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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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About 2 months ago my son, who was 40 yrs old on 7/03/09, became

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About 2 months ago my son, who was 40 yrs old on 7/03/09, became convinced he was dying. He stated his job was killing him and became convinced he had
rectal cancer. He wound up at ER three times and they ruled out rectal cancer. They did blood work and everything was normal. He would go home and get on the computer and find something else. He works for a pest exterminating company and decided he couldn't go to work any more. He was admitted to a psych unit at a local hospital and when he saw the Dr. there he released him the next day. He was placed on Lexapro and gave him Klonopin to take as needed. Now he is worse. His family Dr. increased his dosage of Lexapro but he didn't take it because of the cost. His wife found out and was furious at him. His wife just gave birth to their second child, a son. Now he sits around and cries, says he doesn't want anything to do with his children. He now says his past fixation with death was because he wants to die. He feels trapped.
Hi Donna,

This is not a good situation, because as an adult, he can refuse treatment up until the point where he is a clear danger to himself or others. This is so incredibly painful for family members, and the frustration is hard to handle while trying to be supportive.

I would gather the family together and sit down to tell him that you love him, you see him hurting, and want to help. Stress that he does need help, and then transport him to the Emergency Room for an immediate evaluation. He needs to be seen by a psychiatrist before his life unravels anymore. The fact that he stated he wants to die is the ammunition you need. If he refuses to go, you can call the ambulance, and they'll come out. I know this sounds drastic, and it is, but it's done everyday across the country. When a person's brain chemicals are out of order, they do strange things, and need the help of family and friends to do the best for them when they can't do it for themselves.

There are other medications besides Lexapro that are now generic and cost much less. So he can be put on a medication that he can afford, but as long as he is suicidal, I wouldn't give him the full bottle to handle on his own.

You're right on target - this isn't normal at all, and he really needs help.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The answer is pretty much as I expected. The problem is he has already been to ER and was admitted to the hospital's psych unit. He talked his way out of it and the Dr. discharged him the next day. At that time he said he wasn't suicidal but fearing death. Now he says he wants to die. He feels he is inferior to everyone. Etc, etc.
Hi Donna,

I suspected as much, but needed to spell it out just in case. Honestly - this probably will happen a few times more before he gets better. Each time he goes to the hospital, it will get harder for him to talk his way out of the involuntary commitment for evaluation.

It's just a very very painful thing for family members to go through - dealing with taking people's freedoms away is a difficult process in the US, and only happens when they're in the middle of the danger.

The good news (terrible to say) is that he is saying he wants to die. Jump on that and get him to the ER while he's still in that mood.

You're not the only one going through this, and you'll feel better connecting with others who can give you support, validation and inside information through the internet. Google 'family support mental illness' and you'll see some options for you & your sanity.

My best to you, and let me know if I can be of help in the future.


I just saw your feedback which said you were looking for a diagnosis. I'm not sure what else he has, but he is currently suffering from Major Depression, and what sounds like Hypochondria, but both might be part of a bigger picture or are just very severe right now. If his depression and anxious symptoms are reduced, the diagnosis would become clearer.

Edited by Anna on 10/6/2009 at 5:14 PM EST

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