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Hard Decision

Question:

Dr. Scrwartz i just recently broke up with my girl friend of a year. it has been a pretty unstable realationship an has just deteriated. When i told her it was over she threated to kill her self an would just start screaming. Due to fear i agreed to get back with her an she continues to do the same old things that caused me to leave her, this time around she no longer lives with me an is now threating ti kill her self again. she doesnt see what she is doin an will not accept the ntion that hse needs help. we are only 18 an she comes from a very rocky backround her dad disowned her because of her stepmoms brainwashing, her mom is a total bum an lives in montana off of her boyfriend. I am basicly all she has an no longer wish to be with her like that. i would love to help her but if im not with her she will kill her self or so she says. i want so bad to have her commited but seein as she has no insurance or my self it cant not happen. support groups would be nice but she wont go claiming that she doesnt need that. that all she needs is me. im honestly afraid of the girl at this point. what can i do to help her?

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Answer:

When someone threatens suicide it must always be taken seriously. Yes, she is black mailing you with the threat of suicide and that is the reason you went back with her after the first break up. Naturally, she fell back into her old patterns once she was with you again.

The hard facts are: 1, that you have every right to break up with her and 2, that you need to call 911 and report the suicide threat to the police. They will send out an officer and an EMT team to her house and will assess her mental condition. If they find that she is suicidal, they will bring her to the emergency room.

Therefore, you should do what is right for you: break up with her and call 911 when she threatens suicide.

Even though she has no insurance, the hospital will apply for emergency Medicaid which will be quickly granted and that will pay for both the emergency room visit and hospitalization if they deem that she needs it.

When you call 911 you must emphasize that she is threatening suicide, has done so before, that you are frightened that she will do it and that she comes from an unstable background.

Please understand that she will be angry at you but it is better that she is angry and alive than not angry and dead.

Let me just repeat: always take a suicide threat seriously. I recently was told a story about a young man whose girl friend broke up with him. He threatened suicide but neither she nor anyone else took him seriously. Well, he hung himself and she is devastated…and angry. You are not responsible for this young woman except to take her threat seriously and report it. In the end, that is all you can do. No one has the power to stop a suicide, even when it is reported, if the person is really determined to do it. However, that is rare. Mostly, suicide threats are very real calls for help. If we do not listen then danger can set in.

Best of Luck

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