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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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If I tell my psychiatrist that I am having thoughts of suicide,

Resolved Question:

If I tell my psychiatrist that I am having thoughts of suicide, are they under any legal obligation to report this to anyone or authority?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
No, they do not have a legal obligation to report it. They have a ethical obligation to assess further and recommend hospitalization if you are too close to acting on a realistic plan (i.e., buying ammunition for your gun to carry out the plan). Then, they need to find you a safe place. It is considered a medical emergency. This would not happen if you have thoughts but no plan and good reasons why you would not carry out a plan.

Does this help? Because I am hoping you trust psychiatrist enough to tell him/her. It may be a medication issue.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have not gone to the buying amminition stage yet but I have started giving thought to how I could do it without my family friends having guilt. I am thinking and willing to try different medication but my fear is that by telling my psyciatrist about my increasing thouhts and concern for others guilt that she may consider this a "medical emergency" which will prevent me from telling her. I don't, wont be "locked up" So how do I handle this delicate situation?
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
You cannot be involuntarily "locked up" unless you make an attempt and the police are called. Even then, it is pretty hard. (I meant to say that in the above post because I sensed that might be your fear.) Please call and mention the increased thoughts so that you can get treatment.

If you do not feel safe from yourself, then ask to be in the hospital for a few days. Insurance companies do not allow long hospital stays. The hospital is a safe and nurturing environment....not jail. You can be assessed for hospitalization in any emergency department of any hospital.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am not sure why I don't want to be hospitalized but I just know I don't and it has nothing to do with the insurance or money. I have a therapist I speak to on the phone, for about 2 years now, and I gave her permission to call my psychiatrist. I called my psychiatrist also but was only able to leave a message. That is when I got this fear of telling her the truth, which, of course, would make it impossible for her to help me. I want to be truthful so I may receive help as an out-patient. FYI, I have always considered suicide an option for the very depressed.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
So it is part of your belief system that suicide is a valid way to solve a bonifide health problem (depression) that has other effective treatments? Would you like to change that way of thinking?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
good question. I will always listen to opposing beliefs and then decide from there. I do want you to know that I have given this years of thought and feel qualified more than ever to have this way of thinking. Sure.
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.

Current Cognition: Suicide is an answer to problem of severe depression.

Changed Cognition: Severe depression is a familial, chemical illness for which

many medications are available; Medication coupled with therapy are effective treatments for depression; Suicide effects family members forever (not just the guilt, but the loss of a loved one); Their live are forever changed. There is hope for the severely depressed. Suicide is permanent.

This is simplistic, I know and only designed to demonstrate the cognitive behavioral process. I don't know how your therapy is conducted but this kind of thought changing can be the focus of therapy, if you want to change the thought. If we change our way of thinking about something (suicide is the only solution to no, it is not there is hope), it might change the way be feel (relieve hopelessness, the core of depression).

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
From your answer you are saying deprssion is from a famillal and you later say the feel of hoplessness is the core of depression, which one is it? To me they are two different things, one being chemical and the other being a feeling or condition. I still believe that for a long term depressed person suicide is an option.

I am tired of feeling this way, faking and faking hapiness for others. I have lost all of the few true passions in my life and I am basically tired. My list of things I should try and do are overwhelming and I am not sure what for. Is it worth every free moment from work ($) being devoted to "healing?" I am 48, gay, live alone with my now 1 dog and spend my free time looking at porn if I am not going to a doctor for my mental health it is for my physical problems. I know my physical problems are less than lots but to me it has changed my life drastically. Because of the medication and their sexual side effects porn or desire for another partner, the last one was about 7 years ago, is gone as well.

Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
The predisposition for depression is familial. Hopelessness is a symptom of depression. The other symptoms are anhedonia (not enjoying things anymore), being tired, social isolation. If you current treatment is not effective it may be time for a change.

Take one thing at a time...first, talk to psychiatrist and address the medication issue.
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