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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 23rd 2010, 07:21 PM

Lately, I've been having some suicidal thoughts again. My therapist doesn't know about this, though I'd like to tell her. The only thing that's stopping me is the fact that I couldn't deal with it if she told my parents (for various reasons).

If I told my therapist I've been suicidal, what would she most likely do? Is she obligated to tell my parents?

Any input is much appreciated.

Thanks, guys!
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 23rd 2010, 07:24 PM

I know exactly how you feel and I went to see my therapist today and I wanted to tell her but they by law have to tell your parents if you tell them anything that has you in danger. Which sucks a lot. If you need someone to talk to PM me. I hope everything gets better!


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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 09:10 AM

Hey there.
First off, well done on considering telling your therapist. That's a really brave move, and I'm proud of you for that.
The bad news is, I think your therapist would be obligated to tell your parent/s, if you told her about your suicidal thoughts. If your therapist has a reason to suspect you pose a danger to yourself or anyone else, she can break confidentiality and tell your parent/s. It's about keeping you safe, which is their main priority.
Take care. xx


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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 11:20 AM

Thanks, guys. I think I might just keep it to myself, then. I don't think I'm at the point where I'll actually act on them yet. If I get there, I'll definitely consider telling someone...

Thanks again!
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 01:52 PM

You should have a talk to your therapist about what she's obliged to keep confidential or not. At my first session, I was told a list of things that she'd have to go further with. I'm able to tell him about suicidal thoughts all I want (your therapist will have come across this many times), but if I, however, told him I had a plan and was going to carry it out, then my doctor would be told, and ultimately my parents.

Obviously it's going to be different in different countries, but have a talk with your therapist about what you can share in confidence, because you should be able to talk about suicidal thoughts.
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 02:27 PM

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Originally Posted by ChaseThisLight View Post
You should have a talk to your therapist about what she's obliged to keep confidential or not. At my first session, I was told a list of things that she'd have to go further with. I'm able to tell him about suicidal thoughts all I want (your therapist will have come across this many times), but if I, however, told him I had a plan and was going to carry it out, then my doctor would be told, and ultimately my parents.

Obviously it's going to be different in different countries, but have a talk with your therapist about what you can share in confidence, because you should be able to talk about suicidal thoughts.
This helped a lot. Thank you so much. I'll definitely have a talk with her about it.
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 05:06 PM

She'd most likely be obligated to tell your parents, but it would be for your own safety. I'm guessing that law is one of the most annoying for both clients and therapists. It's good that you want to tell her, and she wants to help you. She can only help you with things she's aware of though.


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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 09:43 PM

Tell your therapist. That is exactly what he/she is there for.
You parents would not get angry at you, they love you very much. If anything, they'd be really concerned and would get you the best help they could.
Let your therapist and parents know everything you're feeling. It may be hard, but letting them know is the first step in getting/feeling better.
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 24th 2010, 11:02 PM

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Originally Posted by Kate* View Post
I'm guessing that law is one of the most annoying for both clients and therapists. It's good that you want to tell her, and she wants to help you. She can only help you with things she's aware of though.
Yes, it's extremely annoying. I think patients should be given the opportunity to talk about their suicidal thoughts and sort through them with their therapist before any extreme precautions are taken. This law is actually preventing people from coming forward with their feelings. But I suppose if anything actually was to happen, the therapist would then be held accountable.

She knows about my self-harm and depression, as well as other circumstances that are contributing to these thoughts. It's just the thoughts themselves that remain unbeknownst to her.

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Originally Posted by lihhbee View Post
You parents would not get angry at you, they love you very much. If anything, they'd be really concerned and would get you the best help they could.
Let your therapist and parents know everything you're feeling. It may be hard, but letting them know is the first step in getting/feeling better.
Thanks, but unfortunately I'm not overly convinced that my parents would remain calm and cool throughout the whole thing. Their philosophy tends to be, "Overreact first, think later." When confronted with a situation, they say whatever first comes to their mind, which usually involves yelling, screaming, and critical/insensitive remarks. Thus why I'm apprehensive about telling them.

Thanks for responding, guys!
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 25th 2010, 12:15 AM

It might be better for your parents to find out now instead of when your closer to actually carrying out any plans for suicide, since they would probably react worse to the latter of the two.


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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 25th 2010, 12:47 AM

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Originally Posted by guitarplayer View Post
It might be better for your parents to find out now instead of when your closer to actually carrying out any plans for suicide, since they would probably react worse to the latter of the two.
Hm, you may be right. Thanks for your insight!
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 25th 2010, 08:23 AM

The only time a therapist is allowed to break confidentiality is when you're under the legal age of 18 (here it's 18, anyway) and there's evidence or suspicion of child abuse, when you're considered to pose a danger to others or when you're considered to pose a danger to yourself. A therapist, however, should not break confidentiality when it comes to suicidal thoughts and feelings and is not mandated to report those thoughts and feelings to your parents or your doctor. Though I would definitely discuss your therapist's particular views on the issue, he or she should not be legally allowed to break confidentiality when it comes to thoughts and feelings alone; it's only when you reach the point of feeling you will either act on those thoughts and feelings or when you have a plan and a plan to carry it out that they are mandated to contact authorities or your legal guardians.
   
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Re: Talking to therapist about suicide? - June 25th 2010, 05:49 PM

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A therapist, however, should not break confidentiality when it comes to suicidal thoughts and feelings and is not mandated to report those thoughts and feelings to your parents or your doctor. Though I would definitely discuss your therapist's particular views on the issue, he or she should not be legally allowed to break confidentiality when it comes to thoughts and feelings alone; it's only when you reach the point of feeling you will either act on those thoughts and feelings or when you have a plan and a plan to carry it out that they are mandated to contact authorities or your legal guardians.
Thank you! I will definitely inquire about this.
   
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