Getting psychiatric help for a suicidal friend

22 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi, I am located in the UK but I have a German friend in Munich who I am very concerned about. She is, I believe, suicidal and refuses to take basic care of herself. She is very isolated (far away from family and emotionally isolated from them too) and I don't believe that she has any local friends any more or that any of her work colleagues are aware of her situation.

Here in the UK there is provision for someone to be "sectioned" which means they can be forcibly taken into hospital if they are a danger to themselves or to others. I think this may be called "involuntary commitment" in the US. Does anyone know what the equivalent would be in Bavaria? Do you have any ideas as to how I could try to get a mental health professional involved with her? She has refused to go and see anyone herself.

She is German so language is not a problem. Except for me as I don't speak German! (her English is excellent).

Thanks if you can help at all. It would be much appreciated.

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Posted

Hi,

I'm afraid I don't have any practical advice to offer but I can at least point you to this thread: Where to get help in desperate situations, you might be able to find some pertinent information there. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will chime in before long.

Your friend is lucky to have such a caring friend as you. I hope you can get through to her and convince her to seek medical help.

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Posted

Thanks so much for this useful link. I may contact the Caritas link on there (I know she is vehemently opposed to the Catholic Church so I'm not too sure how that would go down! However she will be angry with me whatever I do, I think).

If anyone else has any further advice or can answer the question more specifically I'd be really grateful.

Thank you.

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Posted

As a "concerned friend"... why dont you spend a couple of hundred quid on a flight and come over here to help her?

saves a load of strangers getting involved!

-10

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Posted

Actually, I think Piggy has a good point - trying to pull strings from the UK to get help for your friend is all well and good, but actually being there for her rates 100 times better on the "good friend scale"!

Maybe all she needs is for somebody to be around for a while, with whom she can discuss everything that is bothering her, and work out a plan to improve the whole situation(?)

As a dedicated friend, I would try that as the first option, as she sure as hell won´t every thank you for having her committed if she has thought of you as her friend any ally!

As for Piggy's cocks, etc, well, I am not sure that he has many friends with the same amount of knowledge as the TT crowd as a whole - I sure as hell haven´t, so I would also come here asking if I needed a cock :rolleyes:

M - sorry you have had such a shit day - tomorrow will be better!

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Posted

Does anyone know what the equivalent would be in Bavaria?

The equivalent is called Unterbringung, and only possible if the person is mentally ill (symptoms in accordance with ICD-10 or similar *) and endangering public safety or themselves. Unless there already has been a suicide attempt or there are underlaying mental health problems beyond mere depression this is unlikely to happen or be possible over a longer term though.

* Refusing to take care of oneself or isolating oneself is an expression of personal will, not of mental illness.

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Posted

R100 would you noz like to rephrase the sentence about coing on TT asking about a `Cock`it could be miscontrued.

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Posted

you could also contact this hospital: Klinikum München-Ost from what I know they have a special department for suicidal people. You could also call the German police, they will visit your friend and see what's going on.

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Posted

concernedfriend, as you're in the UK why not contact the charity Mind. They have a helpline (charged at local UK rates): 0300 123 3393

They should be able to support you and also be able to advise on what to do. Good luck.

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Posted

I don't believe that she has any local friends any more or that any of her work colleagues are aware of her situation.

Surely her colleagues would notice if she is acting strange and starving herself.

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Posted

You'd be surprised what colleagues can overlook, FF. And even if they notice, it's still a big step to take to approach someone on such a personal issue. Plus if she's strong-willed and determined, she will have thought out how to avoid raising red flags.

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Posted

Surely her colleagues would notice if she is acting strange and starving herself.

You'd be surprised. Even those who notice might easily feel it wasn't their place to comment. I've seen that happen a few times where I work - people will talk about how thin someone is getting or how stressed they seem but very, very few, if any, will bother to actually speak to the person in question. And most people, in my experience, just don't notice and/or most people who are depressed will do a much better job of hiding it than they realise.

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Posted

Surely her colleagues would notice if she is acting strange and starving herself.

One of my good friends in high school died over the Christmas break in her final year. Somehow, none of her friends (we were kids really) or any of her teachers noticed that she was starving herself to death. Over the years I have often thought about my feelings of collective guilt, about what could have been done or said. In hindsight, I remember how her very big, body-covering, over-sized clothes were odd. Sometimes I think people don't see the obvious, but I don't know why. Maybe I didn't see it because I was just a kid, but I don't why teachers, family, etc. didn't. It's good that the OP is aware and looking into the situation. I hope you can help your friend!

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Posted

Thanks so much for the update - and all the best for your friend, she is very fortunate to have you, and I hope she will listen and let you help her. Wishing you much strength and patience!

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Posted

Only this week an aquaintance of ours, whom we worried a lot over the last weeks, got admitted into the Rechts der Isar. They were recommended as a very good hospital for depressed people. In our case his mum made the appointment and he was then willing to go (I think I made it easier for her, having spent several hours talking him into it the day before). In his case he wouldn't have managed to make an appointment, but was able to go there once it was fixed for him. I wish you good luck and hope you will manage to get help.

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Posted

Hopping onto a plane - even if you can afford it and other obligations allow - may not be a great move bearing in mind the reception you may or may not get. What if anger ensues and she leaves you standing on the street or she simply cannot cope with a (well-meaning) guest? Also, at some point you would be leaving again which would bring with it another set of feelings for your friend to cope with. I think you are handling it right doing what you can from a distance. You must be a lovely person.

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