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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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Our sister in law just lost her husband, suddenly to cancer.

Resolved Question:

Our sister in law just lost her husband, "suddenly" to cancer. It has been two months since his death. She is now alone. She is 65 years old. When we call her, she is always in tears. She hates her home of 40 years, and often gets to the point where she feels suffocated in the house. She has to leave to go anywhere; for a drive, to a mall, etc. night or day. She told us this evening that she does not want to live anymore. We live two hours away. What can we advise her to do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 8 years ago.
Hi fisherman,

Grief is a normal and natural reaction that needs to take place so that people can heal from loss. However, your sister in law seems to be engaging in excessive and maladaptive grief which is leading to thoughts of self-harm. Whenever I hear someone say that they don't want to live I take it very seriously. I think your sister in law needs to be in treatment. She could benefit from weekly psychotherapy sessions to focus on recovering from the loss. She will need ongoing support to recover from this loss. However, I am concerned about her current state. I think you need to ask her if she has made any plans to hurt herself and if she has, you need to get her to a hospital right away. If she is suicidal, she needs medication and needs to be put in the hospital. If she is not willing to go to the hospital, you may have to go and take her there. This is all about looking out for her best interests at this point. Good luck to you.

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