Author Topic: Dealing with mother who expressed suicidal thoughts

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Annubis

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Dealing with mother who expressed suicidal thoughts
« on: October 27, 2017, 06:02:04 PM »
I have zero knowledge about depression and/or suicide but I am forced to deal with a situation involving both and as such, I'd like whatever advice any of you may offer.

Situation:
My mother who has terminal cancer has finally reached the point of acceptance about a week ago and it seems it's sending her into a depression. There're a couple of other bad news that have flown her way too which seem to have pushed her to the edge.

Today she expressed suicidal thoughts while talking with one of her friend over the phone. Said friend called me immediately after to warn me.
I managed to have her accompanied most of the day by my uncle to watch over her today.
She lives about 2.5 hours away from me so I cannot be very present. My uncle thankfully is about 20 minutes away.

I'll be going to see her over the weekend too to assess and assist.

I'm not sure what it is that I should or can do.
As I see it, there are 3 options available to me:

#1 She is being followed by a nurse and a social worker who specialize in terminal cancers. She meets them often and they are supposed to deal with physical and mental issues. Option #1 would be to trust in the system and let the professionals handle it.

#2 Her friend called a suicide hotline for tips and gave me a rundown of things we could do to help her. Things like helping her find motivation and helping her deal with her fears which are weighting her down. This would mean me steering her somewhere better without touching the subject and pretty much pretending I do not know about it. Problem is, my mom is perceptive and if she picks up on it, I really don't know how it could go about.

#3 Talk to her about it and confront her (this seems like a terrible idea)

Any input or advice would be welcomed.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 06:03:50 PM by Annubis »

ironmage

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Re: Dealing with mother who expressed suicidal thoughts
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 07:38:18 PM »
Spend time with her when you can, otherwise try to keep in touch via phone/email.  Isolation and depression can form a vicious circle.  But don't overdo it, either, you don't want to make her feel like an object of pity.

I wouldn't bring up the subject of suicide.  If she brings it up, be honest how you feel about it, but keep calm.  Don't panic, or get angry.  There isn't an argument here that you can win.

Keeping occupied can reduce the effects of depression.  To the extent her health allows it, encouraging her to keep involved in her regular activities or hobbies may be helpful.