Psychiatry & Psychology--General/concerned


QUESTION: I have a friend who has been suffering from mental illness for quite sometime. She has been suffering sinceabout age 10. How can i get her into therapy with outa fight. She always has an excuse as why she cannot go. She eitber has to work orcannot afford to go. My friend has been taking meds for tne last 2 yrs but its an on again off again thing. They dont seem to be helping and they also sent her haywire with credit cards. Howcan i help a long time friend and why has the meds made her mean, suicidal and spend happy.

ANSWER: "How can i get her into therapy with outa fight."  Well, you probably can't.  You probably need to choose one or the other.  Perhaps, if multiple people suggested this at the same time (commonly called an "intervention," although the person being "intervened" on usually considers it an "ambush"), she might get the hint and the anger would be dispersed among the group.  Sometimes, you just have to argue with friends.

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QUESTION: I understand what your saying. I also forgot to mention that she actually has a court order for it and just blows it off with excuses all the time. I'm really worried as she has been talking bout suicide lately and has been giving her most prized possessions away. Would it be the meds are wrong? Or do I just sit back and wait

ANSWER: Yes, the meds could be wrong (assuming she is taking them; why would she take them and not follow psychiatrically?).  Yes, giving away items is a sign someone is planning suicide. If she has a court order, I would inform the court.  This can often be done secretly, and would be good for her health. I would not sit back and wait.  If something happens and you do nothing, you will always question yourself. Something may still happen if you reach out to the court or her family, but then you can rightly tell yourself that you tried to help a friend -- but maybe she was beyond your help.  Better to lose the friend than to do nothing.

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QUESTION: She was hospitalized a few hours ago. Thank you for your help and suggestions. I do have a few more questions and I promise it'll be the last. What happens now since she was hospitalized? Can they only keep her for a certain amount of time, bc I do know she will not cooperate at all with them. How can I get it to where she won't be allowed a firearm bc she is dead set on getting one? That's how she gor commited in the first place is she asked a cop friend for his gun so she could shoot herself. Or since she has a previous mental health order from the courts could that stop gun ownership and if she's ordered to take meds and doesn't could that be a violation thru the court

Some of this is legal.  I don't know how long they can keep her, because that depends on state laws. If you have concerns you can always put them in writing, and hand them to the nursing staff when you visit her in the hospital -- they cannot tell you anything, but you can tell them everything -- and then you have done your part -- telling her clinicians everything you think is important (the clinicians can decide if it is or isn't; you do not have to make that decision).  Again, I don't know the laws, but many stated prohibit someone with a psychiatric history from buying a gun.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.


Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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