How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am writing on behalf of my sister in Memphis and don't

Resolved Question:

I am writing on behalf of my sister in Memphis and don't know where to turn to help her. She has been a nurse for 25 years and in the last 2 years has been fired from 4 positions at 4 different facilities for anger outbursts that she claims to have no memory of the event. She recently had another such episode while visiting our Father. She admits to taking xanex for anxiety and cymbalta for depression but I don't know if she is abusing these or having some adverse reaction. She is a recovering alcoholic and I'm afraid she has traded one addiction for another. She is now, again, in jeapordy of losing everything because of no job or unemployment benefits because she was fired for cause. We have begged her to seek professional help to no avail and her other sister and I have no more funds available to keep bailing her out of one desperate situation after another. Are there any free clinics in Memphis that could evaluate her to help figure out what is happening to her. If I knew of a specific place, I could make sure she goes.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is hard to say for sure what is wrong without being able to see your sister for an evaluation, but it sounds like your sister has an anger issue, possible intermittent explosive disorder. She may also have some personality issues, maybe even a personality disorder. She most likely used the alcohol in the past to help her control her emotions and now that she does not use anymore, she is having trouble handling how she feels.

Getting help for someone who does not want help is not easy. If she is refusing to go to see a therapist, then the best you can do is be supportive and continue to suggest help to her. She needs to see that her problems originate with her and not with other people. And until she understands that, she will not want help.

You can also help by allowing your sister to deal with the consequences of her behavior. I know that goes against your nature, but it is ultimately what needs done. If you allow her to cope with her own problems, she will be able to gain insight into how her behavior affects her life and those around her.

If your sister talks of suicide and you feel she is serious, then you can call the authorities and have her 302'd. A 302 is an involuntary commitment to a mental health facility, most likely your local hospital. The person that hears her threat is the one who needs to commit her. She cannot be committed based on hearsay. She can be held for 72 hours unless a judge deems her a danger to herself or others. In that case, she would need to stay longer.

Here is a clinic that you can take your sister to. They are funded by the government so they can charge on a sliding fee scale. They will be able to do an evaluation and determine your sister's diagnosis and offer her the appropriate treatment for her situation. Here is the link:

You can also contact the United Way for more resources in your area, including support groups and financial assistance.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Most of what you told me, I already know, including having her 302'd. I wish I knew if she was serious or not about suicide or just using it to keep us on the hook with her. My older sister has felt that she would rather send her money than risk that she might do it if we don't help her. I have finally convinced her not to pay anymore and help me concentrate on getting her professional help. Your minimal fee is well worth the direction you gave with the link and I had not thought of United Way, so thank you.