Family Matters
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Sad Sister

I just found these boards today, but I need help. My sister called me last night and told me that she didn't want to do it any more. She just wants to fade away. She's convinced that her husband and son could "do better." She sees a therapist once a month, but she doesn't think that anymore would help. 

 

I don't know how to help her, but I'm so sad to see her like this. 

Re: Sad Sister

  • I would call the cops first if you think she's going to do something to herself, and then go see her and urge her to get help. I would also call a suicide prevention hotline to ask what can be done. And if her husband is a good guy (not an abuser or something) then I'd definitely alert him to the problem as well.

    I hope your sister gets the help and support she needs. This is more than her being "sad." You need to do something ASAP before she hurts herself and/or your nephew.

    image
  • She has told her husband, but she won't tell anyone else. She's too embarrassed. She has been communicating with me via text. She told me she would never do anything to hurt her son.

    What will the police do? 

     

  • Have you spoken with her husband? I don't know how you can get anything out of therapy once a week in my personal experience. People who are severely depressed need it at least once (if not 2-3 times) a week. I'm not sure how you can convey that to her though, but it seems if her therapist is only seeing her once a month than it's probably not the right therapist for her.

    Does she want to get help? Did she express that?

  • She wants to feel better. But she works a lot in a rural area and money is tight. I know that she feels guilty that she has to pay a co-pay and spend gas money and take my nephew to daycare to go to the therapist.

    She told me that she wants help, but she is just too embarrassed. She works 6 days a week and her husband works 7 days a week so she feels like she can't do anymore to help herself. No one in her family besides me knows that she is seeing a therapist. 

    I'm suprised and encouraged that she is opening up to me. Even if it is through texts. 

  • It does not matter who knows or doesn't know she is seeing a therapist, that is a very personal thing that really isn't anyone elses business. Some therapists offer sliding scales where they have cheaper rates for people with lower incomes. Perhaps she can call around to see if there might be another therapist close to her that can help. What about medicine? That can also help in conjunction with talk therapy for depression.
  • I told her that it doesn't matter. I'm even in therapy. She said that she would have to tell her boss to get more time off of work to go to appointments. She said she would have to make up that time somewhere else and probably work 7 days a week. Then she would have to tell her ILs so someone could watch her son while she works on Saturday.

    She was on something when she had ppd. She told me she would wake up crying every night because it gave her nightmares. 

  • image webwob:

    I told her that it doesn't matter. I'm even in therapy. She said that she would have to tell her boss to get more time off of work to go to appointments.

    First of all, no she wouldn't. "I must take an extra hour of lunch on Thursdays due to an ongoing medical appointment" is all that she needs to provide. No personal details. Some therapists see patients in the evenings and even on weekends.

  • I am really sorry you are going through this. 

    My only advice aside from what was given is that sometimes our health and well-being has to trump daily things, like work.  If she has indeed reached a certain level of depression then she needs help on a more frequent basis.  She should attempt to talk to her boss, IMO.  Many times, people are a lot more understanding than we give them credit for.  She may be able to get a little bit of time to seek out some help and perhaps get on some new medicine too.

    She doesn't have to tell anyone about this, but maybe it would help her to actually feel a bigger support system.  She has you, which is great, and maybe her ILs (if she has a good relationship with them) would understand her need for relief on Saturday.  All these things are logistics that can always be worked out.  She needs the help ASAP.

     

     

  • I'm not trying to find a way out of everything you say, really. I'm just trying to explain her situation. She has to drive 45 minutes to my town her her appointments. So an appointment is at least 2.5 hours. She has to take unpaid time to get to her appointment once a month.
  • Are you able to help her with childcare?
    f.k.a.= Derniermot
  • I help when I can. I'm away getting my masters degree.
  • image webwob:
    I help when I can. I'm away getting my masters degree.

    I would see if she can't get appointments in the evening.  Most therapists will have one late evening a week.  Perhaps you can offer to pick up her son from day care that night so that she can go.

    She sounds really depressed.  Given that you (who know her far better than we internet strangers do) are worried, I think that she probably needs medication.  Is her child young?  Could she be suffering from post-partum depression?  Child birth can really mess with your hormones.

    You need to talk to her husband about a psych hold.  Sometimes when we are very close to a person, we can't conceive the depth of their depression.  You need to bring it up with him so that he knows you really think she is in a dark place.  You can't just hope she gets better -- and you would hate to get a call in the night.  She may need hospitalization to stabilize her.

    Help her make these appointments.  If she is depressed, she may not be in a position to make those calls and be persistent.   Offer to join her at work on her lunch hour and make those calls with her.  Offer to make the calls for her.  My BF was in crisis a couple of years ago and (with her full permission) I pretended to be her and made the appointments for her.  Then I drove her there.   When someone is not functioning, you may need to just step in to save their lives. 

  • She told me her clinic. I looked it up and they are only open from 8- 5, Moday to Friday.

    I think I need to talk to her husband. Her son is almost two. 

  • image webwob:
    What will the police do? 

    I suggested that option if you think she's about to hurt herself at that moment. Like, if she mentions pills/a weapon/etc. in her conversations with you.

    Definitely reach out to her husband. And remind her that there's no need to be embarrassed at the idea of seeking help ... nobody will judge her. Everyone just wants what's best for her.

    image
  • image webwob:
    She told me her clinic. I looked it up and they are only open from 8- 5, Moday to Friday.

    I think I need to talk to her husband. Her son is almost two.  

    Call the clinic.  Talk to a person.  You may get a different answer.  They may just have those times posted because that is when the receptionist is at the front desk.  That doesn't mean that a doctor won't see someone after hours.

    Also, call her therapist.  Have your BIL also call the therapist and relay his concerns.  Tell the doctor exactly what she has been doing and saying and convey exactly how unusual this is for her.  A therapist who is only seeing her once a month may not pick up on what you can.  Also, when she goes in to therapy, she may be putting on a happy face or minimizing her unhappiness.  Perhaps the therapist will have some suggestions about the next step.

  • Call her husband and then call a suicide hotline. If she says anything more to you about wanting to fade away, you can call the police and they can do a wellness check on her. Try to get ahold of her therapist, too. 

     

    I'm sorry she has to go through this. You are being a wonderful sister by trying to get her the help she needs.  

    BabyFruit Ticker www.MyVacationCountdown.com Ticker
  • I don't pretend to know the first thing about the therapy and medications involved, but I think your biggest role has to be the support system.  I understand what it's like to be away from family when they need you, but be there for her as much as you can - or find someone else who can (physically anyway).

    Just keep reminding her and finding ways to reassure her that you all need her and want her to be around for a long, long time.  That her son needs her to be there for him when he starts kindergarten, plays his first ball game, graduates, etc.  If you aren't already maybe you can start making a designated time to talk on the phone or chat on Skype or something each day.  If she wants her issues to be kept private, respect that, but maybe you can enlist some other friends and family to help out with the babysitting or anything else you can't be there to do yourself.  Maybe if you did call her therapist like others have suggested, he/she could give some tips for being a good support system for her.

  • Call the police, have them pick her up and take her for an evaluation. This is very, very serious, and you should in no way sit around and hope she'll 'snap out of it' or whatever. She's threatening to kill herself. Call, call call.

    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • If you are unable to find another therapist closer to your sister (or if she thinks it would be too embarrassing to introduce another person to her situation) is it possible to set up phone appointments?  It may not be ideal, but could be better then nothing at all, and may help resolve her concern about day care and taking excessive time from work due to travel time.

    I'm not sure how often this is done, but I had a friend in college who had been going to a regular therapy session prior to leaving for school and continued her relationship with the doctor via phone while on campus.

     Good luck!

  • Do whatever you can to get her to her appointments, make childcare arrangements if you need to to help pay for childcare and send her a gas card if you are able to pay help her pay for gas.  She needs to get in to someone that will help her get on the right meds, not all are the same and she will find one that doesn't give her nightmares and make her feel bad.  My oldest sister committed suicide when I was 15, it changed and the set the pattern for my entire life, it changes families dramatically, the aftermath is horrible for you her children and everyone she knows.. she would be in peace but your family wouldn't.  Get her help ASAP. 
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