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Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Spouse is Suicidal

Question: My husband recently relapsed after 9 years of sobriety. He is currently in a rehabilitation center. He has opened up to me and the staff of incestual sexual abuse as a child from ages 4-10. He says he has been wanting to commit suicide for years, he is very depressed and rarely happy. He will be released soon and I am very concerned about what I can do to support him. I found a detailed description of how and where he was going to commit suicide. What do I do?

Please click on comments to read Laura's advice.


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Barbara,
It is so very important to communicate this information to your husband's treaters at the rehab. Bring the note and show his clinician. You must ensure his safety and insist that they address his suicidal thoughts. Be strong and loud, do not let them discharge him until his safety is assessed by a licensed psychiatric professional. He may need to be transferred to a psychiatric unit. Here are some words to help you. Please say this to the clinicians, "I found a suicide note my husband wrote, I am very afraid that he will kill himself. He is not safe to come home. Please assess his safety and his depression. I think he needs help for his depression and suicidal thoughts. He is not safe to come home, I think he may try and hurt himself." This type of language will be a red flag to the therapist and they should evaluate your husband's depression and thoughts of hurting himself. Don't back down, insist that they do a thorough psychiatric evaluation and if they can't, insist that they transfer him to a psychiatric unit. Be strong. And advocate for your husband to get him the care he deserves and needs. Good luck and let us know how things go.
Laura NP