worrisome.

    • annonumus says:

      i understand i’m in the same situation right now i lost my mom at the age of 14 to dcs because she kept getting in abusive relationships i witnessed so much trama . i started my suicidal thoughts at age 5 and now i’m 17 and i still have them i’m afraid to tell my therapist and i’m also afraid of death and have a fear of life ending i cant sleep at night because the thoughts of me dying in my sleep scare me .i dont tell people because i dont want to be admitted in the mental hospital because that will make me lose contact with my identical twin . its hard to live day by day without my identical twin by my side .

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know you. Maybe you aren’t religious, maybe you don’t believe in it overall. But trust me when I say God has helped me through it all, he is the reason I am alive to respond to you. Tell your therapist. They might admit you, but chances are only for a few days. They will help you cope with these thoughts and feelings. You will come out feeling better, I guarantee it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe I already replied, but my internet went out so I don’t know.

        Look i don’t know you, maybe you don’t believe in religion. But believe me when I say god helped me through it all. God is the reason I sit hear, alive to respond to you. Talk to your therapist. They probably won’t admit you, and if they do it won’t be forever. You will probably leave in a few days. They will help you cope with those feelings. You will walk out feeling better, I guarantee it.

  66. Jay says:

    Whilst Iv thought of suicide, iv never attempted it or gave it serious thought. I do believe that I dont really care to be apart of this shitty world, and welcome death just ONLY by natural means. What I mean by that is not conventional suicide or being killed by another but rather by heart attack, stroke ect.
    I dont have any tragic back stories really, Its just that I really hate the world, and more than that, I really really hate people. like literally everyone. People annoy the absolute shit outta me and i couldnt care less who died or how. I also have like 0 remorse for anything really.

    I suppose thats probably the mental state of a serial killer.
    Now dont get me wrong. I DO hate everyone, but I have no desires to go on a murder spree, Im just saying how I feel about people.

    And its not for any particular reason either. Its not cause I was beat, bullied, raped, ect. Im not prejudice, come from a understanding and loving family. I just literally hate everyone. I guess the best comparison would be how most people view ants or bugs. Just a general hate, no remorse for there death kinda feel.

    I often think when I watch shows or movies where a person has serious issues with a person, like they killed someone they know or something, but then the protagonist forgives them or gets them locked up. I get pretty aggravated that the protagonist didnt just kill that person.

    and again ill say im no murderer or have any desire to be one, but I just dont think human life is that important. I feel like alot more people should die, and I feel that many punishments of crimes should be instant death. I feel that death is an instant problem solver.

    Now I posted here because I honestly cant find any other people with the same way my mind works. and while its not really about suicide, it does involve death.
    Im not too sure what to make of how I think. Definitively I guess I fit into the psychopath/sociopath category, Tho I feel like its just not that simple to define me as such since Im not aggressive. However, on the flipside, it takes quite a bit to get me mad and I purposely avoid violent acts such as fights. Not because im scared, but because I just KNOW that the fight will end with someone dead. I dont feel like ill be able to turn off the rage once it begins so i proactively avoid such situations. I watch fighting videos and I just cant grasp how they dont go for the kill shot. I mean I know why, its cause they have a normal brain lol, but I still just cant understand how they turn off the instinct. idk im complicated I guess. I did my best to try to put into words my thoughts. whether or not anyone reads this or not, maybe ill find a like minded individual, who knows.

    • I feel your pain. Unlike you, my fuse has become short the last few years. I see plenty of stupid situations involving idiotic individuals, and the truth is I would rather live in the woods. — I despise people, but have the same desire/willingness to be a part of society while simultaneously avoiding them. My social anxieties began in school: always feeling out of place, and uncomfortable just by being near someone. — There’s just something about feeling their eyes on me that makes me want to be in my shell. Of course, once more, we’re a bit different in the aspect that I feel I suffer from ptsd(almost being beat to death and drown while drinking by making an apology for an event that happened years ago — despite the only thing being at fault for was my idea that was used/abused). Even before that though I’ve always been slightly misanthropic. I hated those who judged me for nothing (stooping to their level), and could care less if they faded from the earth/my life. Now, despite it all, I cannot help but love people; knowing each one has a great potential of light (and that they have a good side that someone enjoys). At the same time, again, I cannot help but want to avoid them all; knowing that eventually someone stupid will pass me by and smart off (rather simply to look cool in front of friends or because their own life is full of malice). Yes. My problem is reflecting, while, at the same, attempting so hard to be unseen from the sides as an observer. — When the right buttons are pressed I can hulk out, but that is normally when someone is screaming in my face over me giving my opinion/stating my own distress at an event a person has caused. All in all, I’m not too bad of a person and yet it seems like someone is always taking a shot at me. — I’m convinced that once innocence is lost the hell of our world always attempts to swallow us. But again, I’m normally not a harm to people unless I feel I am provoked. Even then I’m trying my best to avoid such outbursts, but it seems like the harder I try to make things right the more curve-balls life throws. It’s to the point that I’ve barely left my house since 2011 (that being when my anger started to grow). I didn’t think it could get worse, but after having a crazy parent spreading half-assed lies (her being a lesbian, overly abusive, womans rights, ex-con) I don’t even want to go to the mailbox anymore — much less ever had wanted to go to a doctor. When I stand back though, I can see the paths ahead of me on if I don’t do something/get help. While some are positive most are negative. Lately I’ve been considering going to a therapist again, but each time that I start to want to go I turn my gaze from it. Suicide is something I’ve considered before in the past. But I’m afraid of doing it the wrong way, and something has always come up to prevent it when I would be serious enough to do it/in the middle of it. Now, a few years later, I’ve given up on the idea. At the same time though, I have no desire to be around people but those who I am already around (my family). My life would be a lot simpler just having a check and living from my home, but, again, I don’t even go to the doctor when I need to (felt like I had a heat stroke or heart attack). People are just judgmental assholes. — I’d rather even have a life locked up than being a part of a society, but the stupidity in such a place, where you truly aren’t locked up in your room 24/7, can be just as present — if not more. I’m out of options either way. At this point I feel as if I might as well do something that could make me happy (get an income started). — You yourself, despite feeling a deep seeded hate for others, are on right enough of a path by avoiding conflict. But the thought that the world would be better off without them, while maybe true in some cases, isn’t right on any level. One of the worst things about this world is that people seem to pass on. If people were to just kill those convicted of bad crimes some wrongly incarcerated would never have a chance; only adding to the injustice of our world. Prisons should be used for such people (never letting them out unless they truly were set up — this being something to look into when mentioned), and mental institutions shouldn’t feel like one. I understand why they are treated as such sometimes, as some truly off/bad people can be within them, but there should be separate places for such people even still. — In the end, I say if you feel you need help then don’t put it off. Talk to a doctor and tell them you’re just feeling without hope to get your foot in the door to talk to a therapist, and then vent to them. They’re there to try and help you regain some control in your life. — But reading such a thing and living it out are two different things. I myself am afraid of being labeled –or even mislabeled by a doctor — and it causing problems for me down the road (with writing/getting a place), but even then peoples own opinions of me have pretty much gotten me there already. At this point I just want to clear my name, get some help, and try to avoid this call to go out and thrive in the wilderness. Because as time ticks on my own goals are getting further out of reach (I’m now 29, with the soul of a 90 year old, and the bottled-up energy of a 5 year old). It does pay to have some way of venting though, and can make a world of difference. — My sadness was vented through music, before the chance to do so often was stripped from me. I then turned to art, but even still have a lack of enthusiasm now a days to do even that — much less any other thing that use to interest me. Today I am going to the e.r. to ask for help. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Just hang in there, there is plenty of light in those who even seem to be without it (and plenty in your life to be thankful for even still). — Stress just has a way of bombarding the soul. When I first realized this things were a bit better — in regards to others — but I still wouldn’t want to be in a sea of people. — All it takes, still yet, is one bad seed to forever change someone’s life in a negative way, and I would prefer to never be in that situation again.

      • Theresa says:


      • K/7 says:

        Perfect description ….. it takes one seed one small incident to cause such destruction if only we were like the rest , lucky to never see traumas or lucky to not be marked by them …… too many cruel people outside is almost terrifying to know the damage they can cause …… forever damaged we are are safe staying inside…

  67. Lost girl with a lost soul says:

    I’m 18 years old. I’ve been dealing with suicidal thoughts since the age of 9. I came out and told my mom about my thoughts when I was 16 and she didn’t get me any help. Everyday just becomes worse than the day before. I’ve been crying myself to sleep for years now. Nobody cares about me and nobody ever will. I don’t wanna be here anymore. I hate life.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Lost Girl,”

      It’s sad and painful that your mother didn’t get you the help you need. It hurts to feel like nobody cares about you. It’s possible that you are wrong and that many people do, in fact, care about you. It’s also possible that your predictions for the future won’t come true. Regardless of whether your interpretations are correct, I imagine that they feel 100% correct, and that’s terribly painful. I hope you will consider talking to someone else about your pain and your suicidal thoughts. I list various places where you can talk to someone by phone, email, text or chat; please see the list at http://www.SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp.

      Remember, don’t believe everything you think and feel. The mind often lies!

    • Emma says:

      don’t do it, i care about you

    • Denise Bizzaro says:

      I care about you. I have felt the same way, and sometimes still do.

    • annonumus says:

      don’t do it even thou i don’t know u i care ,

  68. Snarkybadger says:

    I did the mistake of trusting a psychiatrist once. Never again. I was almost committed against my will. The doctor called the cops on me and I was sent to the hospital in the back of a police car. (The cop told me I was wasting his time. Nice). I had to lie at the hospital (in the tiny locked room, with one chair a table and nurses that kept peering in at me through a window as if I was a science experiment).

    Afterwards, the psychiatrist refused to see me. Just dropped me like a sack of potatoes. It took me a month to find a new doctor.

    I will never trust another psychiatrist again. Never. The only reason I go to one is because I need forms filled out for disability. I will never tell him half of the stuff that I suffer with.

    • ams says:

      I feel the same way. I feel like I can’t trust anyone and no one is really here to help me. Both my parents died within the last three months. I’ve been hospitalized before for suicide attempt and it never helped. I agree 100% with not trusting & not wanting to say anything to the shrink / therapist.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Well, I WAS locked up against my will and put in with a group of dementia people (I am in my 60s) and my medical care was ignored and no one asked me WHY I would want to hurt myself. I would never tell anyone to admit to suicidal thoughts for that reason.

  70. Nope says:

    “most likely” uh huh.

  71. Anonymous says:

    This is what I was looking for. Thank you. The only way I will be safe is to commit a serious crime so I am safe behind bars

  72. A Loser with no Courage says:

    Ive been there. It was a terrible experience. Im worse for it. That was 3 years ago. Ive recently attempted in the last week to commit suicide. Im transgendered. My family told me to change last name or go die. Or knock this “want-to-be-a-girl shit” off. They’re right. They’ve always been right. The court denied my document changes. Living as a female for 2 years & they still think im not serious about it. But, i cant afford anything so, ill always look like a guy.
    I used to like my life. People liked me….. I say one thing about my personal preference and they turned their back on me. I never hurt anyone. I don’t deserve this punishment. But, they seem to think I don’t deserve my life. Albeit, point is, I can’t stand to live around all these shitty people in the prison Im trapped in.

    • trust me, you're not alone says:

      Your parents are wrong. I’m in an almost identical position as you, except no one knows. But it is possible for you to live as the person you truly are. Please be there to see it. I hope you are okay. If you continue to have these thoughts please reach out to someone. Anyone. I’m here if you need me. Every LGBT person makes the world a more diverse, beautiful place. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

      Sincerely, A Loser with Hope

    • Chama says:

      I agree that your parents are wrong. You are the one person who truly knows who you are, and anyone who tries to keep you from expressing your genuine self is wrong in doing so.
      I’m so sorry they said such things to you. It seems like it’s causing you a lot of pain. You deserve to be treated with love and respect, please remember that.

      Remember, too, that life changes in unexpected ways. Even if you can’t get what you need right now to express your gender visually, that doesn’t mean that will be true forever. Until then, your gender identity is still true and real, no matter how you look.

      Do you have trans friends, or are you able to find healthy support from other trans people somehow? IMO, having an actual peer group of people who relate to your own life experiences is invaluable. It can be such a relief to talk to people who know where you’re coming from, because you don’t have to explain or justify yourself because they already understand.

      There is definitely hope for you, even though your current situation may make it seem like that’s not true. I know many trans people that have been where you are that are now able to happily and fully be themselves. That can happen for you. I know its so, so hard, but please, if you stick around and see it through, it can happen for you as well.
      And please try to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve. Be kind with yourself, and patient, and forgiving. I accept you for who you are and I honestly feel proud of you for reaching out. And believe me, there are other people in the world who will accept you and who will find that your expressing your gender is brave and worth celebrating.

  73. Sam says:

    I’m a 19 year old guy. I’ve been free falling forever now. I’m on my own in an apartment after either everyone kicked me away or died. Suicide has been a thought for years but the past 6 months has been so much more. My mother signed her rights away and diss owned me in every way, my grandfather and grandmother that I lived with had both died, and my father kicked me out on the street where I had lived until I found a job. Now I’m in so much debt that my dinner was some candy corn I found. I just don’t think I can hold on anymore.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Sam, you’ve had to deal with extraordinary loss and challenges. I’m so sorry. Are you in the U.S.? If so, please consider calling the national lifeline at 800.273.8255 or texting the crisis text line at 741-741. They can help you. There also may be resources for you in your area that assist with food and shelter, like a transitional living program that helps young people get on their feet. There are other options — many other options– for you.

  74. Anaya says:

    I..am still suicidal..I’m always depressed..ppl at my school says disrespectful things to me..I’m a 14 yr old girl..wishing to be happy..My so-called best friend doesn’t even care for me or any of my problems..I shut ppl out bc I dnt think they will understand the pain I’m going through..

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Life changes, you’ll get out of school, meet new people. It feels impossible now, but you are young, the world and future are scary. Loads of unknowns. Start distancing yourself from them, they are going through the same, but doing it differently. You need to push yourself to meet new people. Take up a buzzard hobby to keep your mind off sh!t, pest new people. I was like that at your age, my numbers are more than the other way round than yours, and true i am here as I’m feeling cr@p now. I just wish I could go back and give myself advise at your age. I would have told myself, to stop worrying as most ppl don’t give a sh!t anyway (that age anyways). Gotta go. Keep ur chin up.

    • Ben says:

      High school teacher checking in here.

      Hate to say it, but the 7-9th grades are often the very worst periods in a young person’s life. It’s a rough time for most kids. So, please don’t lose heart; know that most of the other kids around you are quite possibly feeling exactly the same way as you are now. It’s a rough time.

      Just want to let you know that, yes, things really do get easier after age 14. Kids start managing themselves and their emotions better, and that means they aren’t looking out for scapegoats to pick on. This means, in turn, an easier ride through high school for all.

  75. Miranda says:

    I was locked in a psychiatric unit for NOTHING. I was committed simply for crying in a public place, just 4 days after my father died. My sister and my mother were forced into general hospital against their will because of their illnesses. I was degraded, humiliated, treated like dirt, called a liar and treated like a criminal. Just for them to release me two weeks later, when they realised I was just in bereavement and grieving a death. The state are absolutely disgusting, because they knew I was grieving a death, but yet they still put me away, against my will and threatening me with ECT.

  76. Emma says:

    Reading through all these replies is heartbreaking and scary.
    I am 31 and after many months of not leaving my room except to go to the bathroom or eat when I get very hungry, my parents (yes I still live at home) have had enough they are going to send me to a psychiatrist. Whether I want it or not. I have already had one GP appt. where I did not tell her the truth about my situation or how I was feeling. She therefore said I was fine. And just took some blood to see if I was deficient in anything. Turns out I’m deficient in sulphates which explains why I am so physically tired all the time. But I know depression can make you sleep a lot too. I don’t know if I would say a word to a psychiatrist or maybe I would just lie, cause that’s how I seem to deal. I don’t want to talk I just want to be left alone. I’ve never attempted suicide but I have had thoughts about how much easier it would be to just end it all. But I am too scared to try anything.
    So there’s that…
    I’m not where I thought I would be at 31. A virgin (not religious life just never presented the opportunity) with No friends still living with my parents, jobless with no money.
    Who would even want to be with me?
    So yes I think about ending it a lot.
    Cause this life is not what I want.

    • Deckard says:

      Emma im in the exact situation but im 27 and male. Also my parents have yet to send me to a psych. They dont care about me beyond feeding me like im an animal. I often ponder how i ended up like this and if there is anyway to break out. I blame myself 95%. I also think about suicide a lot too. I know there is something horribly wrong with me. Maybe a personality disorder. I think i might have agoraphobia too. I dont know if you will ever read this but your post really struck a cord with me, know you arent alone

  77. I cant tell you says:

    Im having a hard time with life right now, when i was younger my father beat me, choked me, punched me in my face and got away with all of it. Even my mother calling the police on him didnt do it. They made me leave. There was 5 of us in a 1 bedroom house and he was & still is a drunk, threatens to shoot us, burn down the shack he calls a house. When i was 16 i got my ged and stayed with my grandmother more so then anyone else to not have to deal with him. My mother never left because she claims she couldn’t afford to. Im now 29. Ive been gone most of my adult hood. But at the age of 26 my boyfriend became abusive after i had our second child together. He would choke me, beat me, drag me, punch me in my chest, i ended up pregnant with our 3rd & my whole pregnancy he beat me, punched me in the stomach, dragged me like i was a rag doll….and i wouldnt move back home because of the abuse i received from my father as a child. Out of us 3 kids i was the only one he treated like that. Im the oldest and also a girl, the other 2 are boys. Back to the boyfriend situation. Even while living together he would call and threaten my job, lock me out of the house at night, beat my car up, break my things up. As i got farther into my pregnancy i had bleeding problems…mcv richmond hospital would blow me off and send me home, i could never tell them he was beating me because he was always there with me. And i would be beat soon as i got out the building. Fast forward to 35 weeks ive worked 50 hrs a week my whole pregnancy. I had a doctors note stating i could not work in my pregnant condition that many hours, i put my job first before my health to take care of home. I needed my paycheck to stay away from moving back home to the abusive drunken father, i was bleeding one night and the job told me i couldnt leave, they were too busy. Next day i called out of work, boyfriend also gets high and beats me and drags me around the house, 2 days later my uterus ruptured. Come to find out my previous csection scar was slowly ripping open….my uterus was half way open over half my pregnancy…i lost her, they refused to revive her. Now life seems to become to much, i cant function at any job i try to hold. I finally left the man who was beating me at age 29, and got stuck moving back home. I have no help with child care here, i cant hold a job because jobs have no respect for single mothers in the area im in. I cant stand loud noises….and i blame her death on my self…i should of walked out of that job….she could of still been here if i left that job and my ex. When she died she took my heart with her. I have vivid suicidal thoughts….and im back home living with an abusive drunk because i have nowhere else to go. I feel like life is over for me, i dont want to live anymore. Everyone says to think of my other kids but i cant even hold a job to take care of them. Im useless….i hold all these thoughts in because i dont want to be committed. I’d honestly rather be gone then to be forced to talk about how i feel. I hate myself. I cant function with loud noises and chaos. Everybody says it will get better….but its only gotten worse…i cant function in life anymore i have nightmares of her death. I have nightmares of me slowly dying…..i dont even know why im putting this out here. I guess because im scared to tell anybody else how i feel.

    • MrFeelGood says:

      That is the most awful thing to hear. I will tell you this. I have a problem letting my past go. But what people don’t get is I may sound like I’m negative but negative stuff fuels me to do better. I’m 31 at home with my father. 4 yrs ago family from my mother’s side did some shady stuff and ruined my life. I disowned all of them. They seem more upset than me about it. Now they went to be close to me. I say you will never be forgiven. Sin or not. I’m not a man of god but I would like to think there could be one. Some things I’ve seen things can’t just be coincidence so maybe there could be a bigger picture I’m missing. I do good all the time. I’m very head strong. If your wrong then your wrong in my book. I lie a lot but I have trust issues because of people doing things like what was done to you. Not for the reasons you think…….Point being if you need confidence just talk to me and I can change your way of thinking. I know pain and it does get better. Learn from what was done to you and turn it into a positive. Make it work for you not against you. Put all that fear, hate, love, passion, trust, loyal into one thought and make that your new goal but remember you must think positively from all the negativity . Be negative if you have to but do positive things. It sounds backwards right? But what do you have to lose? I’m just some guy walking by virtually what the heck do I know……

  78. Dot says:

    I have been suicidal for a few years. I haven’t ever been able to harm myself though because I am too scared. I don’t want to live anymore but I am too afraid to die. It really sucks because although I plan these things out and want to do it, I am too scared and therefore ignored and written off by therapists as not really being depressed and just seeking attention. It only makes me feel worse and more guilty because I am just wasting peoples time. I am stuck in a box where I can’t be honest with my therapists. I can’t talk to anyone close to me because they just tell me to get over it and to stop being a downer and to not talk that way or threaten to have me committed. I can’t even tell my boyfriend either because he is the same way. I am venting here because I have no friends. Just my family and my bf. I can’t vent anywhere else because I want to be anonymous.

    • Chama says:

      I was the same way for years, and also surrounded by people that dismissed my feelings the way it sounds like yours are being dismissed. Just so you know, your concerns are very real and very serious and it is not okay, by any means, for people (especially people that supposedly love you) to say things like that.
      I was also called things like attention-seeking, and dramatic and selfish, etc. I can relate. None of these things are true so don’t you believe them. It’s actually, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful and cruel to call someone such things and shows a lack of caring and compassion on the other person’s part. This is not your fault. You deserve to get the help you need without being judged. That said, treatment and recovery is a very long road that looks different for everyone, and I never thought I’d say this at one point in my life, but it really can get better. It’s worth it to fight with everything you have left to get the CARING, healthy support that recovery requires. Don’t let any doctor dismiss or shame you. If they do, they are Wrong and Unprofessional and you go find someone else until you get the help you DESERVE. I promise it is worth the fight. It is worth going through Heck itself because what is on the other side of depression and suicidal thoughts is truly magical and worth living for.

  79. Delaney says:

    I’m 13 and I think I have SAD or social anxiety disorder. I often have panic attacks when I have to read a report or answer a question in class. I also have an extreme fear of being embarrassed. I have 3 best friends that I have no problem speaking to until I say something I think was wrong. But anyway I don’t know how to bring up the conversation to my parents or school counselor

    • Anaya says:

      I can relate Delaney..it’s very hard for me as well except for the SAD situation..I’m just depressed all the time..my name is Anaya btw.

  80. c says:

    i have a question for a friend, he seems miserable all the time, he tells me he has lost all quality life he just cant be happy he has tried anti depressants, and i have witnessed others torture him via lying about his mental health, i think he may be suicidal but i don’t think any psychiatrists can help, him because they are the ones who made him appear suicidal to begin with because of the drugs they put him on, he has also told me he feels isolated now as if he cant interact glass walls around him, all the time, keep in mind he used to an out going person very happy uplifting now he just sleeps all the time, all this after he was forced to see a psychiatrist

    it seems like drugs will either not work on him or make his situation worse, but i am also concerned if they hospitalized him will he there for the rest of his life? I mean he is not a threat to others he is really a nice person just really unhappy and depressed.

    • w says:

      hi, i know how you feel about your friend, and i cannot promise anything. depression is a horrible thing to go through and i wouldnt even wish it on my worst enemy. antidepressants can have extremely bad effects and can just make things worse. if you want to help him, dont force him into anything and respect his privacy. make sure you support him and tell him you’re there for him no matter what, because sometimes thats the thing people with depression want to hear the most. also, dont try to “fix” him, because people with depression arent broken. having a suicidal friend can be terrifying, but just stay calm. check in with him as much as you can without being clingy. don’t act any different, and don’t be like a helicopter mom. sorry, this might seem really confusing, but being supportive can really help, and if one night he’s suffering, he could know that you’re there and call you, and talk it out.

      it’s really hard to understand how it feels, but just listen. that’s another thing you can do. just listen and be there.

    • Ben says:

      Antidepressants can, in some cases, exacerbate depression or even lead one to suicide. I cannot take antidepressants because they make me actively suicidal.

      So, if your friend seems worse on antidepressants, I would encourage him to talk to his psychiatrist about his concerns. A psychiatrist worth his salt will listen and act on such concerns. If his psychiatrist is dismissive, I would recommend your friend consult with a different psychiatrist.

      Psychiatry is more of an art than a science at this point in history. Thus, some psychiatrists are naturally better than others. I suggest your friend ask a trusted professional or very knowledgeable friend for a referral to a well-respected psychiatrist, a long-time practitioner with a strong skill set.

  81. Valerie says:

    I know this probably will sound… Well…crazy… But I really believe my boyfriend was admitted to a pysch emergency room without me knowing what my rights were and not ever wanting to let me make any real connection to what happened

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Your comment is confusing, Valerie. I don’t think you have rights in relation to your boyfriend being admitted to a psych emergency room. It’s up to your boyfriend whether you can have contact with him while he’s hospitalized, visit him, etc. Or do you mean something else?

      • Ben says:

        Agreed. Non-family members have no rights in such a situation. This law is in effect to protect the patient’s right to confidentiality.

  82. a loved one who cares says:

    My sister died a year ago battling Bipolar disorder she didn’t sleep much so her doctors had tried many different sleep meds these were general health care doctors for my sister refused to seek help in short she took ambien never went to sleep and took half a bottle of ceraquil sorry if my spelling is off but when the toxicology report came back there were 13 medications total in her system with ceraquil being the highest by volume at 500ml my wife who was best friends with my sister has been diagnosed with social anxiety, mdd, and ptsd and is seeking treatment but yet she took ambien and stayed awake to continue taking more meds to calm her down luckly i got home and stopped her the first time the pill bottles were new i could count pills and i knew she hadn’t taken enough to harm herself more than a hang over the second time however i could not tell rushed her to the hospital they gave her fluids and sent her off to an institution only because i didn’t analyze the actions in which took place so please if you take ambien please have someone look after you

  83. Hitbya Truck says:

    Psych wards may not have bars on the windows. But the windows are locked and unbreakable. What’s the difference? You are not allowed to leave, just like a prison. What’s the difference? You are tossed in with a general population until your insurance runs out. You will be treated by an over-worked and condescending nursing staff that sees you as a broken sub-human. The psychiatric staff is harried and not too attentive. Shockingly you WILL be given anti-depressants (even if you are bipolar). They should just have them in a gumball machine at the entrance. They will do what they can to sedate you- Lithium did it for me… sleepy, lethargic and compliant. That was me. I found voluntary commitment to be psychologically scarring. I wish I never did it. I still have nightmares. Then I found a medicine that could have prevented my hospitalization. My story follows. Good luck.

    Misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment with antidepressants put me in full-blown mania (never happened before the meds) then a mixed affective state, then suicidal ideation then long-term, crushing treatment-resistant depression.

    I was in the psych ward, sedated and on multiple meds. I was miserable and insurance stopped funding my stay. I got out of the psych ward (had to do the “shuffle” and lie by thanking them for their help in CURING ME yay!!!- and the non-payment by Blue Cross helped too!).

    Against medical advice (my psychiatrists literally laughed at me) I tried a Ketamine clinic. It took 75 minutes and saved my life. I am now off the anti-depressants, atypical psychotics, Lithium and Lamictal (it took months to taper). I dropped all the psych meds but the Ketamine. Yes, yes, yes, I am non-compliant according to my former incompetent laughing psychiatrists (treating and psycho-pharmacologist). But the new psychiatrist says I am doing phenomenally well. I go back every other month for a 45-minute ketamine booster infusion at the Ketamine clinic. I am now back at work, thriving and for the first time in my life enjoying life. Sadly, my two (former) psychiatrists still don’t believe in Ketamine- but they stopped laughing when they saw me last.

    Most importantly, Ketamine has dramatic and almost immediate effect on suicidal ideation. It could have saved me the demoralizing hospital stay.

    Not only did suicidal ideation go away though, the depression is, amazingly, completely and totally gone. Hypomania is not an issue (but it never really was- it was the depression that almost ended my life – read “Why am I still depressed” for a good analysis of “Soft” Bipolar). I still suffer once or twice a week in the AM from very, very minor anxiety (threw away the Ativan months ago). I think minor, intermittent anxiety tied to real-life problems is just part of life. The agitation and the hyper-sexuality are gone too.

    I am now putting my life back together. It is daunting… but in a way, it is very exciting. And, I am seeing signs of success. I am enjoying the company of my children. My spouse is as beautiful as ever- perhaps even more so…. She stood by me through the storm and got me to safety. I can never thank her enough. I feel blessed. I am 6 months into this new treatment. It may not be for everyone and I did not dump the old psychiatrists until I had a new one. I did not taper my drugs until the new Dr was (grudgingly) monitoring it.

    I hope my “new normal” is permanent. There are no promises in life. I know this path is not for everyone (Ketamine is said to work for 75% of treatment-resistant depression patients). And perhaps my response to Ketamine has been unusually positive. One person does not a study make. But the positive effect on my life has been tremendous.

    Please do not take my word. Google “Ketamine Depression.” In particular read the studies out of Yale, Mass General and NIH and NIMH. Remember there are no longterm studies on Ketamine treatment (same is true for TMS). So there is, as with any other treatment, risk. So far though, I have had zero side-effects. Take that Venlafaxine!

    Good luck. I truly hope this post helps at least someone find the peace that I have found. There is hope my friends, there is hope.

    PS I hope the moderator will publish this. I want to “pay it forward.” But for some reason, most of the blogs will not publish my story.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thanks for sharing your story. You’re very fortunate. Research shows that the effects of ketamine, while powerfully good, tend to not last more than several days to a week. I’m glad it’s helped you so much!

    • Hitbya Truck says:

      Thank you for publishing my story. I understand your concern about the transient nature of Ketamine. You are right about the transience of a single infusion. And it is a common concern but it relates more to the early days of Ketamine treatment.

      The protocol created at Yale Psychiatric Hospital calls for an initial 6 treatments over 2 weeks to stave off the transience. And it does work for most people according to the NiH and NIMH studies, but sadly it does not work for all. Most of the literature and clinic FAQs state that you will know if Ketamine will work by the second treatment. Which is good as it is expensive (my clinic charges $500- still waiting to see if insurance will reimburse). The fellow patients I have spoken with over the course of my treatment seem to need “booster Infusions” from every week to every six months with the average being every six to eight weeks and the ones at either end (1 week/ 6 months) being very rare. This was also confirmed to me by the Psychiatrist treating me at the Ketamine clinic that I attend.

      The beauty for me of the Ketamine treatment is that it does not sedate you nor does it elate you. It just somehow stops the depression and you are “you” without the depression or a medicated feeling. For me (and this is just 1 person’s experience) it is almost like being “cured” similar to a diabetic almost being “cured” with insulin.

      I guess my point is- there is almost zero risk (no more than any IV infusion) in two treatments of Ketamine- the therapeutic dose is 1/10th that of an anesthetic dose. And two doses is enough to see if it works. If you are struggling, give it a try. I go back every eight weeks. But, I would go back every week if I had to.

      I wish every mental health professional would spend a day at a Ketamine clinic. It is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

      Agan, thank you for the forum and the indulgence.

  84. Sarah says:

    Hi my name is Sarah. I don’t really know how to tell my parents or my therapist about my self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Only one of my friends know but, I told her that I don’t hurt myself anymore,but I do. It’s so hard keeping this a secret. I have scars but, I tell people it was from my cat. I’m scared if I tell my therapist she’ll tell my mom, because she told me she would tell my mom if I have harm to myself or someone else. The reason I self harm is because my life is so messed up I’m being rushed in on everything I don’t even feel like going to school anymore.

    • Anon Please says:

      Hey I understand, I have suicidal thoughts and self-harm as well. Friends can think they are doing the best for you by saying they will tell your parents, but in some cases (It sounds like this is your case… it is also mine) your parents knowing is actually way worse than them not. I know it all probably feels completely overwhelming, and school never helps, it just puts more and more pressure on us. Just take a deep breath, it’ll all be okay, I know it doesn’t seem that way but just thinking that sometimes helps. And it is your life, you should decide when and who you tell about your continuing self-harm. Is there any chance you can ask your therapist for doctor/patient confidentiality in that matter? Just hang in there Sarah, take a few deep breaths and one thing I’ve found that helps me is writing out what’s in my mind, even if its just random words or even if I can’t understand what I’m thinking (then i draw scribbles and/or write in caps the first thought that comes in my mind). Just wanted to put that there in case it might help you out. Sorry for a lengthy response. You can get through this.

  85. Emotionally_Drained says:

    If Adults check into a Hospital because Of suicide thoughts, can they check themselves out if they wanna leave?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It depends. If a voluntary patient isn’t a danger to themselves when they want to leave, then the medical staff typically will not intervene. However, if the person is in imminent danger of attempting suicide or harming someone else (or meets other criteria, depending on the state where one lives), then the medical staff can seek to keep them there longer.

  86. Emilie says:

    Hi there, I am 16 and have been dealing with suicidal thoughts ever since I can remember. I am WAY too afraid to ask my parents for help because my aunt recently tried to kill herself, went to a mental hospital and almost my whole family was making fun of her, saying how “people like that don’t deserve to be in society” so I don’t think I will ever be able to ask for help, I don’t want anyone (especially my family) to talk about me like that. I wanted to know, if I told a guidance counselor about my anxieties and thoughts/attempts, would they call my parents to hospitalize me? I also wanted to know, if I do get admitted to one, will I be allowed to listen to music, it is one of the only things that calms me. Thank you for reading.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I’m so sad that your family has made judgmental comments that now make you not want to ask them for help. If only they knew the harm their words do!

      To answer your questions, if you tell a guidance counselor about your suicidal thoughts/attempts, it’s very likely that they will tell your parents. I can’t say if they would recommend hospitalization, but it’s possible, depending on whether they think you are a danger to yourself. Different hospitals have different rules about access to phones, iPods, & the like, so I can’t answer that either.

      Whatever happens, I hope you get the help you want and need. Have you used the Crisis Text Line? You can text “help” (or whatever you want, really) to 741-741. Also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800.273.8255 (TALK). There are other resources, too, listed here.

      Please feel free to drop back in and let us know you’re doing.

      • Emilie says:


        Thank you for replying to my comment, that shows me that at least one person sees me and that means so much to me I can’t explain it. Good to know about the ipods/music thing, I was really wondering about that since I spend most my day listening to music. I have tried the text line, but my phone recently broke so I can no longer reach the call or text line, but I am sure that I can find another resource.

        Yes I wish I could tell them how they make me feel when they say such things about my aunt, it is not only extremely rude, but incredibly hurtful for everyone who goes through this. I am doing okay, I have recently been not able to control my emotions lately and my mom asked me if I wanted to see a therapist. I have wanted to see one for a while now but I was so scared when she asked me that I said no… I still can’t get over that, I was so close. I don’t know where this comment is going, just wanted to respond, thank you for reading and responding last time, it means a lot.

  87. I wish to stay Anonymous, age 19 says:

    I want to get help for the thoughts depression can cause, yet everyday a parent says that even saying a thought out loud like mumbling or even talking is classified by Psychology as insanity, I’m learning to drive and have a permit, yet they keep telling me that depression to a therapist is grounds for a potential experience that sounds like a prison, I’m personally looking into work like a cashier or perhaps a local store, yet my parents keep kind of forbidding it until I can get a licence, yet, to summarise their words in a way
    “You can’t get help, the DMV can deny anyone a licence for simply having depression.”
    “Cashiers never get health insurance, the only job prospects are factories and hospitals since those are like having it automatically”

    “Hospitals and factories seen more likely to hire those with a college degree in the related field or job training as work experience than anyone that two years back just graduated high school, what is one to put for a Reference, there are employers that act like putting your parents or a friend from high school in which a degree is paper or a simple card is not enough work experience to even work there”

  88. Andy says:

    I’m 14 and i struggle with suicidal thoughts. I went to a mental hospital once, when i was 12 ish, only for a few hours, but it still scared me to death. A friend of mine had to go to one too when she was 8 ish, and for something as small as her medications fucking up. She had to stay for about a week, and its traumatized her since. I wanted to go to therapy until i heard the rumor from many people that suicidal thoughts’ll get you locked up. Its a kind of funny dilemma, i think. Going to therapy could get me locked away (which the very idea scares me to death) but not going will just let me continue to be depressed and most likely end in suicide. What a stupid system.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I hope you won’t suffer alone with your suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are seldom enough to get someone hospitalized, unless the person also has the intent to act on them or otherwise appears to be in danger of dying by suicide soon. That said, though some people (like your friend) who are hospitalized are traumatized by the experience, there are others for whom hospitalization is helpful and healing. (And some people report both traumatic and helpful aspects.)

      Regardless, there are many other options for care besides hospitalization, starting with using a hotline (like 800.273.8255) or text line (741-741); to talking to a parent, school counselor, teacher, minister, or other trusted adult; to seeing a therapist who won’t rush to hospitalization. I hope you will try one or many of those options. You can find some resources here for getting help by phone, text, online chat, or email.

  89. Charlike Hasben says:

    Okay! So I’m applying to Harvard Medical School!

  90. Halie says:

    I’m 15 and i have really bad suicidal thoughts and i honestly have no idea how to help myself, i’m on antidepressants but i’m to scared to tell an adult how i feel because i know it won’t turn out well for me

  91. Not-Telling-You says:

    I’m an adult, and there are rational reasons for why suicide is an option in my life.
    Philosophers from Pliny the Elder to Hume have mused on the ethical and moral grounds for why suicide is ultimately the choice of every individual, and in some ways is even an act of empowerment. And if I really, truly chose to die, it’s not the responsibility of psychiatric medicine to tell me I can’t.

    I just started to see a counselor, and I would love to share my feelings about life and death, because I would find that liberating. But the possibility that a counselor could decide that my feelings are irrational and dangerous and try to institutionalize me means that I’ll never feel safe doing that. I understand that some people are asking for help, or find confinement helpful. But it’s also possible that a rational, intelligent adult can consider ending their life without being mentally ill. We need a serious paradigm shift in this country. I wonder, would a counselor or medical staff be liable if they didn’t commit a patient, and they went on to commit suicide? Is that part of the problem?

    I would love if mental-health practitioners just make the best case that they could for life, but the fact that they can take away my agency to choose makes the entire system creepy and terrifying to me. Better to stay quiet!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I agree about the need for a paradigm shift. The book Rational Suicide, Irrational Laws, by Susan Stefan,powerfully argues for the same. It’s quite expensive but if you’re interested, maybe you can ask your library to purchase it.

      And yes, to answer your question, a counselor or medical staff can be held liable if they don’t intervene when a suicidal person is in imminent danger of acting on their suicidal thoughts. And yes, I do believe that is part of the problem. Suicide inherently is unpredictable in most (some would say all) cases. Sometimes professionals do act negligently. Often, though, when a person dies by suicide, the professional was simply doing their job of effectively helping someone with the information that they had available to them at the time, and they couldn’t see into the future. It’s complicated!

  92. Pattie H says:

    I have to respond here, because I’ve read all the responses and unfortunately must agree with most of them that its:
    1. It’s not safe to trust anyone in the system we have in most places now, to talk openly about feelings of death, of preferring death to life, even when you have no real plans to take your own life.
    2. Not enough acknowledgment that hospitalization is often not helpful, and usually is traumatizing, leaving a person to feel worse about everything after they’ve been released.
    3. Involuntary hospitalization usually strengthens a person’s commitment to NEVER speak openly about their feelings again, in order to avoid the horror of being taken away without their consent, often by police, to be be humiliated, treated in a derogatory and threatening manner, and forced to comply, just so they can get out and learn how to avoid that system forever.

  93. Lauren Johnson says:

    All my adult admissions have been involuntary. But I have to openly say it’s saved my life on more occasions than I can count on 1 hand.
    I found that psychiatric wards are not as scary as the movies portray, in fact they are really not the same as they used to be.
    Yes you may be checked on every 15 minutes but that is for your own safety. Maybe you might even have a guard watching you while you’re in the emergency room and that can be annoying sometimes even invasive but again it’s for your own safety.
    Only on 1 occasion has my stay been traumatizing, but I have nothing bad to say about being on a ward in fact I needed to be in there.
    The doctors, staff etc are all doing their job, and your safety is their number 1 priority.
    Without my admissions, I wouldn’t be alive to write this today.

    Never be ashamed to say what you’re thinking, nothing wrong with admitting you need help, everyone at some point in their life needs help.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thank you SO much for your comment. There are so many negative stereotypes, and so much fear, about hospitalization that it’s good to hear a balancing view.

      I have no doubt that, like you, many others who were dangerous to themselves have been helped by hospitalization. I know that hospitalization isn’t always helpful. I know that hospitalization can sometimes be harmful. But I also know that some people have been saved by hospitalization.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • A Person says:

      I had been involuntarily put in a mental hospital as well, and it was what I needed. I actually felt relief once I was there. I didn’t need to worry about anything; none of the pressures of life. I am sorry if anyone had a bad experience in the hospital. It is not always bad, and it has definitely helped me.

  94. Alice says:

    So I’m only 13. Only one person I know in real life knows I self harm. No one knows how suicidal I am. I constantly think about dying to the point where I used cotton tarn to make my own rope with the hopes of hanging myself in my school washroom. I’m telling the guidance counselor of my school about everything, including my plans, and I’m probably going to be forced into the psychiatric hospital which will be just… GREAT. My main question is: am I allowed to listen to music? What could I do to listen to my music that’s allowed? I really wanna be able to get to my Spotify playlist.

  95. Anonymous says:

    You can however have the police called on you if you hang up mid-conversation while talking to someone about your mental health concerns. As I found out today.

    • Bee says:

      I texted a crisis line and the person was so rude, I got into a bit of a tiff with them via text. Next thing I know 4 police officers show up at my house and make me go to the hospital (also, they were told I may have a weapon, which was not at all the situation, but they searched my whole house and woke up my whole family. In fact, I had actually just gone to bed for about an hour when they showed up – they were hiding in the bushes, it was really all messed up). The hospital wanted to commit me (no way) and I spent all night there. It all pretty much sucked. I also feel like a total loser and would never discuss that with anyone again. The upside is that I know that I do need to get more help and my husband was super supportive, but I still think that whole thing was just wrong.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


        I’m so sorry that happened to you. It sounds like the upside was significant – you’re getting help, and your husband was supportive – but the downside is that you “would never discuss that with anyone again.” I hope you will reconsider, if the need again arises. Not everyone panics. And, in the end, even when your experience was so negative, there also were enduring positives.

        Thanks for sharing your experience.

  96. Matt says:

    I’m afraid of losing my job, or having people I work with treat me different. That sounds worse then keeping it to myself. My job is my passion, and it’s one of the few things that keeps me going.

    • Mikaela says:

      i get that, I have been on the point of breaking and worried about being readmitted and then a girl at work loses it in a big way during the day and she had to go to hospital where she remains and the talk about her was unbelievable. I don’t think I could ever come back to my job if they found out. It turns out my work community is very non-understanding of mental health.
      I also love my work and understand that aspect.

  97. Ron says:

    Been dealing with this for past twenty years. Lots has happened past month with health and expenses.
    Have deep depression and thoughts/wishes of OD.
    But it would be embarrassing to close friends.
    My General doctor would be upset caused she trusted me with medication and I would let her down.
    It’s hard for me to ask/call.
    Easier to OD first

    • Shay Augustine says:

      Don’t OD Ron! Talk to a loved one about what you’re going through. It’s extremely difficult to ask for help, but it’s worth it.

  98. Kristina says:

    Are other safe places available other then the hospitals? For people that just need a brake from all the negative that is beating them down and making them feel like they would be better off dead and try to commit suicide? Speaking for myself for this question.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hi Kristina,

      It depends where you live. Here in Colorado, where I live, there are crisis centers where people can stay overnight for a period of days. When I worked in Austin at Psychiatric Emergency Services, people could stay for a few days in an open (that is, unlocked) setting. That was years ago, though; I use it only as an example. If you’re in the U.S. and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK), they should be able to let you know about resources in your area.

      You can also check out other resources here.

      I’m wishing for the best for you!

  99. alexis says:

    how do i, as an adolescent, get to a hospital if i think i need help? ive been on and off suicidal for a bit now and im worried that soon im about to go “on” and i want to be able to be safe if it gets really bad.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It’s good that you’re aware of yourself in this way and want to keep yourself safe. You don’t say very much in your comment, so it’s not clear whether you’ve told your parents (or guardians) what’s going on with you, and whether they’re helping you. I recommend telling them if you haven’t already. As for hospitalization, you can always go to an emergency room and be evaluated, though your parents will likely need to consent to your treatment. It depends on your age and on where you live, in terms of whether your parents will be contacted, who will pay for it, etc.

      I hope you stay safe!

  100. rebekah says:

    I want to kill my self

  101. Liu says:

    What if my parents won’t take me to get help even though they already know about me self harming?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      You can get help in different ways. Tell an adult at school. Tell your doctor. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). Use the Crisis Textline by texting HOME to 741741. You can also call 911 for help. (This is all assuming you’re in the U.S. If you’re in a different country, call your local hotline or emergency services.) I list some other resources here.

      I hope you will get help!

  102. Sharon says:

    I want to kill myself

  103. Breeze says:

    Do I need to be committed?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      That’s impossible to answer here. If you’re concerned, please talk to a professional in your area, or check out the Resources page for places where you can talk with someone by phone, text, email, or online chat.

  104. Anon says:

    Yup I would rather die than have that stigma attached to me for the rest of my life. I went into the psychologist office and when she said it was confidential unless I had thoughts of killing myself or someone else, I felt as if the only person I thought would try to help me out would sell me out in an instant.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      No competent professional would break your confidentiality merely for having thoughts of killing yourself. Millions of people every year have thoughts of suicide, and hospitalization typically isn’t necessary (or even possible) unless someone is in extreme danger of acting on their suicidal thoughts within days.

      That said, if you don’t want to tell a therapist, perhaps you would benefit from using a service anonymously? I hope you will check out the Resources page for a few places, such as the Samaritans email service.

  105. Anon says:

    I found this statement to be untrue for me personally. “The reason for this is that serious suicidal intent is almost always temporary, as long as the person stays alive.”

    I’ve had suicidal thoughts and plans everyday for the past 8 months. I don’t consider that temporary. I have found hospitalization to be of no use. Another person commented about who will care for your cat and about work. I was fired from my job and the only thing the hospital does is put you in a place you can’t harm yourself. I was recently hospitalized for 2 weeks and left feeling the same as when I went in. Meds and groups with basic coping skills do nothing to tackle the severe symptoms I have from PTSD trauma. Something that is never told to people that seek out emergency psychiatric help is that often they will either be lied to or information about how long you will be in a hospital for. When I was talking to emergency services I asked the woman how long I would be stuck at the hospital for before I could go home if it was a voluntary admittance. She told me one day. That’s a lie. The state I live in they hold you for 3 days and you can’t get out. She also lied when I asked if when I got to the ER if I decided I would be ok to go home would I be able to. She said yes. That was a lie as well. Once I was at the ER they told me I was going to be held for 3 business days against my will which really meant 5 days since I went on a Thursday. This is not the first time I had experienced this kind of backhanded lying just to get me to comply and go to the ER. From this point forward I will not call emergency services when I’m having suicidal thoughts. It’s difficult enough to be not feeling well but to then have people be purposefully deceptive about your rights only makes you feel worse.

  106. Anonymous says:

    You didn’t cover all the fears of being in a mental hospital. You didn’t cover the disruption to life (Who’s going to feed the cat? Who’s going to water the plants? Will I get fired from my job?) or the sheer shame of telling people (“I KNOW they [whoever ‘they’ are] will pity me and treat me like damaged goods the rest of my life.”). So yeah, unless I can be assured of the impossible (“None of that will happen!”), I’m not going to do or say anything that might lead me to be hospitalized. I would rather die.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, it is a real disruption. The hardest hospitalization I had was while I was in college because I ended up explaining to two of my dear professors why I had to take incompletes in their classes. They were all great about it especially as this not uncommon among college students. And I had to face up to attitudes around me but so many more people felt I had shown strength for addressing my depression directly than pitied me. I came back stronger but not perfect. Over time, there were many instances where I chose not to share this information. It really doesn’t follow you all that much especially if you go in voluntarily and are not involuntarily committed. Yes, I lost a few jobs but if they couldn’t accept me, flaws and all, I didn’t need to be there. Most employers (or sometimes I dealt just with HR) were very understanding. If you need the help, you need it. Please don’t ever think “I would rather die”. That is not a viable alternative for you. . .. and any loved ones. I really do understand your fear of the stigma and shame. But that hurdle needs to be gotten over. You are worth getting help. I learned to love myself enough to get help when I needed it – it was hard but doable. And it is doable for you.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Carol, thank you for sharing. I’m certain that your words will help many people out there who view hospitalization as worse than death.

    • Christopher M Mitchell, BS says:

      There has to be a push back on items that may interfere with getting help. I have worked in a mental/behavior hospital and yes there can be issues, but I have told those I took care of, the path to positive mental health begins….now and whatever is up the way, can be pushed aside. WE NEED YOU ALIVE AND WELL, so that you can help others down the road. Understand there is only is much a doctor can do. Stay well

    • Anonymous says:

      Same here, i’m never going back. especially where i live, the conditions and treatment are horrible. I am under the care of a psychiatrist, whom has me on medication that is extremely physically addicting…i have been in three different “hospitals” and every time i got there, all they said was “you shouldn’t be on that” after just reading my medication info..I hate the friggin meds, but i am better off in ways on them, and my doctor of 5 years seems to deem them necessary knowing me for 5 years now, not 5 minutes like the admin docs. I’ve witnessed more horrible atrocities inside of a mental hospital than i can even list here, but the worst was witnessing a patient that i came to bond with bc i gave him my shirt bc he was freezing in the paper thin scrubs they give you, actually die. they messed up his insulin and he told me about it the night before he died, and he complained and they weren’t a bit concerned about his major rise in his insulin and that night he died in the shirt that i gave him. he was a good person, committed for a bs reason, and the standard of care inside SOME, down here MOST of these places is down right atrocious and scary. I have Never been helped from any of the 3 times i have been in these hell holes, all they do is put you on a med regiment that they deem fit, and all that meant for me was being taken off of a medication that you can die from, if not taken off properly; so they decided to cold turkey me off, with a “detox” med that just had me in so much agony that i would literally rather die then go back and experience the hell of what that can be if not done properly. i spent every second in there terrified, esp after that man died from their mess up, and in severe unnecessary withdrawal that had me literally almost dying. i weighed friggin 125 lbs and had a systolic blood pressure of 210 (WHILE ON BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION) i could not take my hands off my chest for three days straight because of the chest pain.three days of which i never even slept bc it was impossible..and all that is just part of the experience. oh yea, most of the people that work there should not me in any sort of medical field. They gave one girl someone’s else’s meds by mistake, and the lady who was supposed to get them was about 3 times her size, and she could’t even stand and had to go to a separate hospital to have her stomach pumped. They might not have the right to involuntary give you electric shock therapy anymore, but they have a ton of just about any other right to do whatever they want. Seriously, This state is horrible in most things, i’m sure there are better hospitals/institutions out there that are far better and are actually helpful, and it might just change your life for the better, just be aware once you are there, YOU ARE THEIRS..life is tough, if you are looking for a cry for help, DO NOT do something stupid to land yourself in one of these places. If you are truly “suicidal” to the point that it’s just a matter of time, and it’s close but deep down you truly want to live, this environment WILL be the safest place for you, and possibly the best. just do not expect the holiday inn.

  107. Carol says:

    Yes, I am bipolar and have faced this issue many times since I started having problems in my 20’s. Now at 62, I have been both hospitalized for extreme suicidal thoughts and plans and avoided hospitalization at lesser times. It is not a horrible thing to be hospitalized if it is a good hospital. There is almost a sense of relief after a few days that you can’t take action. I have been with the same doctor for over thirty years and I trust his judgement as to whether I need to go in or if we can work it out in therapy.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Carol. So many people share their negative experiences or fears of hospitalization, but I know there are positive experiences out there, too. Your words will help someone who is frightened and needs help.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Being locked up is not good for anyone at any time. If it is, let me take away your freedom for a few days!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Although I encourage hospitalization only as an absolute last resort, there are people for whom being in a secured environment is helpful. It might even save their life. There are definitely negative experiences and things to watch out for, but I’ve talked with many people who are grateful that they were kept safe when they wanted to die by suicide.

  109. Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

    I’ve received a lot of requests to re-open the comments for this and other posts on the site. It has been a rich and lively, if at times challenging, conversation. May it continue!

  110. Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

    I’m sorry, folks, the time has come for me to shut down the comments for this post. Thank you to all who shared your thoughts here. I appreciate your having shared your very personal and painful stories. It’s unfair how much suffering there is in the world, and I hope that life does get better for each of you.

    If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). You can also find many resources for other places to call, text, or email for help on the Resources page of this site, at speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp. Thank you.

  111. Anonymous says:

    Hi.. Im 19 years old, i am in the marine corps, ive had a pretty long past of being depressed yes even before the military. I have suicidal thoughts every day as sad as that sounds. But i tell myself not to but as time keeps dragging on it seems harder for me to ignore the thoughts im getting to the point where these thoughts might become a reality for me. I self harmed my self 2 days ago and god i feel so ashamed because im supposed to not be like this due to being in the military but i know i need to reach out and tell a chaplain or a nco or someone but im way to scared to go talk to someone about this i had second thoughts on typing this even. I have bad anxiety talking to people im honestly surprised ive made it this far in the military without anyone catching on.. I know i need to man up and tell someone but i guess this helped me get myself prepared for whoever i need to talk to. Ive never had a therapist or any of that before let alone talk to anyone about my depression to anyone before.

    • WE says:

      The strongest, the most brave thing you can do as a man, as a soldier, is to accept that you need help and ask for help. You have to be strong for you, so that you can be strong for your family. Please talk to a chaplain. You were very brave to post on this website. Continue to be strong and ask for help. With the love and respect of a civilian who understands exactly how you feel — Semper Fi.

  112. Ozzie says:

    I’m 15 and from the UK. I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety by CAMHS (Child & Adolsecent Mental Health Service) early 2016. I stopped seeing them in May of 2016.

    Since then I have attempted suicide 3 times and begun self harming again. Recently I’ve gotten worse to the point I had to cling onto my bed to stop myself from jumping out my window.. I self harmed two days ago, and I constantly feel suicidal and anxious.. and I don’t think I can keep myself safe much longer… sometimes I have ‘episodes’ where I involuntarily curl up and I start shaking and grabbing my hair and scratching my arms..

    I know I need help and I want help.. if I told my doctor, what would happen? Do you think I’ll be sectioned? I really just want help at this point..

    I’m also worried that they’d take my music away from me, music being the only thing that keeps me calm and ‘sane’…

    • Clare says:

      Hi Ozzie – sorry to hear you have been feeling so bad. I am from the UK – no I don’t think you will be sectioned but I do think you need to go back to your doctor and tell them how you feel. Were you discharged from CAMHS? I have also been referred several times to mental health services with suicidal thoughts and been close to ending my life several times (but never taken that final step).It has taken me ages to get anywhere with CMHS (but hoping I get their help now) and even went to A&E but never admitted. Hope you get the help you need. Take care

    • Shaun H says:

      Hi Ozzie. My advice to you is this. You do not want to be sectioned and you said music was so important to you preserving what little sanity is left. Places like mental institutions may force you to surrender all personal items. Mental institutions are grim colourless places and once in there you may have no control over when you are released. I want you to keep your liberty. So this is what I would do and what you should do. Get regular ongoing psychotherapy about the depression and anxiety- CBT is a good one. Just say ‘sometimes I have thoughts about killing myself’. i myself have confessed suicidal ideation to doctors before but as it was only passive (not with a view to being carried out immediately/quickly) hospitalisation is never done in that case. Only if you’re like, “I’m gonna commit suicide tomorrow, on wednesday etc.”

      I’m working through a workbook called ” Dialectal Behavioural Therapy Skills Workbook”., its a type of CBT used by psychologists, which is really good for suicidal ideation. I really recommend you get this book, as you are 15 you’ll have to go to a Waterstones to order it. Or if you parents are fully aware of your present condition, get them to buy it for you. Mention you’ve had some suicidal ideation, but not to the level you’ve described here. I also get the involuntarily curl up, shaking, scratching my arms and grabbing my hair episodes, usually progressing to full out punching myself repetitively at full strength in the head. That’s how I self harm, rather than with sharp objects.

      I try and remind myself too, that life is pretty shitty. There’s no point to it. There’s loads of suffering. And not to expect life to be pleasant. We have too high expectations for life. And life for us people with anxiety is 95 percent of the time gonna be shitty. I also have a daily chronic pain condition-continuous headaches. But it’s still better than being dead and not existing. As there are still bits of happiness and euphoria to be had e.g. sex, love and drugs-when you’re a bit older lol . So please please last out so you can experience these scraps of human happiness a few times at least. I was gonna kill myself a month ago, but managed to hold on, and ended up having a very special night with a special someone, so its worth holding on so we can have these very occasional happy experiences.

    • Ozzie says:

      I wasn’t discharged, they told my mum she wasn’t mentally stable to look after me so my mum told them I was fine and didn’t need any more help..

      She now pretends I don’t have any mental illnesses and yells at me whenever I feel low

    • Anonymous says:

      they won’t take your music away.

  113. Adam E says:

    On December 2nd, 2016 I went to the VA outpatient clinic in Knoxville, TN for a follow up on a sprained ankle. My Primary care manager never asked about my ankle but went straight into questions about my depression and PTSD. This immediately puts me in a heightened awareness mode and she recognizes this and continues further with questions if I want to harm myself. I answer “no” to all questions about harming myself or anyone else. I also answer questions about my past suicidal attempts, which happened nearly seven years ago and at a very low point in my life. She then suggests that I speak with a social worker and that she would find someone available right then. The social worker also asks if I had plans of harming myself and I answer “no”. She suggested therapy and medication as possible solutions to help. She asks more questions about my PTSD and now I feel that she is trying to commit me and I start showing signs of mental degradation. I have been committed before , and with warrant the first time, but this time I didn’t feel it warranted. I fear being committed more than any of my PTSD fears . She then asks me “what would make you better then?” I answered “death” because I know for a fact that my afflictions have no cure. She, without question about my answer, has me committed. I never meant for that answer to suggest that I would actually harm myself. I then get paraded through the VA facility by police escort and taken by ambulance to Parkwest Medical . The next 15-16 hours I am put in solitary confinement at Parkwest Medical. I also answered questions about the want to harm myself or others and my answer was still “no”. Medical records state that I refused two meal trays, but I was never offered a food tray nor water for my entire stay at Parkwest. I am then transported in the back of a police car, handcuffed, to VA Mountain Home in Johnson City, TN two hours away. I spend the next days convincing nurses, chaplains, and doctors that what I said was a misunderstanding and I never had the intent of harming myself or any other. I was discharged on December 6th. It was an awful experience, I found no relief with their method of treatment, and I now fear to ever seek treatment from the Veterans Administration again. I also know that I am not the only veteran that gets treated this way and I would want nothing more than for that to end.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would never happen like that in the uk. However, if you are wanting to avoid admission it is important not to make any statement that could be interpreted as indicating suicidal intent. So your comment about death, whilst being a throwaway joke by you, has landed you as an inpatient.
      In some places and at sometimes jokes about death, bombs and terrorists will backfire!

  114. Katie says:

    I hear voices in my head, constantly telling me to let go. I’ve tried numerous times but haven’t got to where I want to be. I fear that one day, depression will kill me. Day in, day out I struggle to find the time to think about anything else but suicidal thoughts. I feel like I’m drowning but not being able to die. I always chose to take the “easy way out”. No mental hospital for me. I don’t want to be locked away like a bird in a cage and never see the light of day & that is why I keep it to myself. I need help, but I don’t know where to start.

    • Tom says:

      I work in a mental hospital. They are not as bad as you think. If you are having those types of thoughts then medical personnel can help you. There is no need to live your life suffering needlessly when help is available. I promise you there is nothing to fear at a mental institution, the patients at my hospital have so much freedom that most of the time you can’t tell they are admitted there. I hope this helps and I hope you reach out and talk to someone. Best of luck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I find counting your reasons for living when you wake up helps. Your family, friends, future plans and dreams, ect. things you care about.

  115. anon44 says:

    I’ve actually just gotten back from a preliminary therapy session…

    I admitted to the suicidal thoughts, but denied any plans or intent to act on them… she understood my pain and didn’t try to admit me, instead recommending I call the Samaritans, or the place itself if I was going to do it.

    I admitted desiring revenge, but hadn’t hurt anyone in the past, and wasn’t going to… she understood this was a normal reaction to emotional abuse, and didn’t try to admit me.

    I told her about my drug use, but denied being addicted and needing help with it… she understood that people use these for recreation and to cope, and didn’t try to admit me. She also didn’t force meds onto me either.

    Basically, just deny plans or intent to act on suicide or revenge thoughts, and deny needing help with your recreational drug use, and you are good! Of course it might differ between places, which is why you should ask them what would happen *if* you admitted to plans, but generally speaking I don’t think they will admit you for these things alone.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thank you for sharing your positive experience. There are so many negative experiences described on this site that I appreciate your balancing, realistic, and very wise view.

  116. Meg says:

    I’m nervous bc I’ve had suicidal thoughts before and I’ve tried to kill myself and tomorrow i’m going to tell me therapist. I’m scared she will send me to a mental hospital. Anyone have any advice???

    • Shelby M says:

      Don’t worry hunny everything will be fine I’ve got scars from cutting and pill cases under my head I told my therapist and they talked me through it without going to an institution

    • lawrence says:

      my comment is, wait just wait yes someone will talk you down and if you are younger like 40 or younger you have time to start over move away or learn a skill

    • Carol says:

      Better to tell by far. Might get a change of medications (or start you on some if you currently don’t take anything). My doctor will then have me sign a no-harm contract good for however long I am willing to commit to. Hopefully 2 weeks as a medication change usually takes that long to kick in.Sometimes I can only white-knuckle it for a day and we go day by day until I can do some better. As a long-time patient of his, I have a permanent contract that I will talk to him face-to-face (no phone messages) before I take any action. Between the two of us, a decision will be made. I have had quite a few hospitalizations personally but afterwards knew they had been called for. I understand you are in a deep dark hole and are scared. I hope you have a good therapist to guide you through this.

  117. Jimmy says:

    Be very careful what you say. I was in the hospital for a drug overdose because I was trying to get high and I took too much. They wrongly assumed it was attempted suicide and put me in a mental ward with a bunch of really scary and insane people. It was the worst experience of my life. They gave me drugs, anti-psychotics and antidepressants, that made me develop akathisia, which made me feel really sick. I will never go back there.

  118. Anonymous says:

    I tried 5 times to take my life.I was lucky to find a good therapist who helped me pull through…A week ago I was intending to do it but I left my place and tried to run to my sisters house,when I get to the train station I went back to my place and do yoga and heavy exercises.it did help but the suicidal thought lasted for 2 full days….

    • Callum says:

      Wow . This comment is so like me . It’s like a surge of energy to run somewhere out of harm and and for a split second your mind obviously cried out for your sister for comfort and that was probably the clearest thought you have had to date ?? I know when I get like that to the point I’m self destructive there is only a small gap in my thought process that makes sense and isn’t harmful. I’m a 25 year old man from the UK. I have been a carer for my mother who has complex mental health issues since I was 13 . I got kicked out . Made homeless . Got a flat . Junkies living round me and I met a woman who knew my problems she bought a house for us both where I am trying to get better . But every time I feel like I’m getting better something burns me out and I feel like just crawling in a ditch. I don’t feel like I have a place in this world and to be honest the amount of war crime and general fucking horrible people that live on the planet I don’t feel like I even want to be here . Everything seems to be bad for me . I feel low as I’m typing this.

  119. kim c says:

    this crazy because i may not act in it just a lot of talk and no nearve too but often try to find the nerve. i don’t tell my dr. b/c friends thinks i am crazy talking and always told what would they do without me at this point i do not care

    • G says:

      I don’t know you. I don’t know your reason but please don’t give up. Things can and will improve to a point that you will be glad you made the right choice which is to survive and keep going

    • Callum says:

      Please don’t . If I could I would give you a huge hug

  120. Lorcos says:

    What can I do if I’ve been section 35ed after an attempt instead of receiving real help. My family lied and said I was an addict when I never ever ever abused medication. It was a failed attempt one time. So I was committed for a month to a locked facility with prostitutes , junkies and criminals all while I was depressed and suicidal. I was actually arrested at the HOSPITAL I was in on a 72 hour hold because the other hospital I was in for no related incident ( gall bladder removal) thought I was depressed enough to be evaluated. Never in my life did I use medicine….now I’m labeled an addict and I’m still so depressed I often think about suicide. It was the most dreadful experience in my life. All this from a bad divorce. Now I have to live with my mother and she is in total control of me or she will kick me out. She said if I try to get medication for my anxiety she will section me again. To be sectioned they just take the word of the accuser….there needs no evidence at all. And my mother is a nurse in a psychiatric center so she knows exactly how to section someone. I still am traumatized for being taken from a hospital that could help cuffed by police and locked up with prostitutes and addicts. I need help…please anyone. Thanks

    • mo says:

      Dear Lorrain I am truly sorry for what you have suffered and you are right it just takes the word of one person. I think the first recourse is to get yourself far say as possible from those people , the psycs cause more damage than good and try and focus on getting yourself better as if you seek their help they will only experiment on you. It is very difficult to challenge the psycs I have tried all recourses go in their favour and the lasting damage they do is immeasurable. Choy sawal is the name of a charity organisation run by Sandra Berwick that offers support as her son has lost much of his life. Just cut your losses and look forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so sorry you are experiencing this. I have no idea what you can do. But just sending you my love and hopes it gets better.
      I also had abusive parents who tried to totally control. it wasn’t as bad as your situation. But i know to some extent how it feels

    • EmpatheticKat says:

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. Know that you are not alone and others feel your pain. If we could all come together and live in a house together and just support each other and talk and laugh and love, that would be truly a gift from above. Families suck so badly, and I know that’s an understatement. I know a nurse practitioner that makes a lot of money and so she has to know what she’s doing right? But when she comes home and her kids ask what is this what is that I’m feeling sick I’m not feeling right she just says that they are fine and to not worry. But what if something wasn’t right and they died?? Her son has attempted suicide quite a few times, about 5 I think. He feels very alone because she really doesn’t put much concern into his troubles. He is my best friend . I have attempted suicide once and my mom committed suicide 9 months later. About a year and a half ago. She had attempted many times in her short 51 years of life. I miss her so much and that is what has brought me here today. I’m not doing too hot. But I haven’t given up hope and that is one of the reasons I look up things on the internet about what to do and how to handle life without her. Thank God I was directed to this page because now I have a purpose, it is to help you, if I can even lend any word of advice that is of help to you . God Bless you. I so understand your pain. Even though I haven’t been in your situation. In a way, I have. My dad has never been supportive and though when I attempted he did not get angry, he just forgot about it. My mom kinda did too, though for her I think she was more traumatized and felt it was her fault, my dad just likes to sweep shit under the rug. I went to therapy for a couple weeks after that (in 2014) and just stopped going. My suicidal tendencies wore off within the next 2 months, from not so much help from anyone really. I felt crazy, no one wanted to talk about it, or so it seemed, I just kind of tried to forget about it too. I suggest getting out there in your community and trying to find a volunteering program or a paying job that will take a young person like us to help people that are suicidal. Especially since we have been through it before we are really people who can understand and definitely help, regardless of how young we are. A lot of people that work in this field are not even qualified. They do a lot of book reading and tests and clinical studies but they may not have personally dealt with the issue. As you know, suicide is different for everyone but I sincerely believe that we can make a significant difference just coming from the same place. More than we could even know. I love you! Know that there is hope! And come here for times when you are feeling in need. I understand, we all do. We all do. We want you to FIGHT for you! You really deserve it! You deserve to live ! And God gave us this life to live it ! Families just simply, DO NOT UNDERSTAND sometimes, and I’m so sorry for that. But know that others are feeling your pain as well, and its people like us that need to go out there and help them! Then we will surely find our purpose. Love, peace, empathy, Kat.

  121. J says:

    From my experience, being hospitalized was only harmful. I was ignored, criticized, mocked, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and given drugs I did not want. I was not allowed to talk to MY Psychiatrist who worked in the same building when things were not going well and I wanted to check myself out (I admitted myself voluntarily). I was shamed and treated poorly by staff, despite calmly and clearly asking them to keep me informed on policies and plans to help minimize my anxiety about being there and missing work. I have had the police called on me for telling a new therapist (outpatient) I have suicidal thoughts, even after clearly telling her I will not harm myself that day. I have suicidal thoughts almost everyday, often multiple times a day. No matter how I explained myself, she kept threatening to have me put in against my will. MH in-patient treatment from my perspective is only helpful for people who need a medication adjustment and have great advocates.

  122. Anonymous says:

    same life is pointless

  123. anon says:

    If I mentioned that I have a drinking problem, and both suicidal and homicidal ideation – without intent – would there be any chance I would be admitted?

    Where I live – in Northern UK – the hospitals around here look like trash, and are very poorly reviewed. There is no chance whatsoever I’ll ever go to one of those places, in fact a lot of my homicidal/suicidal ideation centers around being hurt and humiliated by others in the past, so clearly if I go there and face more abuse, I’m just going to want to go through with (both) of them even more! A private one would be better, but to be quite honest I don’t want to go to any mental hospital regardless.

    I want to bring this up with her for two reasons: 1. so I can vent about others, and 2. so she can actually help me with my past resentments and self-loathing. The key here is that, just because someone is being nice doesn’t mean they’re trustworthy, so how can I tell? I can just imagine her dropping the friendly persona and suddenly saying something like “by law we have to admit you, you’re a danger to yourself and others”, then I’d be screwed… why risk it?

    Last night was bad, but I knew I couldn’t go through with it because I knew I’d regret it in the moment. Besides what would my family/friends think of me? I still have some life left in me so I’m telling myself that I can press on, but the thoughts are getting worse and I have no ‘coping mechanisms’ left. As I say, I really want to bring it up so we can work on it, but I fear she will overreact.

    Bit of a rant; would appreciate a reply.

    • Brian says:


      I imagine you sound self-aware even though suicidal which I imagine is kind of rare. This is a compliment to be clear. Have you tried mindfulness meditation as a tool to help? Rather than identifying with your thoughts, noticing them? I think meditation can help but I imagine you’ll need to do it a lot and consistently. And remind yourself there’s no real way to do it wrong besides not doing it.

    • Lorcos says:

      There are guidelines Drs have to abide by and they try very hard to avoid hospitalizing someone. Please do not be ashamed of the drinking problem, that usually goes hand and hand with depression and anxiety as a person’s need to self medicate. I know that when a Dr. believes that you meet three crucial criteria before the will section 12 you and they are 1. Do you have an immediate intent or plan to harm yourself. 2. Is the patient without any outside support ( family , friends ) and 3. Do they believe you are incapable of making a rational decision due to a medical condition. It does not sound like you meet those at all so most likely the Dr would treat you on a closely evaluated outpatient treatment. Things have changed over the past ten years since insurance companies are demanding more evidence of imminent danger so that hospitals no longer have the option to keep patients as long as they know the insurance will pay, then of course when insurance ran out you were remarkably cured. Talk openly with your Dr. so you can get the best help, holding back info for fear of hospitalization will never get you the right help. God bless and hope that helped. Depression etc is just so debilitating and hard for others to understand.

  124. Adam says:

    I feel like crushing up sleeping pills and drinking hard liquor. My sleep is effed up due to bed bugs. I have lost my possessions and my sanity. I want to die I’m not sure I want to go to a mental hospital and get out in a few days. Only to have to return to a home I no longer want to be in. I don’t want to stay in a hotel. Or be homeless or in jail. I don’t believe I’m real anymore. Things seem so unreal and I want my suffering to end now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Adam get some food-grade Diatomaceous Earth and follow this guide.


      I used to have this cat-flea problem for months at length, which was tricky to get rid of given that I felt really down over the whole thing and couldn’t bring myself to initiate action. The rest of the household thought I was making it up and had an “overactive imagination” given that I was the only one getting bitten (and had the welts to prove it). I had to sleep on a campbed in the opposite room for a while — when one day I got mad and I had enough; I sprayed my room (after I had moved all the heavy furniture out of the way), and applied spot-on to the cats, and eventually I got rid of them. Point being, you can fix a bug issue on your own.

      As for the loss of your possessions, what happened exactly?

    • donna says:

      Adam I just read your post and my heart goes out to you.I don’t know how old you are but if you are under 18 and your parents can’t or won’t help you then go to an emergency and tell them your situation .They can recommend agencies that can help.If you have a trusted family member (aunt or uncle) ask them for help.I pray you get the help you need.You have a future and things will get better ! Its a temporary problem. God bless my friend

    • Aman says:

      its okay it all happens for a reason

  125. Anonymous says:

    ‘m 14 and i have suicidal thoughts all day too, some days worse than others and its really hard to deal with i see a phsychiatrist each week but i don’t think she understands how badly i feel, like sometimes i sit there and plan out a sernario in my head of how easy it would be to kill myself using only the objects and items around me, each day i probably plan to commit suicide over 10 times and at the end of the day i always wish one of them were really and it really happened, i;m surprised i haven’t given into these thoughts yet because they never stop. I’m scared to tell someone how i truly feel inside though. In the morning i try to hard to find a reason to get up, i used to tell myself that my life was like a book and i had to get up each morning to see what the next page (day) had in store but i can’t do that any more as everyday just seems to get worse…i don’t want to hurt my friends and family but if they knew how i felt and knew what it was like to be me even just for one day i’m sure they’d understand. I just want to feel something other than this numbing feeling, i sometimes cut my thighs although i try not to, i’m not exactly sure how much longer i can go on living like this beacuse if this is how my life is going to be i don’t want it no more

    • Vanessa kelly says:

      You sound very depressed but suicide is not the answer. You can get treatment for the depression. You need to find a medication that will help you and tell your doctor how you are feeling. You don’t have to feel like this for the rest of your life. I’ve had depression for twenty years and been on meds and lead a happy and normal life since being medicated. Hang in there and know that you are not alone.

  126. Dave says:

    I have been unlucky enough to be the guest of two different psychiatric hospitals. In addition, I have worked in nine psychiatric hospitals in a professional capacity. Most people, even professional psychiatrists, have a rather naive view of what happens in a mental hospital. Private psychiatrists who spend most of their time treating private patients for depression and anxiety may have very little experience with a real psychiatric hospital. Ordinary people may get their views of psychiatric hospitals from books and movies, such as the extremely optimistic “Girl, Interrupted,” during which a forced psychiatric patient rediscovers her joy in life while receiving a great deal of individual therapy and developing relationships with other inmates.

    The reality of the psychiatric hospital is, unfortunately, much bleaker than even popular culture would lead us to believe. The hospital is a good place for low-functioning people with thought disorders or severe personality disorders to get stabilized on their meds. The hospital is no place for a high-functioning depressive.

    What could you expect if you were involuntarily hospitalized? First, don’t expect for there to be people like you around. Most people involuntarily hospitalized are the aforementioned low functioning folks with thought disorders (like schizophrenia) and severe personality disorders (like borderline personality disorder). “Low functioning” means that these people will mostly have a hard time engaging in normal activities of daily living, like washing themselves, feeding themselves, and having a conversation. You will share a room with one or more of these people.

    You won’t get individual therapy (one-on-one talk therapy). It’s too expensive, and not very effective for the hospital’s normal clientele, those low functioning folks with thought disorders. The usual plan for low functioning people with thought disorders is to “stabilize them on meds” – they come in psychotic, they are given antipsychotic medication for a while, and their psychosis disappears. (Medication may be forced in most states. Some states require a hearing before forced medication may happen; these are generally rubber-stamp proceedings.) This process has a very high success rate for low functioning people with thought disorders; individual therapy is not seen as effective or necessary.

    Generally, hospitals try to apply the stabilize-on-meds approach to high functioning depressives, with mixed results. As mentioned above, individual therapy is not available. Instead, expect mandatory “group therapy.” Group therapy, in a private, outpatient setting, is often interesting and productive, given a group of intelligent, high-functioning, thoughtful people. You will not find that in a hospital. Instead, you will find yourself in group therapy with that same group of low functioning people with thought disorders that you’ve been rooming with and eating with and smoking with during your stay. Often, group therapy takes the form of practicing activities of daily living – say, writing a letter, or washing oneself. This would be very helpful for a low functioning person with a thought disorder; it is humiliating and harmful for a high functioning depressive.

    You may meet with a doctor once or twice during your stay. The doctor does not want to talk to you. The doctor wants to know if you are tolerating your meds, and if you have figured out how to answer questions about your suicidal intent correctly, so that you may be released. Most suicidal high functioning depressives quickly figure this out, and answer that they feel much better, that the meds are working fine, and that they have no further suicidal ideation.

    The stabilize-on-meds approach for depressed patients is especially ridiculous, given that anti-depressant medications don’t work any better than placebos. Given that the hospital doesn’t help the high functioning depressive, except to medicate him or her, the purpose of the hospital in this context becomes clear: it is a prison. Hospitalization doesn’t help people become non-suicidal. It merely teaches the high functioning depressive to make sure he or she succeeds the next time he or she attempts suicide. And never to be honest with a doctor again about suicidal ideation.

    • The Grey says:

      @Dave – your comment was so informative and constructive that I sent it to a friend. Your comment also echos my experience as having spent a week in a psychiatric hospital. On day one I realized that this was not the place that would give me what I needed to embrace life again. Instead it was depressing. Drug addicts, schizophrenics and one high functioning woman who told me she was there just to get away from her husband and family for a week. She said she self commits herself once a year (almost as if it was a vacation). I got a good chuckle out of her despite my crisis condition. I shared a room with two other males and we were required to attend the group sessions as you mentioned. In short, it did not help my depressing nor my dreadful outlook on life. As you said, the only thing I learned was to use a more effective method if/when I ever found myself in a mental abyss.

    • Dave says:

      Nicely put. I echo your description. As a doctor admitted for suicidal ideation, the admission made me worse, the medication doesn’t help and I’m left trying to find a way forward, Noe after 3 years of this and my world unraveling around me, I’m left each day thinking ‘will it be today’. I know I am master of my destiny and don’t want to die but living like this is so difficult .

    • Kathleen says:

      Exactly! I have been to two and they just make life much worse

    • Mary says:

      This is 100% accurate. I will die before another such hospitalization. The staff gets paid to do NOTHING and a typical visit with your psychiatrist will be 3-4 minutes ( though they tell your insurance it’s 50 minutes).

  127. Goshikku says:

    I’m 23 years old and let me tell you I have been in and out of psych wards virtually my whole life last time was 18 medications work for awhile but eventually stops therapy sessions were a joke they didn’t get to the root or try to understand anything or at least where I was sent to didn’t just shove pills down your throat then they would just tell you what’s wrong with you but still sad to say I would rather live in one than the outside world I supposedly have bi polar ADHD major depression disorder slight schizophrenic episodes and a split or multiple personality disorder I have suicidal thoughts and tendencies everyday 20 different ways of doing it and all the shit I need on top of that I have homicidal thoughts so in my case what should I do Im ready to go at anytime my life sucks Im stuck in a relationship I don’t really want to be in can’t leave have no job no money barely hanging on to the residence i stay at but that’s about to be gone yeah get a job can change that but when you apply for places everyday do follow up calls hoping to get a new job and nothing more happens what the fuck do you keep trying no I’m beyond that holding on by thread and the pendulum keeps coming closer and closer….

    • Angela E says:

      Sounds like you got a shitty doc. I’ve been in and out of those wards to. 1st few pretty much gave the same diagnosis to me till I got lucky and found my last therapist. I will say it is hard to find someone to listen especially when you are broke. I went through so many doctors so many therapists just because I was so desperate to end my life. I refused treatments when I was in the wards cause I wasn’t about to be another zombie hell I might as well be dead then right? That last time I had enough. But I got referred to bridgeway in GA so I thought yeah one more laugh at this ass hole before i go won’t hurt hell it was free. I went in and the put me in some BS groups. Then I got pulled back to talk to my assigned therapists. I was already to hear the massive med doses so I already shut her out. Though she then asked what all I was going through, I snapped at her with the”oh nothing big I’m just another crazy so don’t bother I’ve heard it all so wtf is your base route of your view of my diagnosis?!” Well instead of just ignoring me and telling me to leave or sending me to another fucking ward she looked at me and said. “You have been through a lot and I’ll wait here with you until you are willing to talk to me give me a second please while I cancel my other appointments.” She ended up diagnosing me with bipolar depression and anxiety. No add BS no multiple personality shit. A real diagnosis and she didn’t stop there she put me in a proper support group and even went as far as coming to my house when I totaled my car. I’m in Fl and pissed cause I don’t have that help anymore and pretty much going to have to work my ass off to get someone that was half as good as her. But knowing I found her gives me some hope I can maybe find someone that cared as much as she did.

  128. no, your therapist is there to talk you out of suicide.

  129. Joe Waters says:

    If you admit, in any way, you are suicidal, you will be locked away. No questions asked. The doctor does not want the liability of you maybe hurting yourself, so to protect their medical license, they involuntary commit you as a ward (prisoner) of the State. Most asylums do not look like these pretty pictures. Involuntary commitment is an entire industry that requires the cops and doctors to commit so many people a day/week/year so the “mental health” corporation can make more $$$. Also, the fact you can “just leave: whenever you want is a myth. You leave when the State decides you can. Once you are in the system, you belong to the State. Sorry about the reality, but you have a right to know.

  130. I don't see the point says:

    I dont want to live if it means I have to live with myself

  131. adquidorator says:

    Well, if I may give my input, I think I have an idea that would be the best compromise for those who oppose and advocate involuntary psychiatric commitment. The number one dilemma is that involuntary commitment violates the right of a patient to refuse treatment. where even a person with a disease that is easily treatable yet fatal if untreated can still refuse treatment while people who are at risk of suicide are coerced (yes involuntary commitment may save some lives, but you could argue [correctly] that if we coerced treatment for all diseases the mortality rate from all would drop, but it’s still a violation of medical ethics). Well lets look at the three main reasons that people are committed: they are a threat to themselves, a threat to others or they are unable to take care of themselves. Well I would support involuntarily committing someone who is a threat to others. You see contrary to an argument commonly used, psychiatrists aren’t the only doctors who can have people detained against their will in the hospital; if someone has a deadly contagious pathogen, an epidemiologist can have them quarantined (forcibly detained) in the hospital for risk that if they were left out, they would spread the disease as a public safety matter. But what if they are a threat to themselves or unable to take care of themselves? And if so why are they denied the right to refuse treatment? Well a commonly refused argument is that those people are in a mentally compromised state and you can’t be held accountable for your actions in that condition. But then, if someone got drunk, tried to drive home and hit and injured/killed someone they would punished to the fullest extent of the law. Certainly while intoxicated they were in a “mentally compromised state” so why are they held accountable? Because they willingly put themselves in that state to begin with. So what I would suggest is having a waiver system, where when someone begins seeing a mental health expert, they sign a waiver that would give or wavier the right of the expert to commit them should they become suicidal or be unable to care for themselves. Now I know what you’re thinking, won’t everyone just say that the mental expert can’t send them should they be suicidal or mentally incapacitated? Well no, because there are people who can feel themselves going into state where their capacity to make decisions is impaired and fear that their mental illness will cause them to harm themselves or others so they voluntarily call 9-11 and ask to go to the psych ward. Similarly there are people who know their disease could cause them to go psychotic and kill themselves and don’t want that to happen and so would allow their therapist to send them to the psych ward as a quasi-voluntary patient. So while the individual may have been mentally compromised when they killed themselves (if they didn’t allow their therapist to commit them), they still would have been of sound mind when they signed the agreement. Now that’s a win win and people would be able to be open as they want with their therapist without the fear of being committed

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      This is an excellent idea and is partly taking hold in the form of psychiatric advance directives. I say *partly* taking hold, because a psychiatric advance directive does not prevent involuntary commitment, but it does enable the person to specify when they are mentally competent what treatments they consent to in case they are not. You can read more at the National Resource Center for Psychiatric Advance Directives.

    • Randy Krause says:

      I’m curious, parents who smoke at home are endangering their own lives and the lives of their children. Why are they not involuntarily committed? Nicotine addiction clearly impairs their ability to think rationally, and their reckless behavior threatens their own safety and the safety of others. Yet they are free to continue to harm themselves and to harm their children? That seems like a remarkable double standard. Any ideas?

    • adquidorator says:

      Thanks for the info. Also a further point that I would like to clarify is that if the person isn’t seeing a mental health professional what happens then? I think that if someone is psychotic/out of touch with reality then I think that they should but if they are still in touch with reality but suicidal I think that they should be taken to the ER to be stabilized against their will but not committed to a psych ward.

      This is a very difficult topic for me to approach because I was committed as a teenager when I had no actual suicidal/homicidal idealation so I was dead set against any involuntary commitment for so long because of what happened to me. When I was a teenager me and my parents fought allot and one time I got really “mad” and we had a big fight (Aspergers meltdown) and he called the police and I was taken to the ER and discharged. We later had an argument and threatened suicide (for manipulative reasons) and he sent me to the ER again and I was sent to a psych ward. But seeing as how I wasn’t actually suicidal it didn’t do any good it just made me resentful towards my parents and I left with no diagnosis. But worse at times when I actually became suicidal I didn’t seek help even though I assembled the means to take my life but I backed out each time. But lately the memories came back like a tidal wave and gave me suicidal thoughts even though I just got out of a low point in my life. I started seeing the psychiatrist I saw as a Teenager to talk about my feelings (although I brought a brought a bottle of poison chemicals in case he tried to send e to the hospital) and told him about what happened that night I was sent to the mental hospital and he said that had the details of what happened had been revealed to the social worker, it would have been a no brainier that those threats were meant to be manipulative. Furthermore, I remember my dad laid out a set of conditions that had to do with my behavior that I had to agree to (that didn’t have any relevance to whether or not I was a danger to myself or others) so I really have to assume he used the hospital to be coercive (although to his credit I think he now realizes that that was the wrong course of action to take). But even though (obviously) my experience was bad and counterproductive, I’ve met people who even though they were admitted involuntarily and terrified upon arrival, their stay was so helpful, they were just as terrified about leaving the ward as they were to being admitted to it. So it does help some people and I understand now that me arguing for the abolishment of psychiatric institutionalization because of what happened to me would be like someone arguing for the abolishment of the penal system after spending time in prison after being framed for robbery. They should hold a grudge against the person who manipulated the system against them, not the system itself. So it’s not something that should have ever happened, which brings me to the comments many people on this board are writing. Many here say that they were wrongfully committed and mistreated in a mental hospital. But the thing is if psychiatric hospitals were used PROPERLY, had they not been committed, they would be dead now. Now you may argue that the system isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work to make it better. Also, what allot of people are saying here is one of two things. Now I’m not an expert so correct me if I’m wrong on any of these points.

      First claim is that they were callously committed by a mental health professional who was trying to avoid any kind of liability for a neglect case that could be brought on by a potential suicide as opposed to looking out for the patients best interest. The problem with that is that while a mental health professional can send you to the ER for evaluation, they can’t on their own send you to the psych ward. Two court appointed psychiatrists and a social worker have to agree to do this. Now surely, the mental health professional who sent you to the ER would send the social worker your records, but the only thing they could INTENTIONALLY do to get you locked up is to send false or incomplete information. And to find out if that indeed happened all you have to do is request your records from the hospital in which you were evaluated and get your records from your therapist and if there is any false or omitted information relevant to the incident you should press charges for medical malpractice. Now you may ask what if the mental health professional who sent me to the ER tries to falsify the documents. Well one rule of thumb in the bureaucratic world is to never try to falsify documents; you’ll get found out and then you’ll really see an angry judge.

      Another thing people talk about is mistreatment in the mental health facility and they claim that if they try to press charges no one will believe them because they were deemed crazy and it would be their word against the professionals. But the problem here is that most (if not all) mental health facilities have security cameras that record what’s happening. So if you sued an employee or the ward as a whole for acts of abuse, the jury wouldn’t have to take anyone’s word for it, they would just see what happened with their own eyes.

      Now to address other points:

      1st, Saying people should be locked up because it’s just better safe than sorry and lock a few dozen people who aren’t actually at risk of suicide then let one person die of suicide. After all a few days of a few peoples time isn’t worth someone’s life right? Well here’s a news flash: people don’t like getting locked up and if they are locked up when they’re not suicidal for seeking help then there’s a good chance they won’t seek help again until it’s too late and they commit suicide. That’s like saying that we should give the most powerful antibiotics (even though we know that they have devastating side effects) for any infection because “better safe than sorry”, And you may argue that if a person is mentally sound they would understand the need for hospitalization under the “better safe than sorry” principal. But there’s a long continuum between the point of being mentally sound and the point of needing hospitalization and as we all know it can be a traumatizing experience for their already fragile minds. So if we commit people when it’s not necessary, people will shy away from treatment until it’s too late.

      2nd, saying that if someone is using suicide threats to be manipulative they should be locked up to “teach them that their actions have consequences.” Well here’s news flash no. 2: hospitals (including psychiatric ones) are meant to help people not punish them. A good analogy would be a person who had cancer in remission (who was well enough to work) who was abusing social security benefits. Yes it is wrong for them to do that but you would never claim that they should be punished by making them undergo chemo and radiation again. Plus, if they’re desperate enough to threaten suicide to be manipulative, there’s a good chance that they would become desperate enough to actually commit suicide and if they see psychiatric help as a punishment, they won’t seek help and will cover all their symptoms. Now I’m a big believer in natural consequences but I don’t think they have to have any relevance to what’s right or wrong nor is it always going to be as simple as one event leading to another and that’s it; they can involve chains of events. A person getting locked up may be a consequence of them using suicide threats to be manipulative. BUT a consequence of that could be that when they actually become suicidal they hide their symptoms and the only warning sign you get is an empty bottle of pills.

      Two other issues I want to address.

      1st is the use of restraints during transport. Now I wasn’t restrained but I know people who were and some (not all) said it was a very distressing experience. Now I know many places have different policies and many proponents say that there have been so many accidents involving psychiatric patients where the patients and/or EMTs were killed by belligerent patients in accidents. But of course handcuffing and restraining them can make patients feel like criminals and put more strain on their already fragile minds. Now I don’t know all the facts but if you must restrain the patient, tell them a detailed explanation of why restraints are necessary instead of just telling them “it’s policy”. Also, they’e medical patients, not criminals and shouldn’t be treated as such. They should be transported in an ambulance and if restraints must be used, use soft restraints. Now you may ask what’s the difference whether they’re brought by a police car in handcuffs or by an ambulance in restraints, they’re still brought to the hospital against their will. Well remember we’re talking about MENTAL patients so the psychological impact of being treated like a criminal must be taken seriously and is a big factor in terms of help with recovery and trust in future treatment.

      Now a final problem that I want to address is how they put people who are a threat to themselves, others and gravely disabled (usually meaning that they’re psychotic). And for patients who were brought there for suicidal tendencies involuntarily, the people who are psychotic and a threat to others only add more stress to them. So just as we have different wards for adolescents, children and adults, we should have different wards for people who are suicidal, homicidal and psychotic. Because mixing people who are a harm to others with people who are psychotic is just asking for trouble because the people out of their minds are more likely to provoke a conflict with homicidal people and psychotic and homicidal people are just going to add more stress to those who are depressed and suicidal.

  132. emilya says:

    it’l be okay, i know you’re scared and sad but i promise you i’ll be okay. my parents are super strict too, they yelled at me for everything – it was like everything i did they yelled at me for. but it gets better. are you young? it’ll get better as you grow up and mature and your parents see that. even if you’re not young and much older, it’s okay. it doesn’t matter whether you can read properly or not, you’re still amazing. even if your family members scold you, then they’re doing something bad and that their problem – that’s their mistake, they’re the ones messing up and doing something wrong NOT YOU. Don’t like other people destroy you. You’re more than that. You’ll get through this, time heals all (I say this from personal experience).

  133. meen says:

    my family members always scolds me that i can’t read well..I am feeling very nervous for their scoldings..More i can’t tolerate so i want to commit suicide..I can’t live this ugly life with scolding.. what should i do for this..please suggest me..I can’t read properly. what can i do

    • Esraa says:

      My boyfriend also struggles with reading because he’s dyslexic. And he is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Meeting him is life transforming. His struggles with reading didn’t make him any less amazing. Your family members are rude and it’s their problem not yours

  134. Homesick says:

    I am a native New Englander…born and raised for 31 of my 36 years now living in the bible thumping, commonwealth, back-country, judgmental, podunk state of Kentucky… which seems to be 20 years behind the times. I’ve battled depression, anxiety and bouts of suicidal thoughts and fantasies throughout my life but like so many of you, have found a way through it. Now I’m the most suicidal I’ve ever been. What I believed to be suicidal thoughts in the past are NOTHING compared to this hell. I’ve had to have my fiancee hide any dangerous items, made him give away his gun and make sure he keeps all medications locked up away from me. There are 2 things that keep me from sneaking around, frantically searching for the tools to end my life with… 1. We live in a very small house with my 5 year old daughter, making it nearly impossible for her not to bear witness to that traumatic hell and 2. The idea of being involuntarily committed to Western State Hospital should I fail at an attempt or open up to a professional about this void I’m drowning in. I live in CONSTANT horrendous physical pain from 2 car accidents and chronic Lyme disease (that thousands of Dr’s refuse to acknowledge as a real disease) and have literally lost all but 1 thing that has ever really mattered to me in the last 3 years. Not one doctor in this godforsaken place will address my pain issues because they see my numerous tattoos, they automatically label me “addict”. They hear “suicidal thoughts”, they automatically think “thorazine and the psych ward”.
    What the hell is a person supposed to do?! Forget hanging on by a thread… I’m clinging to a single hair with split ends. I have no outlet and it’s taking a huge toll on my fiancee because I treat him like shit, no matter what he tries to do to help…. and my self hatred only deepens with my lack of patience for my little girl. I want to end it all more and more everyday when I fail at bonding with her or giving her the life, attention and happiness she deserves. What do you do when each day, you find another reason why your child would be better off without you?? How are you supposed to hang on when all but everything and everyone in your world has given up on you or doesn’t take you seriously? How am I supposed to reach out and learn coping skills when, in doing so, could quickly put me in a place even worse than my own head? What do you do? It’s not like I have the means to make it back home and see a professional that would actually HELP me. I’m stuck in this southern fried time capsule, surrounded by outdated, closed minded, judgemental “bless your heart” baptist lunatics. I’ve heard the horror stories from western state hospital and know a couple people that work there…. one of them that’s obviously and outwardly impaired by some sort of developmental disorder/mentally handicap but is a SHIFT SUPERVISOR. This woman isn’t fit to supervise a bake sale, never mind an entire floor of a psychiatric hospital. What other options are there in this land that time forgot??

    • Dave says:

      Although our individual situations are all very different, I recognise that turmoil and suicidal toxicity of your thinking, which will wear you down and increase your suicidality. You may believe that everything is really bad at present, but for certain more things can happen such that you would be grateful to be back to your current situation; such I find is the nature of suicidal thinking. There are only so many types of treatment and much comes down to whether you can make that fundamental change in thinking from being a victim in extreme distress to someone who can forgive others, love yourself and realise that those around you want you happier; not easy. I’ve been trying for 4 years, but continue to steadily destroy all around me despite all the best treatments.
      The book How I stayed alive when my brain was trying to kill me may help with ideas if you are able to take them on board, but the fundamental issue of this article about Hospital admission, is not something which I feel, is likely to help you, unless there is a specific treatment such as ect, but that again is something else.
      Concerns about suicidal behaviour are that others may be injured, so in USA it seems the management may be to be locked up, but I hope you can find something to hold on to and find joy from, so as to climb out of your current pain.

    • Mercedes Baker act says:

      I will suggest to join Lyme disease support group on Facebook .
      Find a psychiatrist that will give you anti depressants including aBilif
      If insurance Doesnt cover up the meds
      Seek help from Nami… they can guide you ashould to where obtain your medication …don’t give up … keep searching for help ..

      Counseling might help too.
      Depression supoort groups …

      Do not confide in anyone who don’t treat you with the utmost respect …

      Talk openly with your fiancee . Explore options, new avenues together .
      If he is a good man … don’t lose him … hold on to your blessings … Including the Baptist faith … what i mean is this … Faith is the anchor who keeps us grounded … you choose how and where you connect to god.

      You talk to him as your friend .. you tell him about your trials … and if you do not believe in God .. just give him a chance …nothing to lose .. just tell Him … I need help … open up the doors for me …

      Goodio luck

  135. Jesse says:

    It’s clear from your article and comments here, that you have considered that involuntary commitment, or the threat of it (even unspoken), can be counter-productive. The Wikipedia article on perverse incentives has many examples.

    While it seems that you ask “Would you really rather die than go to a psychiatric hospital?” rhetorically, it’s quite possible that many would seriously answer ‘yes’. And while you have debunked some (perhaps common) misconceptions, some commenters here who have personally experienced involuntary commitment swear that it has negatively impacted their lives and their willingness to seek future treatment.

    • Dave says:

      I echo these comments as a doctor with suicidal thoughts admitted for etc which involved humiliating observations distressing environment and some memory loss from treatment. It was not beneficial to me in any way but has now scared me into avoiding saying anything that may lead to readmission even though I continue to struggle with the same intensity and frequency of thoughts I dare not speak truthfully for fear of readmission. There seems nowhere left except myself to decide. As mentioned before there is no evidence that admission saves lives but it delays the likelihood of suicide until the days after discharge.

  136. Anonymous says:

    Never trust the government. Regardless of the likelyhood of the government secretly conspiring against you, don’t take the chance. Instead of telling anyone government related, tell a pastor or family member, admit it to others later on, but don’t tell a professional. My faith is the only thing keeping me from putting a bullet in my brain, simply because I realized life is worthless without it. In all honesty, I’m not even a legal adult yet, so what do I know? But after all logical deductions, there is no point in living unless you tip some sort of moral scale that exists permanently. Unfortinately, people like to say that you can make your own moral scale, but that means nothing in the big picture. You need to believe in a greater good, that your actions will somehow better the world. For myself, I believe fully in my god, but really, faith that you somehow matter is the only way to keep you from killing yourself. Not mattering to people, but to a higher power, or at least a judge of good and bad. On the offchance that you think suicide will be good morally, get all the help you can…

  137. Anonymous says:

    Frankly this is a huge issue for me and millions of others with depression symptoms. It’s one of the recurrent fears on the Reddit suicide watch and depression forums. There are daily accounts of therapists and other providers threatening people with internment if they don’t cooperate with a plan. I can see it from their perspective, but they have to know that by waving that threat around they are ensuring that a great many people will never, ever admit their problems to any provider. We’ve learned to keep our lips together and stay well away from the system.

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree, I have suicidal thoughts because I feel there is no place in life for me, and I want to be shown that there is a place in life for me, not imprisoned and fed drugs to intoxicate my mind with their bullshit. I want people to show me how my views are wrong and not brainwash me to keep on living. If I do kill myself in the future, I would 99% not seek help because it’s not really help… You basically become a criminal with privileges.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Mental hospitals are not as described. Staying in one is a traumatizing experience. They say they are making you better but they just make everything worse.

  139. Molly says:

    This article is incredibly sugar coating. When it asks, “Would you really rather die than go to a psychiatric hospital?” my immediate answer is yes. As for why, well because of my last experience in a psychiatric hospital. Ironically, I felt unsafe and threatened the entire time I was there because of the measures the staff took to “protect” me. It was incredibly traumatizing and I would never wish the extreme panic, fear, humiliation, and helplessness I felt during those 5 days on my worst enemy. After my release I actually started researching how I might obtain a cyanide pill to take with me in case I am threatened with hospitalization again.

  140. Anonymous says:

    There are things worse than death. A mental hospital is one.

  141. Anonymous says:

    Reading these comments made me lose what little hope I had in getting better, but at least they were truthful and didn’t sugar coat unlike the article. I don’t know what to do. I feel like getting committed was my last shot of getting control of this monster called mental health. I’ve tried everything including multiple doctors and multiple prescriptions. Every time I go to any type of consoler , therapist, or psychiatrist they’re always pushing me to do inpatient treatment. I was afraid to go back because I’d feared they would have me committed against my will. After years of continuing to struggle with this ever growing monster, I thought to myself that I should maybe consider it.After then looking into the possibility, it seems like there is no hope for me.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I hope you will keep in mind that this site, and especially this post in particular, draws many people who are considering suicide. Many tens of thousands of people every year do get better, but you’re just not very likely to read their comments here because they have no reason to read a post about whether they will be committed to a hospital. So please do not take the comments here as a barometer of your hope for the future!

    • Milly says:

      Go to therapy, but go to one that deal with suicidal patient
      Trauma , ptsd. U need one that deal with this shit

  142. Danny says:

    Think real carefully before telling any therapist about these thoughts. When you are done you are walked out the door with a bag of meds. Don’t ask if you can make a phone call to get a ride anywhere. Then there is the bill. It could be $5000, $10,000 $20,000 …the sky is the limit. They will come after you guns blazing to get the money out of you and sue you. Try telling the bill collectors you are having a tough time just getting food let alone paying bills for being locked up and doped up. Try telling them your therapist told you that you could make 10 – 20 dollar payments. Prepare to be laughed at. If financial problems are a major reason for suicidal ideation DO NOT GO THERE.

    • Donna K. says:

      Ive Been reading all these posts.
      And I too have suicidal ideas. But its not constant . It comes in waves. I am seeing therapist. He asked me if I was suicidal. I said not really. Part of me says no, the other part has bad thoughts only when I am really dealing with painful memories. or overcome by waves of emotion. which has been alot lately. Ive noticed that my crying has been really deep. a different kind of cry. The deep emotional waves, come and Also Im grieving over loss of mom and dad. It gets to where I say to myself , I cant make it , How am I suppose to go on wihout mom. Then its like I cant find my purpose any more. then the thoughts come. last a short while and leave. until the next time.
      Ive been hospitalized 3 times. If you are hospitalized they should treat you with respect. Yes you are locked in. But Ive found a place that really cares. they listen, take care of you, give good meals. let you go outside everyday. have a gym you walk to on the facility, daily. and you have a cafeateria you all walk down to 3 times a day. Yes they keep track of everything. every 15 minutes. but thats ok. and they make it safe. As a group with others you play games. and hold group meetings, talk to eachother and makes friends.
      watch tv. Its not that bad. They care.
      Remember there is help. Just dont give up. I havent. And Im glad Im still here. Its not easy. But its one day at a time. one hour a time.
      Dont give up!! Because you are loved!!
      Watch the video by Josh Groban-You are loved. Everyone wants to be heard.

  143. - says:

    Why? Because I should not be forced to do something I do not want to do. I mean, my will would be plain ignored. Especially if I am locked somewhere I can’t escape like a mental hospital. What’s more, my life would get even worse with that shit. Why don’t they acknowledge I am a human being, who deserves respect and comprehension? My will should be taken into account too, right? I can do whatever I want with my life, even get rid of it if that’s my decision. I don’t care about your animal instincts to preserve the species. I apologize if this was rude but I see this kind of stuff everywhere and it is annoying the hell out of me. I understand that your way of thinking is just the average and you are not the one to blame. Adaption is. After all you do believe that this does well to people.

  144. kappy says:

    What if theoretically, injuries have been made to your body, and you now realize medical attention is needed. You may also realize it was a terrible mistake and now your intent to is to get well physically and emotionally. But the fear of what can potentially happen in loosing your freedom is scary. I have appreciated reading many of the earlier posts and would be interested in suggestions.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder why you are asking this question and would suggest you ask this of yourself.
      Many people survive suicide attempts, but often have major medical consequence such as permanent brain injury following hanging, limb amputations after lying in front of a train and liver failure after paracetamol ingestion. In my experience (35 years as a doctor and seeing a number of patients with this kind of disability). The consequences of loss of freedom may become less than that of losing a life.
      For those looking to embark on self harm, but not wanting medical or psychiatric involvement, the answer is very different as these people are often looking to be secretive about their behaviour.
      I you are OK Kappy. Regards. David

  145. Anonymous says:

    You can not “attempt suicide”. If you really want to die then you will succeed. People that “attempt” are looking for attention.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Anonymous – I wish that were true. If it were true that people who attempt suicide don’t really want to die, then we’d have far fewer suicides in our world. In fact, roughly half of people who die by suicide have made at least one previous attempt. Additionally, bout 10% of people who survive a suicide attempt do go on to die by suicide. I anticipate that you might say that those 90% who avoid suicide didn’t truly want to die, but in reality the situation is far more complex than that. Many people who make a suicide attempt desperately want to die but once the attempt takes hold, their survival instinct kicks in and they try to stay alive. I’m grateful that they succeed at staying alive.

      That belief that people attempt suicide merely for attention is one of the harmful myths out there about suicide, and it does harm to those who need help but are dismissed as merely seeking attention. I write about this myth in my post “Is a Suicide Attempt a Cry for Help?” I hope you will read it and be receptive to its message.

      Thank you for contributing. Although I don’t agree with the content of your comment, many people out there do. They might benefit from seeing another perspective here.

    • Chris says:

      Attempting suicide is just as bad as suicide alone. Working at a behavior hospital in the adolecents unit, there is such a thing as using the threat of suicide as a cry for help and as a mental health worker I will never judge it as a cry for help, but as a cry for immediate action to help that person.

      PEOPLE these adolescents have no way to release the different stressors that can turn into a battle with depression and at a young age, they can’t really deal with it and suicide becomes their only option.

    • Private says:

      You’re a fool, I attempted three times (and the others were a cry for help, not the three genuine attempts), came out mangled, got no help, discharged and once came from a hospital with brain damage. I have no idea what they said or what happened but they sent me home I had a witness. Took me forever to get my brain back, took me about a month to type again and speak properly or sleep right, probably longer my time zones dont work. To be fair, I wouldn’t cope in a mental hospital either. I’m in such a state this moment, there is no way out of this pain and self hatred. It’s how I feel I can’t cope with and what my mind does to me. The suffering is so extreme the urge is overwhelming. Then I read this and remember it could be worse, I could be you x I only ever once called my family when I was at the worst I’ve ever been to ask if I could sit with them, I got abuse and screaming, my dad said he’d kill himself and hung up. My child had to witness that. Then the triage team being incompetant and only understanding loud demanding people that exaggerate instead of quiet types that play it down in fear, nearly pushed me over the edge. I walked. Every experience I’ve had has just reinforced that there is no help, nowhere to turn, nobody to talk to. I don’t want to talk to Samaritans but I can’t say why as other vulnerable minds will learn from me and that’s not wise. I can’t call the crisis team, when I thought I was dying with a panic attack they told me to get off the phone and ring someone that wasn’t at work, my support worker. I never called them back. I tried so hard to engage, I can’t as it seems utterly pointless. The entire system is set up for the histronic types, druggies and fakers draining. That’s my experience. The units, so terrifying and distressing for someone like me I’d rather die alone. So, Isolated permanently in a bedroom with only media to keep me going, you really need to think long and hard before you make such inflammatory statements.

    • Milly says:

      When my son die, I wanted die. I didn’t want attention. I wanted pain go away. Now I’m in therapy. It helping but everday I live with my pain. Hope u never ever lose something so big in your life that u do want die. Only people who ever lost big know how it feels to want die. All I have to say to these people. U need get a therapist who deal with suicidal, trama , not just any therapist. U need one who has that exta training. I also taking a dbt class. That class is helping a lot more then the therapy. I hope this help someone who in pain. I know I’m not alone, but fuck I still in pain
      I learning to live with my pain

  146. Andrew SMith says:

    How is it that, although suicide is NOT against the law, one can be involuntarily IMPRISONED for considering or even intending to go it? What is the Constitutional basis for locking someone in a psychiatric hospital for considering or even planning to carry out an act that is NOT ILLEGAL?

    • prettyangelboi says:

      Parens Patriae is the doctrine based in English common law that gives the State the supreme authority to take guardianship over any adult or minor that is deemed to be mentally unfit.

      While I believe forced psychiatry is a violation of civil liberties (i.e. the systematic incarceration of a disabled minority is discrimination), no court of law in the U.S. has yet declared parens patriae to be unconstitutional. So unfortunately, until a federal court reverses the standard for civil commitment and emergency psychiatric holds, then the government-sponsored kidnapping, torture, and extortion of mentally ill citizens will continue.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Prettyangelboi, thank you for providing that legal information! Andrew posted an excellent question, and I appreciate your letting us know the answer, even when you disagree with it.

        The subject of involuntary commitment is very controversial. I struggle with whether it should be permitted at all in the case of suicide risk. On the one hand, no doubt some lives are saved. On the other hand, how many more lives would be saved if people could speak freely to professionals about their suicidal thoughts, without fear of being committed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Suicide hurts others. Is it legal to hurt others in any other instance?

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        “Anonymous,” I agree with you that it hurts terribly to lose someone to suicide. But the person who dies by suicide is generally acting from a place of terrible psychological pain, mental illness, trauma, or other forces beyond their control and, in almost all countries, is not breaking the law by acting on suicidal thoughts.

      • anon says:

        Yes, euthanizing a pet.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a governmental obligation to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Most suicidal people can’t attain the second two by themselves, and many end up losing the first. Although it may not seem as though jail protects these, it often does, as attempted suicide is not a federal offense, and people around the person now know what they are going through, but never had the courage to admit.

  147. Tigger says:

    What should you do if you need mental help because you know if you do not get it you will eventually take someone elses life. If you have no money, no family, and no friends to turn to. You dont want this to be the road your life travels but after months of searching for a solution or help. You have found nothing. The hatred grows stronger every day. The monster is taking over. You try to fight it, but you know you cant win by yourself.

    • Chris says:

      I say to those that are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, the least of anyone’s worries is the concerns over the stigma related to hospitals, because the world will keep moving despite your condition. Embrace your mental health and know that professional help is your only option

  148. Clare says:

    I’m scared that I will be admitted :-). I don’t think it will be long before I take my life. I want my problems to go away and I want help but know no one can help and so scared that they will take me in and have no choice but to confront my problems which are out of my control now.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Clare, I hope you will seek help. You don’t have to tell the person your suicidal thoughts in their entirety if you are scared that disclosing your thoughts would get you committed. You can instead tell the person about your pain, your feelings of hopelessness, and your situation or condition that brought you to this place. The helper might be able to take a bigger picture view of things than you are right now, because you are so consumed by pain, despair, or whatever it is that is driving your suicidal thoughts.

      If you are in North America, a good place to start is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). Good luck to you!

  149. Tanya says:

    Oregon has a “Death with Dignity” law in place in which terminally ill patients can access lethal drugs from their doctors to take to end their life. The Netherlands also has an even more liberal law in place, and there are centers, usually in someones home, that you can pay for and use to die. Depression is not a disease that is “off the menu” for someone who is at their end of their rope and knows exactly what they want. If your intent is to die and there will be no talking you out of it, than I would seriously think about the travel. It would probably be cheaper than a in-patient hospital stay, or years of therapy and drugs.

    While I do think that most people who act on, think about, or follow though on suicide are depressed or worse, I don’t think those conditions warrant a near stranger to know whats best for you better than you do. You haven’t lost your mind, your rights, your ability to know what you want and need. Someone who is going to commit suicide WILL do it, regardless of what is in place.

    We don’t get the right to decide in advance whether we want to be born or not. This life is FORCED upon us against our will. Not all of us get the luxury of having had “decent” parents, or an “ideal” childhood. For many of us, life has been a special kind of hell. Living it, or not, is not someone else’s decision to make. Its yours.

    • Robin says:

      Tanya – The Oregon (and Vermont) Death with Dignity absolutely forbids being used by someone who is not dying of a physical illness. They are so tightly restricted that they do not allow a person with Dementia (AZ) to use the medications, which I think is horrible. There is a window of time in that illness when the person knows what they want but, under these laws, it is not legal for Dementia or any “mental illness”. Technically it is also illegal as a solution for mental illness in The Netherlands, although it might be possible if you were a long term resident to find a physician who is on board with your needs. As a person who will use my state’s Death with Dignity law, I greatly appreciate our finally advancing in this area. While I believe that a person should have free will in terms of ending their life, I am grateful that these laws do not allow for consideration of mental illness as it would make it so much harder for those with physical illness to have this freedom. Since many of those folks are too ill to take matters into their own hands, it seems only right that they get this option first.

  150. Rhiannon says:

    i spent months and months in hospital this year because I was very suicidal. It screwed me up big time to the point I almost killed myself while being in hospital and had 24 hrs left to live, somehow I survived. I got treated horrible by the doctors and a nurses. Sometimes you have to share rooms up to 3 or more people who are annoying as hell. You have guys hitting (checking you out) on you and following you around like a lost puppy dog. I did get leave and then ended up getting assaulted on Anzac Day in front of the hospital while I was having my smoke. But because my leave got taken away because of 2 times I almost succeeded in killing myself WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL. It was one of my worst times every. I felt so trapped and lonely in there. I have now set a date, where, when and how I am going to do it. I am to scared to even tell anyone of how serious I am getting again incase I get locked up again.

    • Joseph says:

      I have been in the hospital for bipolar ten times. do not make a plan .do not even have ideology about it. I have on several occasions almost taken others with me. they don’t deserve it. we just want pain-mental ,physical on going harassment to end.
      Just help us end the pain!

    • dave says:

      There’s little evidence that admission saves lives. It’s largely done to cover the backs of the medics involved in your care. Don’t have high expectations of what will be offered, as it really comes back to you and your own resilience. However the more you think about suicide, the more likely you are to undertake it.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Dave, thanks for sharing your impressions. It is an unfortunate reality that we do not know whether psychiatric hospitalization helps people overall. Certainly there are people who profess that a hospital saved their lives, but there are also others who report that hospitalization harmed them. The high rates of suicide immediately following discharge from a hospital are staggering and, to say the least, discouraging. Complicating the equation is whether a person goes to a hospital voluntarily or is committed against his or her will. Ultimately, one thing is for sure: hospitals provide a way station, a place for sanctuary and supervision. Hospitalization is not an instant cure. That cure is elusive, and for some never actually comes completely, but hope and healing are possible. And as you said, it takes work, whether through self-help, psychotherapy, medication, spirituality, opening up to friends and family, or other personal efforts. The work is worth it, in my opinion!

    • prettyangelboi says:

      Stacey, the fact that no study has conclusively determined whether forced psychiatric hospitalization saves lives (except in the very short term) is exactly why this barbaric practice needs to be outlawed. Kidnapping and torturing disabled people who have committed no crime against society, and then extorting thousands of dollars from these same disabled people (whereas even convicted felons don’t have to pay for their incarceration) has no place in a developed society.

      Hospitals must finally be held criminally accountable for their decades of misconduct toward one of the most vulnerable minorities in America. The welfare of the mentally ill should be a top priority, but instead they are exploited for economic gain by the State. By continuing to force them into treatment against their will, they are driving huge profits for the healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. It’s finally time to end the cycle of abuse.

    • Lissa says:

      Rhiannon, I think you should live.

    • Cindy says:

      I hope your mental state is better
      I just wanted to share that your not alone.. I often think of suicidal thoughts as well. I found a book, which im in the process of reading. This book has you write down your feelings and how you got to this state of mind. Please read “Anger” by Bill DeFoore

  151. Anonymous says:

    They make it seem like a nice place were people care… Maybe if you have money or are important in some way. Then you might go to place were they might even act as if they care. However you might also like renting a room at the Hilton cheaper and you can get massages, but the hospital in a real hospital the nurses sit behind very thick glass enclosure. You will talk to three people, first the admitting nurse, who never look at you in the face, then you sit a room with puzzles, and old tv and they discourage conversation with other patients. Hours or the next day a doctor or a nurse practitioner will speak with you for about fifteen to thirty minutes. He might make eye contact with you but it is clear he is listening to what he wants to hear. He Leaves you with no answer, however now the nurses far behind the glass window give a few white pillls. Now three days will pass while you sit there doing puzzles and get to eat with plastic spork. Then on the afternoon of the third day you get to meet a social worker. At this point you tell this person anything they want to hear because you have realized you’re basically in jail. They will ask you if have some psychological or psychiatric problem, kind of a really dumb question. You will say no, then he gives you the name of a few and you sign a document say you will make an appointment and releases the hospital of liability. You leave try to make appointments and find most are not talking new patients. There will be one who will see you if you have 300 to 500 dollars for the first appointment and 150 for each fifteen minutes session after if you have you do it if not you end up at a family doctors office, or risk going back in to the hospital. The you get the bill 10 grand is ball park. The new medication 50 dollars a month. After all that you still struggle with the same feelings just you now keep it to yourself. The American dream hard at work good people are happy, successful, and don’t tell people about their dark feeling. Only sick, weak, or evil have mental problems or did you get the email?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      It is sad and infuriating if this was your experience. To not have nurses look at you or talk with you without a glass barrier, to see a psychiatrist only 15-30 minutes in 3 days, to be discharged from the hospital without a plan in place for where and how you will get care – no wonder you would want to keep your feelings to yourself.

      However, many hospitals are helpful, and many therapists and psychiatrists are, too. Good help is available. I hope you are will not give up in trying to find it, should you need it again, or now.

      If you choose to bypass mental health professionals, help is available in other ways, too. In North America, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). Please also check out different ways that you can get help by phone, email, chat, or text, by looking at the Resources page .

    • prettyangelboi says:

      I called the National Suicide Prevention Hotline last year. After talking to some guy for about eight minutes about how I’ve been abused and neglected repeatedly within the mental health system and hence why I had every reason to give up on life, he advised me to practice my coping skills then ended the call. That was really helpful.

      If my life is really so important that I should not end it, as practitioners like you seem to suggest, then perhaps society should prove it by valuing me as a human being, rather than just a number in a roundfile. But when the expectation is constantly that I should take responsibility for ensuring my own welfare because society cannot afford to invest the time to protect me from negligence and misconduct by healthcare professionals, then I have every reason and every right to opt out of this miserable existence.

      Conclusion: The system is broken, not me.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the system needs more psychiatrist and well trained nurses and techs, I don’t believe the system is broken. There is only so much anyone can do to help you, coping skills are designed to help the patient deal with past and present issues. As an adult your going to need those coping skills when you deal with adult issues. Please learn to cope, get help for what it is…….and fly. Remember what you are dealing with, there are millions more who are dealing with the same and they need you alive and well so you can tell them “I got through it and so can you.”

    • Belfield Leo says:

      Same thing happen’d to me in the UK

  152. Christian says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been on a slippery slope lately with my mental health. Before I get into it, I am not a drinker or a chemical drug user. I smoke pot and that’s it. I’m going to be 40 in a month and am in good shape. I train kickboxing and eat rather well, I have a good job and am respected in the various circles I slip in and out of.
    When I was in my 20s, I used a ridiculous amount of ecstacy and cocaine which is something I most certainly do not practice any longer but the damage has most certainly been done. Cocaine addiction took hold of my ex wife to the point of destroying our relationship. She is now clean, remarried and on a much more positive path than when she was with me. We get along well and there is no real bad blood between us. Our son spends equal time between both of our houses.
    The reason I’ve broken down some of the positives in my life is to draw particular attention to the fact of it having no significance in my day to day emotions; I seem to be slipping deeper and deeper into a suicidal state. There are times when my mood swings the opposite way and my energy spikes and I train like an animal and feel spectacular for doing it, but that pendulum is spending more and more time on the other side of positive. What is becoming most concerning is the thought of me dying causes no real sway in me one way or the other. When I think of going, my reaction is, “F*** it, who really cares?”. I realize that there are people who do in fact care, but that has no meaning to me. This has caused what I can only explain as a lack of fear as self preservation is no longer instinctive. In the last year the thoughts have gone from skimming the idea to beginning the plan of execution. My only concern for the execution is not for my well being or pain it will cause me, but the state I’d be in once discovered.
    I realize this has little to do with the actual topic but I’ve been alone with these thoughts for quite some time and needed to say them to someone- anyone.
    What the hell is happening to me…..?

    • Lissa says:

      You sound like you might have bipolar, maybe you should get checked. Medications and supplements may help. Hang in there.

    • dave says:

      Some of this is familiar to me, in particular the exercise bit and one of my greatest regrets is that I let the exercise routine slip and am now unable to get it back. I would recommend you work hard at that as meds and psychotherapy may not help.

  153. Anonymous says:

    Similarly in the UK, you are very unlikely to be admitted unless your history and suicide risk behaviour and age puts you into a high risk category. However the risk scores are only poorly correlated with outcomes, so they are a fairly blunt tool, but all that is available to evaluate the high number of people with these thoughts and then there’s little evidence to say that admission saves any lives anyway! It’s such a difficult problem to manage and every case is different. Some figures I read were that there is 1 completed suicide for every 200 attempts in adolescents, whereas the figures for elderly are as high as 1 for 6.

  154. Lost Soul says:

    This is HORSESHIT. You’ll be papered in a nano-second. There is no space to explore these thoughts with a “professional” without getting committed, which, as we all know, solves all of your issues. Of course losing your job, or have to explain that you are “nuts” really relieves the pressure.

    This profession is totally ineffectual for someone who wants to explore their feelings about ending the struggle.

    There is NO way to talk to a “certified” anything about how you feel and to explore your thoughts. The law says that they must commit you. Now they are off the hook.

    We must deal with this personal crisis on our own. Most of us are unsuccessful but no “professional” goes to jail or loses their licence.

    I guess that that is why so many of us fail, so that they can survive.

    You owe us, Big Guys. You’re welcome.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Lost Soul,”

      It sounds like you or someone you know had a negative experience with telling a mental health professional about suicidal thoughts. I hate that now, as a result of a few people’s actions, all mental health professionals are suspect.

      The good news is that what you wrote does not actually apply to all mental health professionals (though no doubt they apply to some). You state, “There is NO way to talk to a “certified” anything about how you feel and to explore your thoughts. The law says that they must commit you.”

      I can state for a fact that your statement is not true. I am a licensed mental health professional, and in my psychotherapy practice I have listened to many, many suicidal clients and explored their pain, their plans, and any ways that they have already hurt themselves. I have not committed them. Under very prescribed circumstances I would, but those circumstances would have to be dire and I have not personally encountered them in my practice.

      In the U.S., the commitment laws generally require that someone be a clear and imminent danger to oneself or someone else in order to be committed. Suicidal thoughts do not in themselves render someone clearly and imminently dangerous. Given that almost 1 in 5 adolescents and 1 in 10 adults report having suicidal thoughts in a given year, we would need a psychiatric hospital on every corner if suicidal thinking required hospitalization!

      The therapist who moves to commit someone solely on the basis of suicidal thoughts, without the presence of imminent danger, might be panicking, overreacting, or letting his or her own fears of a client’s suicide (and subsequent suicide) override the client’s needs. In another post, I write about this tendency of some therapists and how to find one who does not overreact: “How to Find a Therapist Who Does Not Panic.”

      I know many therapists who do not panic. They listen and truly sit with their suicidal clients in their pain. They know that hospitalization is not a magical cure and is useful only in extreme circumstances, even if voluntary on the part of the suicidal person.

      I hope you will reconsider whether you can confide in at least one mental health professional out there. You do not have to go through this alone.

  155. Leigh says:

    From my experience, it is illegal to express the wish to commit suicide in Los Angeles. An ex-boyfriend called the police, believing I was going to try. I was calm by the time the police arrived, but as I had stated I was suicidal, I was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail, where I sat for several hours.

    After being admitted to a lock-down ward of a hospital, I was ignored for 5 days. Originally, it had been three days, but I complained to the psychiatrist (who occasionally wandered in), he was angry, and gave me 2 more days.

    There were ward staff, but other than to call us for meals and medications, or tell us to get away from the door, they did not speak to us. There was nothing to do except watch TV, or read one of the few books on the ward.

    I was asked to cover a cigar box with material.

    It was a hideous experience. Had I had minor children, they would have been taken to DPSS…had I had a job, I would have been fired. The phones did not work consistently enough to call out.

    I was more suicidal when I got out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes I believe mental health and public services are so busy covering their backs that they make the client/patient much worse by pushing them into the “nutter” classification. Your experience sounds terrible and not remotely in your best interest. It would never happen in the UK where I live. However managing suicidal behaviour is difficult and there is usually the balance between contact people covering themselves and doing what is in the patients best interest. Many times the action will be completely the opposite!
      You are your own best therapist. Hopefully this experience will help motivate you to manage yourself better – not easy. Distraction techniques, increasing resilience, recognising triggers and helpful behaviour, hanging on in there safely.
      There is no good effective treatment which anyone else can provide.
      Good luck, hope you find a way and a reason as well as some comfort somewhere. Human life is really valuable.

    • trayvonte says:

      trust me read my post i feel u deeply these mf got to stop enough is enough i love evey one im 22 but trust me iv been noin these people since i was 5

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s relieving for me to know that I wasn’t the only one who had such an experience. I was admitted at the age of twelve (and thirteen) and utterly annoyed. The staff was uneducated and the circumstances were horrible.

  156. lachlan says:

    hi my name is lachlan and im 14 year old andi have depression and anxiety and i so over this life i dont know what to do and i cant stop cutting. please HELP ME!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please speak to your parents, friends, or any adult about this. A professional can and will help you, believe me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Getting sent to a hospital because of your mental issues are the least of your worries.The system can be better and we have so much work to do, considering mental illness and getting help. If your having suicidal thoughts, the hospital will be the best place. But always communicate these feelings to your parents first, they need to know whats going on.

        • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

          This is an excellent point: “Getting sent to a hospital because of your mental issues are the least of your worries…If your having suicidal thoughts, the hospital will be the best place. ”

          Often, I try to persuade people that they can disclose their suicidal thoughts without being committed to a psychiatric hospital. In trying to reassure people, however, I worry that I am feeding into the belief and stigma that involuntary commitment must be avoided at all costs.

          Although commitment is indeed rare, it’s worth asking why commitment would be worse than death. If a person is in imminent danger of killing himself or herself, wouldn’t commitment be the better alternative?

          Indeed, I have spoken with people who were thankful that they were committed to a hospital, instead of dead. So there are two important points to make:

          1. Suicidal thoughts alone are not grounds for involuntary commitment.

          2. If a person is in imminent danger of dying by suicide, chances are great that he or she will be grateful down the road to still be alive, even if that required involuntary commitment (or voluntary hospitalization).

          It is true, there are horror stories about involuntary commitment and about psychiatric hospitalization in general. Many people have been harmed, and I wish that were not the case. But there also are many thousands of people who were helped by their hospitalizations. Hospitalization is not a cure-all, but it is a good starting point toward healing or staying safe.

          Thank you, “Anonymous” (8/29/15), for sharing your comment and providing me with the opportunity to clarify and deepen my thinking.

  157. Rose says:

    I’ve been dealing with depression for a couple of years now. I want to seek help, but I’m afraid. Two years ago I went to the doctor for anxiety attacks and they just gave me medication, which made me feel like a zombie. They made me tired all day long. I would force myself to go to work and tried to stay focused while doing my job so I would’t make a mistake. I would fall asleep through my lunch, and put the alarm so I would wake up. Once I got home around 4 pm, I would throw myself on the couch and sleep until 10 pm, wake up, change and go back to sleep just to wake up in the morning and do it all over again. Instead of helping they were making things worse. I didn’t go to work for three days strait one week. I went back to the doctor’s office and told her what happened and That I didn’t like the pills. She said that it was weird that the pills didn’t work out for me because mosly all her clients with anxiety have no issues with the same pills. She gave me a lower dose and convinced me to do blood test for, which I did not even need, she only took advantage of my state of mind while I was still doped up on the first medication they had prescribed. The second pills she prescribed didn’t work out neither. My anxiety attacks came back, not to mention they gave me killer headaches. I suffer from migraines ( which she knew) and I try to prevent from getting them. Giving me medication that gave me a spliting headache is NOT helping. I just completely went off them. I had a bit of a withdrawal, which I did’t care. So know I feel scared to go and ask for help for my depression, now that it’s hitting me pretty hard. I’m afraid they will just try to dope me up with some medication that will make me feel like a zombie again. I can’t afford therapy sessions, and I already tried herbal teas and St. John’s wort. I hate not being able to enjoy life like others. Friends never last long because I tend to push them away or they get tired of my problems. My family don’t want to even acknowledge that I’m depressed, they just think I’m lazy. They’ve seen the cuts on my legs and arms and ask how I got them but they still don’t want to see the truth. They believe any bogus lie I tell them just so they don’t have to deal with it they believe my lies. I’m so tired with all this BS, I just want to get better and get on with my life, but how am I going to do that when all doctors do is give you medication that screws up up even more.

  158. prettyangelboi says:

    I had a psychiatrist named [name removed] order me to go home and put a bag over my head because he didn’t believe anybody could succeed in killing themselves that way. He thought I was silly for trying to end my life using a method that was impractical. He is still practicing medicine to this day, twelve years after that incident in which he denied everything. This is why I want to outlaw involuntary commitment in all 50 states. It is ridiculous that a medical professional can have less dignity and respect for human life than a mentally ill patient.

    • Anonymous says:

      I went to the ER because I had a nervous stomach and couldn’t eat. Next thing I know they locked the door and sent me to a mental hospital. It had two doctors that I looked up after I was out and both had such poor ratings that I assume they have to work where people have no other choice to see them. They gave everyone so much medication that everyone just fell asleep sitting up. If you refused the drugs they said they would keep you two more days and grin as they said it. I told them my husband was getting a lawyer to get me out and he just grinned and said it wouldn’t do any good because he could keep me as long as he wanted to. The hospital barely fed us, the nurses were rude and condescending. There were 2 inch long water bugs in the bathroom at night that you had to step around. I was in with felons and they over heard me say my husband is a parole officer so not pleasant to be around. All of this had the effect of making me never trusting any doctor or nurse ever again. They replaced my happy life to anger and a feeling of being violated, I feel like I was raped after being forced to strip for them to look at me. They could have kept me over night at the hospital in my home town and that would have been okay to me. But when they discharged me they handed me a bill for nothing but bug infested rooms, people with severe anger management problem so you never knew how safe you were since you could not lock your door. Forced to four hours a day “classes” that one nurse told us were just distraction to get us off away from the staff on our floor. This was the worse thing that ever happened to me, I now do have depression and anger. I know they feel this is a good law that one person can lock you up against your will but don’t think they understand how much damage this does to someone that didn’t go to the hospital because they wanted help for suicide.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Sounds like you had an awful, traumatic experience at the hospital. What you endured isn’t right or fair, and there are laws in the U.S. to protect patients from such treatment. I am sorry for what you experienced.

        There are many hospitals that are helpful and respectful of people’s rights. In fact, many people (though certainly not all) report that hospitalization for mental health needs helped them to stay safe and alive, and to begin the process of recovery. It is important for suicidal people to know this, and it is important for them to know that suicidal thoughts alone do not warrant hospitalization, as I describe in the article above.

    • Anonymous says:

      can you blame the psychiatrist? With respect with what you may be dealing with mentally. The issue that I have run across is that many adolescents cant get their way at home, so they tell the doctors that they want to kill themselves because they either broke up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or in instances did not want to go to school or they are being punished for something they did at home. I know that there are millions of people like yourself who have real mental issues and need real help, but when we admit certain kids they begin to disrupt the unit, thus interfering with progress being made by others, who come for real mental help. This is such a fine line and no hospital should take it lightly. I believe what you want to champion, is needed. Involuntary commitment in many ways should be readjusted, but in some ways maybe not.

  159. anonymous says:

    I’ve been to three mental hospitals as a minor. The most notable thing that happened was that the psychiatrist assigned me medicine without even looking at my file. I didn’t find this out, my parents did. He got reprimanded by the head of the hospital. The next time it was a different hospital and the person doing my intake interview me was that same psychiatrist.

    I got out of the first hospital after two weeks being there because I decided to just show them what they wanted to see. But I couldn’t stop myself from crying at this interview. It made me cry more when I him taking notes when I failed to answer questions. I couldn’t stop crying to speak much. His face and voice blank, emotionless, and that scared me.

    There was also a nurse, can’t remember which hospital, who was taking blood. I took needles badly back then, and a staff member told me to ask for the butterfly needle (it was smaller). The blood-taking nurse was a stern, kind of hard woman who told me it’s only for the little kids and used a normal needle on me. The next person in line was a girl around my age who got the butterfly needle. If your wondering, I’m male.

    The hospitals never made me feel better. I’d be admitted seeming like I always was, calm, polite, articulate, smiling. I had problems, I still do, but I didn’t feel like they knew how to treat me. I always felt like I was in control of what they thought about me, and after staying for an ominous amount of time, I acted like I was better and they released me.

    The patients were interesting, so I guess that’s positive.

  160. Amanda says:

    I am 16 and I have thoughts of killing someone, anyone, I just wanna see the fear in their face, I wanna see all the fears and everything I’ve gone through in my life all on their face for just a second. If I tell my physiologist about this will I be admitted to the mental hospital ?

    • Alex Jude says:

      I sure hope so.For your safety as well as others. I, as many people do carry a legal concealed weapon. I would hate to ever have to use it in self defense. But I would. Seek help please.

    • Deep says:

      Amanda you already got what you want to see. Just telling someone what you wrote does put the same fear. What would happen if you did find this victim and it was really someone that already felt and experienced all your pain. They would give you empathy. However; you wouldn’t get to see the reaction on their face because their pain already is and was the same or worse. You wouldn’t get the satisfaction you wanted. Meanwhile you just killed them and the feelings you wanted are not there and you now are locked up for life. What you need to know is you aren’t alone. You need to get help for the pain and anger you feel. Learn to deal with it. You’re young hiding these feelings will hurt you even more. May you please open up and get the hurt and anger in control so you can change your life and be successful and prosper. Love yourself even when it is so hard to find love. Best wishes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whatever you do, do not go to a psychologist or any mental health professional they will admit you in a heartbeat.

      • Alex Jude says:

        Why would you give such irresponsible advice to a young person threaten to harm another person just to see fear in there face?

    • trayvonte says:

      man im 22 i pray u dont do none of that people r fucced up trust me i feel u yes they admit u they gone do it regardless smh please do tell them shit!!!! talk to a real one cuz they not it i did 7 year in jail they are bad let me no the issue try me first for get what they talkin bout every one that said they will admit u. on here yes trust me but let me no first i promise ill get the best advice for u but people i care for u cuz i was born with that love ill be a cool ass friend im very spiritual not christan im open mined

  161. Rhiannon says:

    I’m so fricken scared going back to hospital tomorrow. I’m telling him the truth on how I lied about not feeling suicidal anymore just to get out of hospital but in fact I am still feeling suicidal and am scared he will throw me back in the mental health ward as I’m only on leave. I’m so scared and don’t know what to expect 🙁

  162. Joe says:

    Nothing in my life is working. I’m alone in everything I do. I don’t really want to die but can’t help but feel that I and everyone else would just be better off if I was gone. I am a constant drain on my aging parents’ money, I drive away anyone who appears to care about me, sometimes in very mean ways, I contribute nothing to society, my drug use is getting more and more serious. If I had enough money on me right now, I would go buy 2 grams of H and a handful of Xanax and hope to just go to sleep and never wake up. Every morning when I do wake up, I’m even more depressed that I didn’t die in my sleep. I’ve been trying to get the materials together for a helium hood setup but I can’t afford it. I’m so pathetic I can’t even afford to kill myself.

    My last birthday I went to a movie alone, went to dinner alone, and then sat in my car in the parking lot of the restaurant, alone, for 3 hours because I didn’t want to go home so early. I wanted my parents to think I was out having fun. Most nights I sit in the car in a parking lot so my parents think I’m out with my friends. I don’t have one single person that is an actual friend. I have drug buddies. I have a few acquaintances. But anyone who was a friend I pushed away long ago.

    I’m going to be 38 years old in 2 months. I’m unemployed and have been for almost 10 years and have lived with my parents since 2000. I haven’t had a serious relationship with a girl ever. I repeat, I have NEVER had a girlfriend in my entire life. I tried, but every girl I have ever fallen didn’t like me like that. I fat, I’m a nerd. I haven’t had sex in 12 years and that was with a hooker. I can’t remember the last time I was hugged or even touched by someone. I don’t even know if I want to have to sex anymore.

    I can’t keep my thoughts straights. I get these huge short bursts of motivation followed by long periods of depression and no energy. I start a million projects and never finish any of them, adding to my feelings of failure and worthlessness. I try to talk to my mom and 2 minutes into my story I’m off on a tangent and lost the original train of thought. I can’t sleep. I sit in bed and rehash every mistake I ever made in my entire life. I’m talking about sitting in bed at 4am, at age 37, and feeling ashamed of something that happened in 5th grade. Ashamed and embarrassed to the point I hide my head under the pillow and can feel myself blushing! There are things I won’t admit to myself, how could I ever talk to a therapist? There are 2 things I’ve done in my life that are so shameful that I have almost totally blocked them out from my memory. I know they happened, and I remember the gist of it, but I’ve blocked out the details of those 2 nights because I just can’t handle fully reliving them in my mind. How could I every be honest with a therapist if I can’t be honest with myself?

    I’m afraid to talk to a therapist because I think I’ll tell them something and they will tell me I’m bats**t insane and have me committed in a straitjacket and padded room, doped up on lithium until I don’t even exist anymore.
    I don’t know what to do and I can’t talk to anyone about it. I need help and I have no where to go.
    What do I do? Someone please help me… No one can help me… I just wish I didn’t have to wake up ever again. Nothing brings me joy, Things I used to LOVE to do, things that excited me, hold no value to me anymore. If I was addicted to opiates, if I didn’t get dopesick without them, I would never leave my house. I would never get out of bed.

    I can’t cope anymore. I’ve been killing time in my life for 20 years. Killing time until what? Death! And it is taking forever. I’ve been passive aggressively killing myself since I was 16. Smoking like a chimney, eating garbage, never exercising. I am 37 and I have NO teeth. Full dentures top and bottom. How would I ever go on a date with a girl? How could I ever kiss a girl? I think she would know instantly… I don’t keep my hair cut or give a f**k how I dress. I hate everything I have become, I hate everything I do.

    Sorry to ramble on, its what I do…

    • Deanna says:

      There are people out there who wouldn’t care if you have teeth or not. There are people out there who will not care about your weight. Nobody is the same, and nobody is different. I believe one of these days you can be smiling with a real reason behind it, not because i don’t understand, but because i believe in you. There is somebody out there who will be willing to listen to you, and somebody who will understand. Somebody who will help you and will not be reluctunt to do so. I think you may need to tell somebody, see a doctor. Yes, even doctors don’t always understand. But sometimes no matter what they say, you have to stand up. Somebody has to listen to you. You deserve more. You have a voice and it needs to be heard. Waiting lists to see a therapist can be long. And a person may or may not think that they were worth waiting for. A therapist can sometimes say the same thing over and over again every time you visit and it can be as though it isn’t helping whatsoever. I don’t think mental care hospitals are the way they once were. Of course, not every doctor or nurse their has the job because they truly care about patients. Some doctors can treat you just like other people do. But there are ones who will care, who do care and they will do everything they need to in order to help you. No matter how long it takes or how long your stay is there, if it actually helps you, i believe its worth it. There is no normal. You may not be able to stand it but i don’t think its bad for a 30 some year old to still be living with his parents. And just because you may have never been in a serious relationship, isn’t to say you never will. You do not need somebody to be happy. It lies within yourself. I hope you are able to be happy one of these days. Please stay strong. I support you.

    • dave says:

      Hi Joe. That sounds horrible for you and reading your story I see you are focusing on so many negatives with shame and self loathing asking for help, but then stating “nothing can help me”. Listing the problems, but not noting how lucky you are to have parents who sound as though they love and support you and i expect would be devastated if you took your life. They are one of your protective factors
      This is fairly classic stuff and similar to what I continue to be tortured with.
      I don’t know what if anything you had in mind when you asked for help, but there are some basic things you should try. See a doc to ask for a trial of ssri antidepressants. Talking treatments. Some may be available free through phone lines where you may not need to give your identity. Samaritans are a listening service but may ‘signpost’ you to other organisations. Funny you should mention lithium as it’s pretty much the only drug shown to reduce suicide in clinical trials.
      You write well and sound intelligent, have a car and could fo some useful work. This would help take you away from those destructive ruminations
      Try and regain some self respect and bring some structure into your life; eat decent food at regular times, get out of bed at the same time each day. Do some walks. Try for voluntary work. Try and identify what you enjoy or what makes you feel happy. Think back to the happy occasions, not just the bad ones.
      There is no instant answer for you, but you need to find where you fit in and, what helps your mood
      ? Try drug services counselling.
      Never give up
      Dave (doctor)

    • dave says:

      Just another thought Joe It may be worth checking, to understand yourself better, to see if you have Aspergers or HFA . I have this as probably does Bill Gates, Doc House and Einstein. It’s really common and may explain the social difficulties you have had. If you get a diagnosis you may get access to some support services. ? Worth a try.
      Also ?? Bipolar ; now a very trendy diagnosis; Brad Pitt, Jim Carey, Lady Gaga.
      Also why not try listing out your strengths – education, computer literate, knowledge of addiction to name but a few. Can you visualise a possible happy life for yourself in a few years time? If so, maybe you could keep that in mind.

    • tj says:

      Joe, I’m not a therapist but I am surrounded with mental illness. I have depression, not the sad gloomy cloud over my head kind, rather no motivation or interest in anything. Mine is chemical not situational, as in it doesn’t get worse because things get worse. Its just there. People like me go unnoticed throughout life, never receiving treatment and it often results in the things you explained. It sounds to me like you have depression, maybe adhd, and surely some anxiety. The best thing you could do is get in with a doctor. Every bit of it is treatable. You still have time to get your life on track. You can be happy. Please at least give it a shot. Good luck : )

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey there Joe. Just wondering how things are going? Lots of suggestions here. Have you had a go at any changes yet? Been to see the doc to try some meds or a referral? Finding anything positive to work on?
      Maybe not, but I really hope you do find a glimmer of positive stuff somewhere?

  163. Emma says:

    I am 15 and suffer from depression, ADD, and anxiety. I am taking new meds all the time and it messes with my mood. Since I got out of a hospital I got worse. I started cutting even more and have even more severe suicidal thoughts. The only person in my family who cares about me is my dad, so I don’t want to upset him if I die. What do I do?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hello Emma,

      How awful to be going through all that you describe. Please tell your father! And also please tell your psychiatrist, family physician, or whoever else is prescribing your medication. It is well known that antidepressants can increase suicidal thoughts in young people; see the post Do Antidepressants Cause Suicide?

      If you want to talk to someone immediately about what you are going through and do not yet want to tell your father, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK). Better yet, if you are having severe suicidal ideation right now, please call 911 for immediate help staying safe, if you are in the U.S. If you live elsewhere, please call your area’s emergency number.

      Please feel free to drop by and let us know how you are doing, Emma!

    • Deanna says:

      I wont tell you to simply go back again. Anything can have an outcome. And that outcome can be for better or worse. I do believe you can be happy. Not because i don’t understand, but because i believe in you. And i also believe that one of these days you can be smiling with a real reason behind it. I could tell you to help yourself. To tell someone. But not everybody will have a ‘positive’ reaction to the way you feel. And helping yourself may not always be ‘enough’. Does your father know about how you feel even after going to hospital?

    • Kylie says:

      Lovely flower, what you should do is throw away those tools of hurt. Your father wouldn’t want you to be in so much pain, and neither do I. You should try to find things that you enjoy, or perhaps going to a therapist will help. I don’t know dear, but I know how you feel. I’m 15 also and have experienced a similar situation. I’m rambling now, but the point in trying to make is that you deserve to live and be happy while you live because you are an organism, and that’s what all things deserve. Every living thing deserves a peaceful, happy, and buoyant life.

    • dave says:

      I pray that you can find the strength and resilience to keep going. One day at a time keep on keeping on. You are young and have the potential for a wonderful life ahead. Try to find any positive things and work on developing them. I expect you will get some glimpses of better moods during each week. Try writing down what happened on the days you felt better and then do more of those things. Reinforce the positive and try and not dwell on the negatives.
      maybe easier said than done though.
      If you succeed you will be stronger wiser and could find hope.
      I truly wish you success.

  164. Terry says:

    I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for 25 years. Now I’m off my Meds. I was taking 20mg celexa and been on different benzos for 20 years. Now I am at rock bottom with no way out it looks like. I’ve not been out of the house in 6 months. I’m at wits end now and since I’ve gotten off my Meds my health has gone down. Is it wrong to have to take Meds now the rest of my life and people say not to take Valium now for anxiety even tho doctors put me on them 20 years ago. I stay lost all the time on what to do and just want to give up. I’m 53 now and Dont want to be in this misery anymore. What to do?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      How awful to be so isolated and in so much pain. What would make it wrong to take meds the rest of your life? Whatever answer you consider needs to be in the context of a discussion with your physician as well as a consideration of this question, too: Is it wrong to take medications that can abate your suffering?

      Regarding Valium, is this something you can discuss with your doctor? I would trust my physician’s opinion over the opinions of well meaning friends and family.

      Here’s a link to an article that discuss long-term medication: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1911177/

      Please also consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) or check out the Resources page here https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp for a list of resources available by phone, text, chat or email.

      Good luck to you!

  165. Dan says:

    So because I am 20 they are more likely to force me in. This is scary to me because I cut myself. The worst thing is I d know way I do it ninety percent of the time. I do know however that I will out of anger occasionally lately because I ruined a chance with a girl because of my anxiety. I however do not know if I am depressed or not.

    • Rhiannon says:

      Thanks guys for the replies. I got admitted on wed day and it is now Friday 12:45pm and I am on weekend leave with a whole pile of tablets which is gonna knock me around and make me tired 🙁 I hate the mental health ward. You get some very rude staff there

  166. Rhiannon says:

    I’m going to the doctors tomorrow and I’m telling him about my constant self harm and severe suicide thoughts. I am from Australia. I am scared that I will be admitted as I was last time about 3-4 years ago. This is happening tomorrow. I am sooo scared. What should I expect?

    • Anonymous says:

      Depends how you answer the docs questions, what you want and what they make of you. The doc will want to cover their backs and be safe, so if you tell him the high risk stuff and behave dramatically, you may be admitted, but this doesn’t often happen. Have a look at this
      Best to think through what you actually want from your visit tomorrow and discuss it with a friend if possible. You will be able to guide the process and be in control if you wish, but if you really feel very unsafe and don’t trust yourself to stay alive, close supervision as an inpatient may be appropriate. You know already what happens with admission and have probably decided whether in retrospect it was appropriate before 3 years ago. There is no instant magic answer to change your thinking, although time is usually helpful and now you are older and wiser and know more about what happens.
      Try and work out from your previous experience what things are most helpful for you. Think what was happening in your life when you have not felt suicidal and is there any way of getting your head back to that more settled feeling. Is there something that settles you ? meditation or distraction (but avoid alcohol). If you wind yourself up into a state of high anxiety, you will not present well and are more likely to cause concern with the docs, but remember you are the one who can be in control of the whole situation. You have presumably made the appointment because you want help and you can get out of it what you want.
      I hope and pray you can find some good thoughts, some happiness, something to look forward to and move away from self harm. Maybe try “ego strengthening exercises”, mindfulness meditation etc. You know you want to feel better or you wouldn’t have posted!

    • dave says:

      That sounds better anyway and you must have good support to be given weekend leave so soon. Keep your strength up I hope you find a good strategy for the future.

    • Rhiannon says:

      Thanks Dave, I have to go back on Monday at 11am on the dot to find out if I need to stay or if I can be fully discharge on certain circumstances. I hate that place even being home I still don’t feel fully free as I know I’m not discharged yet I only got the weekend leave and have to keep my phone on me 24/7

      • Alex Jude says:

        I hear you. Im on a 24/7 “stay in touch with us” now. I don’t feel like a danger to my self but the so called professionals think otherwise . I hate it.. Take care my friend. Alex the suicide watch patient.

        • Alex Jude says:

          Well, FKB. called my sheriff’s department on me. Im thankful that they were concerned but, It put another hindrance on my career and employment potential. Im glad to be responding right now but, still depressed as Hell. Alex.

        • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

          Hi Alex, I am sad to hear about your depression. I don’t understand your email, though. What is FKB?

    • Rhiannon says:

      They wanted to admit for 1 more week but they realised I was so scared about staying they let me go home but I have to come back tomorrow and Friday. I told them I didn’t feel suicidal anymore but in fact I still do but I won’t tell them that as I don’t want to be stuck there

    • dave says:

      Hi Rhiannon. That’s fine not to have admit some suicidal thoughts as long as you have some protective factors eg family and also that you feel you can manage safely. It’s a bit of a game to play about admission, but not admitting to suicidal thoughts will allow them to legitimately keep you out of hospital. Keep safe though and let them know if you’re not coping.

  167. Steve J says:

    I lived my life having uncontrollable seizures because of Epilepsy. Each day was normal to me. After 40 years I was able to have an operation, brain surgery, to stop seizures. This is because medical things that are done now could not be done 10 years ago. I spent my life waiting for seizures, to brace myself for whatever could happen and make sure I took my medications of course. After the operation the seizures stopped and I felt like I was freed and was happy. It didn’t last but a couple of months. I started realizing how much I missed out on in life. Because of the seizures I had kept to myself, and now realizing that I had no family, a wife, a son or daughter or even any real friends. It was too late to try and start learning a career. It is easy for people to say go to school or start a family at the age of 47. You see the costs are one thing but starting all over by myself is not that easy. I went into depression quickly, feeling lost and alone. I took care of myself my whole adult life but it was different now. I had to learn how to live just like everyone else. I could only compare myself with others who had careers and families making things worse. I started seeing a psychologist for depression. He said for me it was like I was a baby having to start life all over again. This has been going on for three years now. I do drive now but the kind of work I can get is for younger ages. A lot of physical work with no thinking needed. I cant seem to get jobs my age because of the lack of experience. I don’t seem to fit in with the people where I work. I also still cant make friends, especially people my age. While I am almost 50 now, it is the way I feel inside because of starting all over I feel younger but I appear older to others. There seem to be so many “roadblocks” that keep me from adjusting to a new “normal” life with no time to spare that I just want to give up. The therapist that I’ve been seeing for three years refuses to give up on me. I do appreciate that, I just wish I could feel the same way. Lately, I been thinking more that it would just be easier to die. It’s not like I will effect anyone else’s life. All I do is worry about things and I cant see things getting better. I’ve come to believe that each day like this is normal and will continue, nothing to look forward to and no one to be with. I know this is depression, but I still feel the same way. I do feel alone and at the same time know there are others feeling the same way out there. Maybe it would help if I somehow knew things can get better.

    • dave says:

      There’s no doubt it may get better but finding that place where you’re fit in will be difficult and the more time goes on the more you will be hard wired with these feelings. If you can visualise a future which is acceptable you’re halfway there and will be able to make happen . Otherwise it’s the usual stuff – try medication, ect, exercise, lifestyle improvements, joining groups, socialising, diet, volunteering, meditation. However despite all of this it may not change and you are left with coming to terms with this – acceptance and commitment therapy. And if that’s not any good you’re left with yourself and those that love you ?church or your religion may help. It sound like you may have quite a few things left to try. Good luck

    • Steve Jackson says:

      Thanks for your comments Dave, but my “story” was getting so long that I left things out. I take five medications for Epilepsy and depression. I try different things (like going to school two years ago to learn graphic design, I was always an artist). I was told at a young age by teachers to continue art in college, it was not possible then. When I tried after the operation I didn’t fit in, things were all done by computer and I was lost. I ended up quitting and owing money. I did some landscaping starting with my own yard. It changed the looks and stood out to others who stopped and gave me compliments. I did do work for others but it didn’t last. People could not afford it or only hired professionals. These two things are just a couple of examples. I get my hopes up and then feel like I have failed again. Then I lose interests. It keeps me from trying anything else knowing that I will fail again. I do talk to people but only in a short conversation. I feel like I have nothing to say when they ask what I did or have done in the past. I feel like I am complaining when I talk about my past. I never wanted anyone to feel sorry for me. For a while I exercised and starting eating better, but then asked myself why I was doing it. Do I really want to live longer? It is easy for me to talk with people, yet people my age already have a career and a family and not interested in really getting to know me, besides I do hide my depression from them. I wonder if I meet someone I really like would I just drive them away? I know if I go for a walk or just get outside I do feel better. When I sit at home alone I end up thinking to much. It’s like I need someone to give me a push. It does get hard for me to even get up sometimes. I’m not sure of any groups I could go to. I already tell myself that I would be sitting behind talking to no one. My doctor tells me to do or try one thing at a time but with so much on my mind, what I’ve missed, where to go, what to try and at the same time how far behind in life I am, it is easier to just give up. (Most of my family died at a young age because of cancer(s) and high blood pressure). I compare the time I have left to my family members. My doctors have told me that I am in better health and appear to be in my late 30’s because of the years of walking to get around when I had seizures. Of course I have a problem of trusting what I hear. Since I lived alone most of my life I didn’t believe what I was told by almost anyone. That is another one of my problems, trust. Failing at things people tell me to do just adds to it. It just seems to be too much to take on and accomplish at the same time. If I could tell anyone at a younger age, no matter what they are dealing with, just do not be alone. Don’t hide from others thinking it is the best thing to do.

  168. martyn c says:

    I have told mental health if they discharge me I would take a overdose they still discharged me so I took a overdose and they trying to discharge me again is this legal as I will just take a overdose again

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Martyn, I’m sorry you’ve gone through such a hard time. It’s been a week since you posted your comment, so perhaps you are in a better place now.

      I can’t tell you whether the hospital’s actions are legal or not. Perhaps there is a patient advocate or ombudsman who can help?

      If you are looking for extra support when you get home, or whenever, please check out the Resources page on this site: https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

  169. Me says:

    Does it cost a lot of money to be in one of these places? Does insurance cover all of it??

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hi “Me,”

      Yes, healthy insurance usually covers most of the costs, and yes, it can cost a lot of money to be in a psychiatric hospital in the U.S., depending on where you go and how long you are there. For people who do not have much money, there are various ways that they can get help for little to no money, such as going to public hospitals (which typically are VERY hard to get admitted to, because resources are scarce) or enrolling in Medicaid, as examples.

    • trayvonte says:

      man they freely take bums all the time im so normal and they messed up in there im only 22 i did 7 years in jail i promise no one should go there…. that mental heath treatment shit is not the bizz i dont lie like that the truth hurts sometime but trust me u dont want to go there

  170. Tom says:

    The problem with myself is that I get too scared that I might commit suicide in the future, whether it be 10 or 20 years and I do NOT want to but there are situations that have made me feel very depressed based on events and the problem is that I can just simply stop my medication for blood pressure and insulin for diabetes which if I don’t take, it will have severe consequences or do what I did years ago which will be deadly for me. I have to encourage myself to think positive and not let people put me down. From reading other posts, I get scared that if I’m committed to a mental health unit and the way the users on here are making it sound how mental health units are hell, that if that happens to me, it might make me stop my life support meds. If a mental health unit treats me like crap, its basically like them saying to me… once you’re discharged, get rid of yourself with unspoken words.

    I have traveled all over the world, and try to do activities to keep me occupied, but sometimes, I do get depressed on the trips where I’ve even had thoughts but ya know, I do come around. I am currently on a antidepressant, but sometimes, someone can just push the wrong button on me and make my mind go a different direction to where I want to hurt myself. For example, I was threatened to be beat up just for defending myself. It made me feel so worthless, I really thought of hurting myself.

    A few years ago on a trip to Europe, while on a cruise ship, I got threatened by a passenger and it just frightened me so bad, It made me have those thoughts and I just wanted to get off in a country and poison myself, but the situation got better as the cruise ship followed the procedures on the threat and felt much better. I’m just to quick to act.

    Right now, I feel fine and NOT suicidal, but I do get the thoughts and I wish I wouldn’t.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Tom, thanks for your insightful comment. It sounds like sometimes suicidal thoughts overtake you, unbidden, and they understandably frighten you. It is a good sign that you wish the thoughts would stop. If they come again, please consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK).

      I found myself thinking of two things while reading your comment. One, I wonder if you have received any psychotherapy or even read many psychology-type books on healing depression, in addition to the medication you take. Because of your motivation to approach problems differently, you might really benefit from therapy or self-help. Both can result in long-lasting change.

      I also want to address the negative comments that others here make about psychiatric hospitals. Keep in mind that people who are happy with services, whether at a restaurant, hairdresser or a psychiatric hospital, are a lot less likely to comment if their experience is normal or even good.

      Keep in mind, too, that if somebody spent time in a psychiatric hospital, benefited from the treatment they received there, and moved to a place in their mind where they no longer felt suicidal, then they are not likely to come to a website for people dealing with issues related to suicide.

      I don’t mean to discount the negative comments here. People have raised serious and troubling issues about how psychiatric hospitalization, especially against one’s will, can be traumatic. And yes, it could be devastating to go to a psychiatric hospital and receive inferior care. Hospitalization can make some people feel worse.

      To me, this is like surgery to save a life. Sometimes surgery works, and the person recovers. Sometimes it produces greater injuries. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Still, millions of people choose surgery for life-threatening conditions.

      If someone is in serious danger of suicide – if a life is at stake – it seems worthwhile to work toward safety and recovery, even if (and especially if) at some point it becomes necessary to stay a brief time in a psychiatric hospital.

  171. Tom says:

    It’s always a blessing when a person is suicidal that they tell someone and that person either calls the cops and convinces them to get help because they care. If the person who is suicidal really wanted to carry on with their plan, they would just do it. I myself am a suicide survivor and had a near death experience and I regret doing what I did because it was over something very stupid and I rather not tell what I did, but I was in the hospital for 2 weeks in the ICU all because somebody called my house to tell them that they thought I was having a stroke. A Psychiatrist did talk to me and I told her that I am no longer suicidal and It was a terrible mistake I made and I did not have to be evaluated once she saw I was no longer suicidal.

    What I don’t understand about the mental health unit is that some do not care to help the patient and just warehouse them there. Do they realize that after the patient is discharged, that patient is more at risk of committing suicide because now, the mental health unit just upset the patient even more. Taking dangerous items away obviously makes sense, but what matters more is what happens after discharge. Does Medication necessarily help?

  172. Alex says:

    Once again, I get denied employment due to my past mental health issues. My 4.0 GPA. means nothing, My EMS skills are worthless because of a situation that happened YEARS ago. This makes me come to the realization that as important as seeking help is, when it’s needed, it comes with a price. So, my advice to any medical professionals is… Keep it under your hat, don’t talk to anyone if you are having issues if you want to keep your job, move forward or advance in your field. It’s not going to happen for you. The same for military, keep any PTSD issues covert. Your security clearance is over, sad but true.
    I don’t give this advice lightly. I know only too well the importance of seeking mental health help. And I know only too well the price that comes with it. I am saddened with this realization.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Alex, I’m so sorry to hear about your continued struggles. Have you consulted an attorney? Employers in the U.S. are not allowed to ask about health conditions during the interview process. And if they do, you are allowed to decline to answer. If you are not being hired solely on the basis of past psychiatric treatment, the law is being violated. Please see http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/jobapplicant.html for more information.

      For the sake of others reading comments here, I want to challenge your sense that getting mental health treatment will stop everyone from getting a job or advancing in the field. That simply is not true. I know of a great many successful professionals in the medical field (and other fields, including the military) who received mental health treatment without any negative effects on their career. Of course there are exceptions, and you seem to be one of them. But the fact is, you can’t know just from looking at someone whether they have received mental health treatment. So you don’t know how many people out there have such treatment and are thriving.

      Again, I’m really sorry about your struggles and wish that you were not getting turned down by prospective employers. But…I think it does a disservice to tell somebody who is hurting so badly that they want to end their life that getting help will only hurt them. It can help. It often does.

      Alex, please do consider consulting an attorney. Employers should not be asking about your mental health history in an interview for an EMS position!

  173. TiredClinicalStudent says:

    I have been reading this article quite a bit lately and I have a question: what do you do if psychiatric care is what is making you suicidal?

    I ask because my partner recently got sectioned for the fourth time under particularly violent circumstances. she attended the ER with suicidal ideation and when the nurses saw her previous history she was wrestled to the floor made to strip and then forcibly medicated.

    so now she is in the hospital and the doctors are curious about her triggers. While she has anxieties about issues like work and family she told me that she particularly finds psychiatric treatment particularly troubling. medications are a big part of this as she suffers from serious side effects and finds the constant swapping of medications grueling and it played a significant role in her last two hospitalizations.

    so now we are in a catch-22. she won’t be released until she stops having suicidal ideations but the care she is receiving is encouraging her suicidal thoughts.

    • dave says:

      I know the feeling. I think the best option is for her to play the role of a recovered patient, even if she isn’t. That will both help her get discharged from hospital and also there will be the “fake it till you make it” effect which should actually help her recovery. Otherwise she will be controlled by the psychiatric system!

  174. Jon says:

    I’ve been reading the comments to this article and I find it a bit curious: why are so many people commenting on the fact that their involuntary stay was horrid? Is the fact that they are commenting at all actually a good sign? It means they did not go through with suicide after all.

    The reason I’m looking at these topics is that I feel like I should visit a psychiatrist. I mainly want to go to find something to make me do things. I have an issue with never actually doing things and hating things such as work. It’s difficult to say whether it would interfere with my normal life, as my life hasn’t really been very unusual and different. It could be because of the same reasons. I’m a bit afraid that I might not want to be completely honest with the psychiatrist – I have some pretty unusual thoughts about the world and myself. I do not place much value in my own life, but I realize that instinctual reflexes will try to make me stay alive as much as possible. Anyways, I’m rambling, I’m afraid of telling everything to a psychiatrist because it’s a bit embarrassing (I can deal with that) and scary. It’s scary because there is such a thing as involuntary commitment.

    The problems comes from the fact that involuntary commitment is literally my greatest “rational fear”. What I mean by “rational fear” is that if I think of all the things I am afraid of the most in a logical sense, things I would not want happening to me, it would be involuntary commitment. Torture would be up there too, but it does not come close to #1. The reason for that is that torture is considered to be a bad thing. Society condemns torture, but it doesn’t do that to involuntary commitment. It is considered a good thing, yet I can easily see where it would be the same as torture.

    I realize that the likelihood of it happening are minuscule, but whether something seems dangerous to me isn’t based purely on the likelihood of happening. I have to also take into account the magnitude of the effect that such an event would have (eg the chance of winning the lottery is small, but the magnitude of the event is so large that to a lot of people it seems worth playing).

    The reason as to why I think involuntary commitment is bad is because it is involuntary. There is no other process which removes a person’s (my) rights without due process. You can argue that there is due process in involuntary commitment, but in reality it’s just the word of two physicians. Ones that often know each other or even agree with each other. There are cases where this is done in error, there are also cases where this is done maliciously – eg Gustl Mollath in Germany. Psychiatrists are just people, the likelihood that one of them could be annoyed and become vindictive exists. There is also the risk that what they (and other people) believe is right differs from what I believe. I, for instance, think suicide in certain cases (that aren’t extreme) is legitimate. Of course the reasoning should have sound logic, and the reasoning should probably be explained to someone and another person at another time (like a month later) just to make sure this isn’t a spur of the moment thing, but I do believe that it is legitimate. I do not know of any other person in real life who shares this belief with me. In fact, I would not want almost anybody that I know in real life making psychiatric decisions for me – I do not believe they would be thinking of what *I* would want, but rather what *they* would want.

    So all of this puts me in a conundrum: if I don’t ever contact a psychiatrist the chances of me ever being committed involuntarily are close to nil – probably many orders of magnitude lower than if I did. It is by far the biggest fear I have, because I am not exactly normal and don’t adhere to norms. I probably have a mountain of issues, just like everyone else, so this issue seems like a risk. Of course, my current plans do involve seeing a psychiatrist, but I still can’t shake the feeling that I am making a mistake with this. One that can never be taken back.

    How do I deal with the fear of a psychiatrist due to involuntary commitment? It’s not a fear I can just conquer because the likelihood of it ever happening is so low a trip or two there won’t really ease my fears. I also feel that bringing this up with a psychiatrist at any point in person is a very bad idea.

    Thank you for your time!

    Oh, one final thing: what about the 10% that did go on to commit suicide again? Wasn’t their freedom literally violated and they were forced to comply with threat of violence? Is that really an okay thing in our society?

    • Alex says:

      Why do you fear going to see a Psychiatrist? If you are having thoughts of self harm then go see a Dr., Call 911.Talk to a friend or family. If you think you are going to be IVC’ed. for having thoughts out side of the norm, don’t worry about it. Unless you are currently suicidal and have a plan of suicide you have a slim to none chance of being detained against your will. The only advice I can offer to you, not knowing you, is, seek help if you feel you need it. Peace. Alex

    • dave says:

      Ideally it sounds like you need to consult a professional with whom you can feel confident will act in your best interests to achieve the outcome you desire and that you remain in control. Addressing issues like motivation is not easy and if you want to try antidepressants, you will need to consult a doctor (family practitioner or psychiatrist). I suspect psychological techniques would be a good starting place though, so it may be that a psychologist or alternative practitioner would have something more useful to offer than a psychiatrist. Goal setting, planning, visualisation, small chunking, lifestyle improvement, time management, diet exercise etc if you haven’t already pursued these techniques. They are without side effects, may be more effective than medication, will boost your ego if you are successful and you can be confident you will remain in control to avoid admission.

    • Jon says:

      Alex, I explained the reasoning why I fear it – they simply hold too much power. There is no other aspect where it is legally possible for this kind of abuse (and misunderstanding) to occur. You say that I shouldn’t worry about it, but that’s what I’m literally asking about. What you just said is akin to “Hey, I have depressioon.” “Just get over it, stop being depressed.” I feel that the fear is completely rational and that many people just either don’t know the possibility and ease of such a process or trust law enforcement and doctors way too much to see this happening, or a combination of the two. And, again, it doesn’t matter that the likelihood is low – the magnitude of such actions is so vast that it simply ranks it at a high position in the list of worries.

      dave, the particular issues don’t matter here. I simply brought them up for background information. All the things you mentioned don’t work. They simply don’t work because to start doing them you actually need to put in the effort to start doing them and I simply don’t have such effort to give. But again, the exact details don’t matter.

      I’m interested in how to deal with this fear, rather than the other problems. This fear won’t go away regardless of any of these other issues, because to me it’s a completely rational fear – it is a complete oversight in the law and how human rights factor into it.

  175. name says:

    I heard these before, I believed it. But, now I know the reality: you are secluded, because of “procedure”. Intentionaly false diagnosis. yes, there are bars at windows. there are guards ready to seclude you if you are angry eaven you have a normal reason for it. Psychiatric drugs work like all drugs: they make you imposible to respond and they don’t resolve the symptom. antipsychotics are, in fact, tranquilizers. I realized soon that the only way to escape is to be “compliant” to admit that you have a serious mental illnes and the treatment is wonderful. find another way, never go to a psy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree I will never go to another hell hole again talk to friend and family somebody who knows and has your best interests at heart

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        “Anonymous,” I’m sorry that your experience was negative. It must have been pretty awful for you to consider the hospital a “hell hole.”

        Your suggestion to talk to friends and family is good, but it might not be enough if someone is in a highly dangerous suicidal state of mind. Keeping a dangerously suicidal person safe can be too big of a job for friends or family.

        How do friends and family their suicidal loved one from acting on suicidal thoughts? They can’t be expected to remove all potential suicide methods from a home, watch their loved one 24/7, physically overtake their loved one if the suicidal person decides to attempt suicide in their presence, keep the suicidal person from leaving the house, etc.

        I write about the limitations that people face when trying to help a suicidal person in this post: “You Can’t Do Everything: Limitations in Helping a Suicidal Person.”

        As I note in the post, even psychiatric hospitals cannot ensure the safety of a suicidal person. But, if the suicidal person truly is dangerously and imminently suicidal, hospitals have more resources to ensure the safety of suicidal people than lay people do. At least a hospital can keep its doors locked, have staff monitor the person 24/7, and keep the environment free of knives, shoelaces, razor blades, scissors, belts, scarves, blow dryers, hanging rods, and other commonplace instruments of death.

  176. Ben F says:

    I was at the hospital for 5 days, and it wasn’t an enjoyable stay, but I made it through OK. I’m very angry with the doctor who did it to me. And also, I have a story to tell about why I ended up there.
    Everyday in the summer, my grand-aunt took me to her house. We did everything together. Went everywhere. To stores, to restaurants, etc. And then, my world changed. She sold the house. The house I had spent my whole childhood at. So I cut myself many times, and had serious suicidal thoughts, so I was sent to the hospital.
    I had spent many years at that house, and she was forced to sell it. I know there are people out there with worse problems than me, but still, I am currently very sad.

  177. Mari says:

    Yes, I would rather die than be incarcerated without any rights. To be forced to take drugs, etc…yes. It is for this reason that I may cancel an appointment, I would really like to keep, to see a psychiatrist about PTSD. That which stops from getting help is the desire to continue to live. I came so close to killing myself about a week ago that I am still reeling, but at least I have some understanding of the trigger now…(PTSD).

    The PTSD is due strictly to those in the medical profession. One lie, on the part of any practioner and I am gone. Lock me up, and I will die. I cannot stand being locked in…I must always be allowed my freedom. I intend to die anyway. Have the means, the plan, just waiting for the right time, and in truth I would only go to this appointment because I need to stay alive for a few more months. Once my sons are alright…I can go.
    Not long now…No one is ever going to hurt me again, no one will ever have the opportunity, to lie, humiliate,degrade,and physically hurt me again…EVER

    As professionals you will always choose to believe other professionals, no matter how ridiculous it may be. I am working to place the business of medicine where it belongs…in the criminal courts. You are monsters of the highest degree. No compassion, no empathy, just arrogance, status-seeking, egoists,who care nothing at all for the patient…just yourselves and your peers. One day the power that you bear will come back to haunt you I guarantee it.

    • dave says:

      Please think why you have chosen to write these things. Clearly you are very angry with the medics but it sounds like you have turned this onto yourself. Would you be considering suicide for revenge? From your comments it sounds like it will have little impact on them, but the effect on your children would be enormous and life long. It must be horrible to be living in so much mental pain, but if you can keep on keeping on using non medical techniques such as meditation spiritual and exercise that will really show them.
      I pray you have the strength to keep going until you find the way to be more settled for you and all your family.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Well said, Dave. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments in the service of helping out people in pain, not only the author of the above comment but also the many people who share similar thoughts and feelings.

    • Alex says:

      Hi Mari, I read your post. I too have PSTD. From an assault. My nightmares haunt me often. I would say that my hospital stay was not pleasant but it did help me to recover. I was put on medications that did more harm than help. However, I am here to respond to you because of that unpleasant stay. My original introduction to the mental health system was from being prescribed SSRI. meds from a simple broken arm. Later that year, I was beat up in NYC and left for dead. Back to the hospital again. All I can say is if you feel the need to seek help then do so. Its not a pleasant experience but, Its a better option than self-destruction or worse. I do feel empathy for your situation. Please take care of your self. Peace. Alex.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Alex, thank you for reaching out to Mari and sharing your experience. I think you summed up well what many people have told me about their hospital experience: “It’s not a pleasant experience but it’s a better option than self destruction or worse.”

        No doubt hospitalization has been harmful to some people and helpful to others (and both helpful and harmful, too, to still others). I have known people who, like you, found that hospitalization did help them to recover, and I have known people who still struggle to recover from their hospital experiences.

        That said, I am happy to report that, of the people I know who have been in a psychiatric hospital, the majority were helped in some way by the experience.

    • Kid says:

      This is just horrific.
      God its kill yourself or have the institution do it for you. Fuck
      Hope you can find something worth living for

  178. Anonymous says:

    What happens if you feel you will benefit from a psychiatric stay – even if briefly, but you do not have the money to do so? Will you be burdened with debt after your stay? Will you be denied access unless you are taken in as an involuntarily committed patient?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      “Anonymous,” those are good questions, and I can’t answer for every location. In the U.S., hospitals are not allowed to turn people away if they are experiencing a medical (including psychiatric) emergency. So a hospital would need to either provide you with the care you need or arrange for you to receive it elsewhere (and transfer you by ambulance), assuming that you need inpatient hospitalization due to a psychiatric emergency.

      Would you be burdened with debt? It depends on several things – whether you are admitted to a public or private hospital, whether the private hospital you’re admitted to has a charity program that covers some hospitalizations, whether you have any insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.

      I know costs are a huge concern, and debt is no small thing. Even so, your life and your mental health are more valuable than money. I hope you will do what is needed for you to stay safe and to recover!

  179. Matthew E says:

    I told my therapist and he threw me away. Ill never pay back the $3000+ the hospital charged me. Worst of all they could have cared less about me when I was there. All they did was write in note books. BE WARNED MENTAL HOSPITALS ARE MENTAL PRISONS!!!!

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Matthew, I’m sorry your experience wasn’t helpful. As I’ve said elsewhere on this site, hospitalization has helped some people, hurt others, and both helped and hurt still others. I suppose it’s like many medical procedures. Even the most effective medical procedures do not help everyone and harm some people.

      On top of that, some hospitals are better than others. Some merely provide a locked environment with medical supervision, while others provide individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step groups, and more.

    • The boy in the striped pajamas says:

      They plop you in rooms of 15 different people, in front of ONE therapist, and they discuss (briefly) ONE coping skill. One coping skill? 15 people? over a million problems in the room total. That is not effective, what that is would be covering their asses so it can be “helping” you. “oh we don’t know, coping skills are different for everyone. That’s like going to an ER and giving everybody medication to treat Chlamydia. how does that help everybody else? They treated us like criminals. We were treated like a prison. we were thrown away by a society that went to war over the gassing of “our kind” along with Jews, homosexuals, and political prisoners. They would still go to war over locking up Jews or homosexuals or enemies of the state. But it’s STILL okay to lock up “our kind”. It’s wrong for us to do with OUR lives what we want? it’s wrong for us to decide we do not wish to live any more? But the SAME people don’t give a flying f*ck about us while we’re in there or when we get out. They call cops to have us cuffed, thrown in backs of cars, and dragged to remote camps where we are thrown away like yesterday’s trash. They applaud the cop who captured you. They applaud the psychiatric doctor (who makes money off of capturing you). They applaud the guard who beats you senseless and treats you like a subhuman (who gets paid to do so by the way). And they condemn you for wanting to do with your life what you want to do. They condemn you for wanting to die. if I had a tv and I no longer wanted it, and I own a shotgun, and i wish to use it for target practice i have every right to destroy the tv. Does the TV still work? who knows, i didn’t specify, but what if it did? Could it serve purpose to someone else? yes. Would it be the socially moral thing to do to give it away as opposed to destroy it? yes. But am i REQUIRED to give up the tv? no. But I don’t want it? Tough. Since when did the phrase “I’m done with this” become a legally binding statement? if I wish to destroy the TV because i think it would look cool or because it’s taking up space on my wall I get to do just that. You don’t have to agree with me or understand why i choose to do what I do, but you do have to respect that and not interfere with MY choice. A person’s life is no different.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        “The boy in the striped pajamas,”

        You have good company. I often get emails and comments on this site from people who argue fiercely that people should be able to end their life without any interference from others. People are very passionate about this topic, as are you, and it is an affront to many that they can be deprived of their civil rights and hospitalized against their will if they take an action to end the life that belongs uniquely to them.

        The arguments are compelling. Of those who oppose intervening to prevent a suicide, I wonder what their views are on why, then, society does take such actions. Given the constant exposure I have to arguments against stopping a person’s suicide, I sometimes wonder myself. It’s one thing to want someone to live, and it’s another to enact laws and policies that prevent people from dying by suicide.

        My own stance is that the suicidal person often is not rational, due to mental illness, substance use, trauma, or simply the heat of the moment, a stance that is supported by a large and growing body of research that shows that most people who survive a suicidal crisis do not go on to die by suicide. The crisis passed. The person stayed alive, and many such people, even people who suffered a loss of vision or limbs or functioning in their suicide attempt, are grateful that they did stay alive.

        But I also wonder about the effects of suicide on society. Any time somebody dies by suicide, the loss is a wound to all of society in some respect or other – grieving loved ones who now, by virtue of having lost a loved one to suicide, are statistically at greater risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors themselves; strangers who will be deprived of the person’s talents and skills; bystanders who were traumatized by witnessing the act or its aftermath. Perhaps, too, it is an insult to society, in the same way that not eating a meal can insult the chef. “Here, I have this feast of life before me, and I choose to leave it.” And what of the other people who stay? Are they foolish?

        Those are simply my musings. There are of course religious aspects, as well. Some people, based on religion, view life as sacred, and thus the loss of life should be prevented when possible.

        Are these reasons enough to warrant robbing someone of the right to freedom and self-determination?

        For me, the effects of suicide on society are not nearly as compelling as the loss of life for someone who we know, based on the experiences of legions of others, might well have come to appreciate being alive. The odds are that they would have forged a life worth living, and then, yes, added meaning and value not only to their life but to the lives of those around them. Perhaps not, but who knows who will be among the few who do not regain a will, even desire, to live?

  180. JJ says:


    I just had a question. If I tell my therapist that I’m suicidal and that I have a plan, is there any way to get treated without being hospitalized, or will they have me admitted because of the plan and intent?



    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      J.J., I don’t know the specifics of your situation so I will answer generally. And, generally, suicidal thoughts and a plan are not sufficient, by themselves, to warrant hospitalization. There also needs to be the intent to act soon, in fact quite soon, on those thoughts and plan.

      Of course, when anyone speaks in generalities, there are many situations that don’t apply. Someone with suicidal thoughts and a plan, but without the intent to act soon, might still warrant hospitalization if other factors are present, such as psychosis or inability to function.

      I have had quite a few clients who had suicidal thoughts and very detailed planning around how they would die by suicide, yet who did not need to be hospitalized. They did not have the intention to immediately carry out their plan (it was more like, “This is what I can do when and if the time comes….”) and they were able to collaborate with me on how to stay safe.

      Keep in mind that criteria for involuntary commitment tend to be quite stringent. The same applies, in many cities, to voluntary admission. Even people who are suicidal and want to be admitted to a hospital often are turned away. So I hope that fears of hospitalization will not stop you from seeking help.

      My best to you, and I am sorry you are dealing with suicidal thoughts! I hope other posts on this site can be of help to you, as well. Also please keep in mind the number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which is open 24/7. The number is 800.273.TALK (8255).

  181. doc dave says:

    But there’s not good evidence that hospital admission saves lives. As a doctor I believe it’s more about showing care to avoid litigation. Despite suicide watch and removal of dangerous items / ligature points, a determined person will have little difficulty with suicide or more commonly act well to get discharged and then peform the deed. Starting medication, ect and or intense psychotherapy seem legitimate reasons for admission, but inpatient suicides still occur.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Doc Dave, you are absolutely right about the limitations of hospitals. I address this briefly in my post about limitations in helping suicide people, which you can find here. Specifically, I write:

      “Even inside locked psychiatric hospital units, even when patients are under constant supervision, some patients die by suicide. That is staggering. It is also illuminating. If mental health professionals and psychiatric hospitals cannot prevent all suicides, then how can friends and family be expected to do so?”

      And I agree with you about hospitalization often serving solely to protect the mental health professional from liability. In fact, I think many professionals (and clients, family, friends, etc.) place excess hope in hospitalization, as if it will cure suicidality in 3 days or less.

      Finally, I don’t think there’s *any* evidence that hospitalization saves lives, but I am not entirely sure. There definitely is not, as you said, good evidence. The problem is, how does one really study this? We can’t randomize dangerously suicidal people into a no-treatment group, or even into an uncontrolled environment.

      These are all points I intend, at some point, to write about more in the future. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and adding to the discussion.

  182. Jes says:

    i’ve been feeling very Suicidal lately and my parents know that i have been cutting and stuff but i’m just really sick of crying so much over school problems and personal problems i really just want to tell my mum that i want to go to hospital and get help because i don’t feel safe at home anymore due to recent things that i have experianced. I hate being at home i really do all i can think about is family fights and something else i do not feel like saying i just really want to leave or run away but i know it would be better going to hospital insted of killing myself/running away but i just don’t know how to tell my mum or how she would react, she is amazing and helpful but when she found out about me cutting she started crying so me telling her that i want to kill myself and that i have recently tried it and that i need help i’m scared because i don’t know how she would react someone please help and give advice please! i really don’t want to seem attention seeking but i just don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jes, PLEASE tell your mother! Even if she gets upset, that’s a small price to pay for you to stay alive and get better.

      My advice is to show her this comment that you posted. That way, you don’t need to build up the courage to tell directly.

      It also might be helpful for your mom to read this post, 10 Reasons Teens Avoid Telling Parents about Suicidal Thoughts. That post also links to other posts with information about how parents can best respond to a suicidal child.

      Again, please tell your mom. She needs to be able to get you the help you need, but she can’t do that if she doesn’t know how much you need the help.

    • Kid says:

      Ha I feel like I’m in the same situation

  183. JeanPaul says:

    Having worked with many mental health professionals over the years, my advice is:
    1. do seek help
    2. Be VERY careful who you seek it from.

    I have worked with wonderful therapists who I credit with saving my life. I have also worked with psychiatrists who were verbally abusive, dishonest and negligent. My experience has generally been that psychiatrists range from contemptuous to abusive, while most psychologists range from from good natured but stupid to wonderful. I would say that if you need help, find a psychiatrist to get medication and then talk to them as little as possible, find a therapist and let them heal you.

    And don’t wait until you are already suicidal to get help. I waited too long for support and landed in a hospital. That got me well (though I relapsed), but it was traumatic. It’s better than dying, but really not a good time.

    Get help NOW! Before it’s too late.

    Another warning for those seeking help… There is no quick fix. Depression isn’t like the flu. You don’t get better. It’s more like diabetes. You can manage it and live a full successful life, but it will never go away.

    • Alex Jude says:

      Hi Jean. Very true whom you speak to in regarded to mental health. Emergency department doctors are great for a broken bone or stitches but they should not write a prescription for SSRI medications. Or, your walk in mental health community center is over worked,under staffed,under paid and to be honest an entry level career position. I have found that a friend, teacher,or clergy is a better starting point. This web site is a better option then most community mental health facilities have to offer. Some people really need medication but talk therapy is often more helpful.Anyway, Im not an expert on the topic but I’ve had my up’s and downs. Right now im on a downward curve. Peace, Alex.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jean Paul, you make very good points. Mental health providers range on a continuum, from the very bad to very good. I wish the “very bad” were not out there, but every profession has them, including, sadly, the helping professions.

      I feel sad when I hear someone say, “I went to a therapist once and he/she was awful, so I’ll never try that again.”

      For those reading this who have had a bad experience with a therapist, psychiatrist, psychiatric hospital, or psychiatric medication, if you are suicidal or otherwise in need of help, please try again. As Jean Paul said, the earlier you get help, the better.

      I promise you, there are good mental health treatments and providers out there, even amid the bad.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      P.S. Jean Paul, I agree with you that, for many people, depression is a chronic illness that can be managed but not cured. But there are some very fortunate people out there who have had depression and who got better without ever relapsing. And there are people who go many, many years before relapsing.

      For those who do struggle with depression repeatedly, it definitely is possible to still live a full, successful life, as you put it. The keys seem to be healthy living (good sleep hygiene and regular exercise, in particular) and, for some people, a consistent regimen of antidepressants, even after the depressive episode has ended.

  184. Alex Jude says:

    Hi: I never had any mental health issues until I was put on psychotropic drugs for pain management, for a broken arm. Given the problems with opioids, it seemed like a good idea as I didn’t want to deal with any dependency problems. I didn’t do well on them,I complained to my Dr. only to be told that my body would get used to them. I didn’t. I started having major mood swings, It got to the point that I was hospitalized in behavioral health. I did sign my self in under the threat of being IVC. I was over medicated while inside and my actions were thought to be suicidal so I was put into seclusion. Your right when you say they don’t use straitjackets anymore. They use chemical restraints. A week or so later, I was discharged but still prescribed benzodiazepines. This caused more problems to the point of psychosis and suicidal ideation. Back to behavioral health. I was fortunate enough to find a good Psychiatrist . He took me off of the benzodiazepines and now, I am back to my old self. However, this history of hospitalization haunts me. I have a 3.5 GPA. in Human service and EMS. It is all but useless as any job I apply for with the state rejects me for my psychiatric. record. I don’t like to say it but I have come to the conclusion that it is better to not even talk about your own mental health issues. It seems no different than a criminal record. I would love to hear any feed back you may have on this situation. Alex.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hello Alex, I am so sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds traumatic on many different levels. How fortunate that you found a good psychiatrist who was able to recognize and relieve the side effects you were experiencing.

      I am confused about your mental health treatment history preventing you from getting job offers. Such information is confidential, protected health information. No employer has the right to know of any of your health treatment, psychiatric or otherwise. And no one is supposed to be able to discriminate on the basis of a health condition, regardless. There may be exceptions (such as airline pilots, who need to demonstrate they are mentally fit for the job) but these are very rare.

      Confidentiality in the U.S. is protected by HIPAA, among other statutes. What you describe above could violate the law, both in terms of robbing you of privacy and of discriminating against you. I suggest you consult a lawyer!

    • Alex Jude says:

      Thanks for the response. The problem I am having is with the application questions about mental health history. If I don’t answer truthfully, I am omitting information. If i do answer truthfully i get passed over. I thought HIPAA laws would cover me but it doesn’t seem to. It is a background clearance issue. I do feel that seeking psychiatric help when needed is a good and healthy thing to do but, in the real world, some things are best left covert. Still confused, Alex.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Hi Alex, I am really sorry to hear that you are being discriminated against in this way. I know some professions do have a justification for checking mental health history. (I suspect, for example, the Secret Service would be one.)

        It is already hard enough for people with mental health problems to get the help they need. The threat of job discrimination just makes it harder.

  185. jess says:

    I feel that I need “help” or therapy. I’ve attempted suicide multiple times throughout my life and I’m only 14. I’ve thought about death starting from a young age. My best friend is always telling me I should seek therapy but my parents don’t think it’s necessary and they say I’m not allowed to talk about death or think suicidal thoughts. I want help but my parents won’t allow me to get any

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Jess, it is painful to read that your parents won’t allow you to get professional help or to talk about death or to think of suicide. From your comment, it’s clear that you want help. And people can’t usually just “turn off” suicidal thoughts. (If only it were that easy!) We can’t control what thoughts visit us or intrude, only how we respond to them.

      So please, get help! Tell a teacher that you are thinking of suicide and want professional help. Tell a school counselor. Tell a friend’s parent. Tell a minister or other religious leader. Tell anyone you can who might be able to get you help.

      If you are in the U.S., I encourage you to call a hotline. The National Suicide Prevention Hopeline can be reached at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). There are other hotlines, too; please see various resources listed on this site at https://www.speakingofsuicide.com/resources/#immediatehelp

      Here’s the deal, Jess. If someone calls a hotline while actively suicidal, a hotline is likely to call the police. Often, the police will take the person to an emergency room for an evaluation. Depending on whether other adults are able to connect you with mental health services, this may be the only way that you can get connected with professional help.

      You are doing an excellent job reaching out for help by posting here. I hope that you will receive such help soon!

  186. Anonymous says:

    Im not suicidal but I feel if you are a certain age you should be able to take your own life if there are major reasons for it

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Permitting suicide, whether among older adults or people with terminal or painful physical illness, definitely is a much-discussed and controversial topic. Many support allowing people to end their lives, whether under the guise of “assisted suicide,” “hastened death,” “aid in dying,” or something else. This is something I intend to write more about…eventually!

    • Mari says:

      One thing you must realize when taking your own life. It is the people you leave behind who must live without you, the grief, the horror, and guilt…could I have done something else, should I have been there then, would such-and-such have stopped them…and betrayal, such a terrible sense of betrayal. My older brother was the only one who ever seemed to care about me…when he shot himself I felt completely abandoned, and questioned all those years that he, at least, tried to be there for me…suicide must always be done with others in mind. Unless an obvious illness, or disease is at play, it should always be done as though by accident. May sound tough, but if you think about…and I don’t walking in front of a car or train…please do no traumatize others. When you choose to die, plan carefully….

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Mari, you rightly say that others are affected by a loved one’s suicide. Your solution is to camouflage the suicide so that loved ones don’t have to blame themselves or feel abandoned. These are important points.

        But your solution might not be a solution, after all. As Cara Anna writes on her excellent blog, talkingaboutsuicide.com, no method is foolproof. She writes of “botched suicide attempts”:

        “Some people _ how many? _ go into their suicide attempt assuming it will work and instead emerge with a body that is long or permanently damaged. People have been paralyzed. They have damaged their livers with pills. They have faced months or years of reconstructive surgery or physical rehabilitation. Hospital bills alone have reshaped their lives.” (Click here for the full post.)

        It is not possible to protect loved ones by attempting or dying by suicide. They will be hurt no matter what. My hope for those who are suicidal is that they be able to protect themselves.

  187. Justin says:

    I’m 18 and I’m having suicidal thoughts more and more often and am having a stronger urge to act on them. What will happen if I say that I’m feeling this way. My friend was about to attempt suicide a year ago when he was 17 but stopped and called the suicide hotline and then the police since he was in danger. Well he was put in a bahvioral complex for two weeks and then put in a safety plan and antidepressants. I was wondering what happens since I’m no longer an adolescent.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Hi Justin, I’m sorry you’re having not only suicidal thoughts, but also urges to act on them. Whether you would be committed to a hospital depends on how severe your suicidal thinking is. Generally speaking, you’d need to say that you intend to attempt suicide within a short period of time. It depends where you live, but many states permit involuntary commitment only when a person is in imminent danger of suicide or harm to others.

      That said, you didn’t make clear whether you want to enter a psychiatric hospital. The admissions criteria for voluntary admission tend to be more lax than those for involuntary commitment, because with commitment, a person’s civil rights are suspended and the person is deprived of liberty against his or her will. Still, admissions criteria vary by hospital.

      I hope that information is helpful. I will add that admissions criteria for adolescents and adults aren’t really different from each other, but some hospitals appear to be more liberal in admitting adolescents, because the impulsivity of that age group makes them more vulnerable to acting on suicidal thoughts.

      Good luck to you!

    • Mari says:

      Please beware that most places can have you committed without your consent…if this is done, not only can you not leave, but they can force you to take drugs you do not want, and often do not need.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        This is true, but with some qualifiers. People who are involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital cannot leave on their own accord, but there are protections built into the system to protect patients from being hospitalized longer than necessary. These protections vary by state in the U.S. To learn more, you can do a Google search with these terms: involuntary commitment “patient rights”. Results come up for different states. You can also insert your state’s name into the search for more specific information.

        As for forced medication, laws exist to protect patients from taking medications against their will except in emergency situations. What is an emergency to one person might not be an emergency to another, but in general, emergency medication is considered necessary if a person will immediately hurt himself or herself, or others, without medication. Otherwise, in most if not all states, a court order is necessary to force someone to take medication against his or her will. You can learn more by doing a Google search with these terms: involuntary commitment “emergency medication”.

  188. thomsen says:

    same with me I want to commit suicide I have a good life I’m just tired of life and find no reason to go on

  189. Atra says:

    Don’t seek therapy. If you’re forced to see a mental health professional, don’t tell them the truth. They can and do commit you, and while I can’t speak for every “looney bin,” my experience in them can be summed up as “torture chamber” – at least 100 times worse than anything I saw on TV. I will never seek help again. I will suffer in silence until I finally just fall off. It’s better than going back to one of those places. From that day forward, I will only tell lies to medical professionals who ask about my mental state, because I can’t trust them.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Very sad response, Atra. I’m sorry you have had such negative experiences. This is precisely why I hate when a therapist overreacts – people who need help are less likely, if likely at all, to seek help again.

      For you and for others who read your comment, I will say this: There ARE mental health professionals who use hospitalization as an absolute last resort; some do not ever commit someone to a hospital involuntarily, for precisely the reasons you described.

      I will also go out on a limb and say, for those who do want hospitalization or end up hospitalized, there are hospitals that are not torture chambers. Each is different. I know people who have been greatly helped by hospitalization. Sadly, I also know people who have been greatly hurt.

      Sometimes when someone is making the ultimate life or death decision, they feel a profound need to talk about it. They might talk with friends, and they might be fortunate to have friends who can truly listen without judgment or pat advice. They might, on the other hand, have friends who react in ways that are hurtful: “How could you want to die? Don’t you know how selfish you are to hurt people like that?” “You just want attention.” “You need to get over this.”

      A mental health professional who is skilled at working with suicidal individuals – and who does NOT overreact, freak out, or otherwise resort to hospitalization unnecessarily – can be helpful to a person who is dealing with suicidal urges.

      The professional can listen and empathize without judgment or alarm, help the client go over pros and cons of suicide (yes, there clearly are benefits to explore), and explore with the client his or her ambivalence. Those are first steps. The clinician can also work toward helping the client to heal the wounds or illness that make suicide appealing, to rediscover meaning and value in life, to want to live again, and to come up with coping methods for safety and growth.

      None of this can happen if therapists have made people too afraid to seek their help.

      So please, if you are a therapist reading this, consider the great harm that can come from seeking commitment for a client without it being absolutely necessary – and keep in mind that it is absolutely necessary very, very rarely!

    • Atra says:

      Yes. I went seeking therapy after I spent years with rape-related PTSD symptoms that made maintaining a romantic relationship difficult, which then led to depression. Everyone I knew encouraged me to seek therapy, which I thought to be laughable – I always considered therapy to be a pseudoscience that does nothing for people with an IQ higher than their shoe size. But I wasn’t getting better on my own, so I thought, “What’s the worst that can happen?” When they asked if I’d thought of suicide, I answer truthfully, yes. When they asked how I would do it, I told them. When they asked if I wanted to do die, I again answered truthfully, yes, but I was too much of a wimp to actually do it. Their next response was to have four men force me into a vehicle against my will, take me someplace I didn’t want to be, and then have four more men strip search me before locking me away in a tiny stinking dirty cigarette-smoke-filled prison with no warmth, no food, none of my prescription medication for back pain, violent patients, violent night staff, no access to a phone despite signs posted all over saying I have that right, and sedatives waiting to go up my rectum if I got loud, like they did with everyone else. I don’t know which class taught these psychiatrists to have rape victims strip searched by four men and then forced into a hostile environment and kept in line under threat of anal violation, but I do know that I’m never being truthful to anyone with the authority to have me committed ever again. I might have been too much of a wuss to commit suicide before, but now knowing what it’s like is all the motivation I need to carry it out. If I ever find myself in that position again, I will bash my face into the ground until I’m dead or unable to know I exist anymore. I would rather die than go back to one. I don’t know if these psychiatrists/therapists know what the nuthouses are like they send patients to, but they’re outrageously negligent if they don’t, and outrageously stupid if they do. When it comes to mental health, honesty is the enemy. Best to just live with it until I can’t, and then I won’t.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Hi Atra, thank you for sharing your experience. It is heartbreaking. You went to a therapist for help and received the opposite: loss of liberty, fear, further abuse. Your experience at the hospital sounds horrifying. Please be assured that most hospitals do not operate that way.

        If ever you do need help again for suicidal thoughts, I hope you will consider that many therapists encourage hospitalization only when absolutely necessary to maintain safety, and that, even when hospitalization is necessary, it can, in many instances, be a helpful experience. I am so sorry that your experience was harmful instead.

        EDITED: Dec. 26, 2014

    • Mari says:

      As to your reply Stacey…you call it sad. I call it criminal, and by knowing these things are happening you are as criminal as they are, and as abusive.

      • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

        Mari, I think you misunderstand my position. I am deeply pained by the injustices that occur at (some) psychiatric hospitals. I do not advocate involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital unless it is necessary to protect someone who is in imminent danger of dying by suicide or killing another person (or people).

  190. YVONNE says:

    i tried to commit suicide last month. i still want to commit suicide i am so tired with my life, i hate myself, i hate going anywhere, i hate dealing with the public but i still have to work to pay for my medicle insurance, i use to work full time with the public but now i am down to 3 day’s a week…and it is so hard for me to do that. i just want to be alone, no one around me. and not have to go anywhere that has a crowd… it suck’s i dont know what to do, i can no longer handle working and dealing with the public, or anything or anyone, but i cant stop working, because i have to pay my medicle insurance to go to my doctor’s. without them to talk to and get medication to help me with my bipolar nos, with severe depression and anixity and pannic attack’s. so i dont try and commit suicide again, but i think about it all the time, but this time i want to make sure it work’s.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Yvonne, I am so sorry you are hurting so badly. I hope that you continue to get help. Also, if you are in the U.S., you no longer need to get health insurance through your job. Because of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), you can get insurance on the exchange. This liberates a lot of people who had been shackled to their job purely to avoid losing their insurance.

      I have published a list of resources for people who are thinking about suicide here. It contains resources for getting help via hotlines, email, chat rooms online, and other websites. Please check them out. You never know what or who might help turn things around for you.

      p.s. I edited your comment to avoid giving graphic details about your attempt method and its aftermath. This material can trigger others who are seriously considering suicide or have already made an attempt.

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