My brother is talking about suicide. How are we talking about it?: Ask Ellie


Q: My younger brother has suffered from depression for several years now. Last year, at Christmas, he was at the lowest level when he talked about suicide.

My family and I could help him with the doctor we know, and he worked well with the help of antidepressants.

When someone is suicidal, immediately seek professional help, writes Ellie Tesher.
When someone is suicidal, immediately seek professional help, writes Ellie Tesher. (Richard Lautens / Toronto Star)

A few months ago he was injured in a sports accident and could not work. He and his girlfriend moved into the house of my parents, and his mental health calmed down – he was very withdrawn, a great sleep, a short one with us, a low appetite, apathetic.

We're trying to make him feel good again to get him out of the house to do something fun, but he always refuses us.

My father recently forced him back to work in his company. He was first impressed by this, but when my father said that he had started immediately, he was very upset that he did not have the time to prepare himself.

His girlfriend said that he mentioned suicide again and now we are in the house.

How to approach this topic in a sensitive way? We are trying to get him to visit a doctor.

Very worried sister

A: When a very depressed person mentions suicide, action is urgently needed. Your family is not ready for your own treatment. A mental health expert must come right away.

If your doctor does not or will not visit you immediately, take him to a mental health clinic or emergency department.

Explain to his girlfriend and your family that even if your father thinks well, his sudden hand is too much pressure on your brother during this time.

Then, calm your brother to help him help deep, inner pain. Among all you have loved, you should remain proactive and provide a plan for psychiatric assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

Example: In Toronto, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is a psychiatric learning hospital with central facilities and locations across the country.

NOTICE Regarding what parents should do in their 70s, when two adult children decided to host a Christmas dinner together, they refused to invite one of their relatives or accepted it on December 15th.

I advised them to spend it in a meaningful way – they may help the food bank or with friends to show their disapproval of desperate children.

Reader # 1 – "It may make sure that everyone dinner at a local dinner shelter reminds them that there is much more disaster, and a lot more good will than those who are less fortunate than imagined in their conflicts."

Reader # 2 – "I believe that Christmas, even with excluded readers, punishes him because he has done nothing wrong.

"He clearly understands the importance of the family that is united on holidays and has no grudge."

Reader # 3 – "I agree with you. Parents should not attend a Christmas dinner for older children.

"Their exclusion is not only meaningful, but is deeply painful and disrespectful to their parents. They certainly did not learn the example of their parents. The fact that they do not invite this brother because they are "not close" is incomprehensible.

"Parents should go elsewhere, where they value them. These two older descendants should be ashamed because they caused this unnecessary damage to their brother and their parents. I'm not sure I'd even send them a Christmas card. "

Ellie's top of the day

Once someone is suicidal, immediately seek professional help.

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Ellie Tesher is a columnist for Star and Toronto. Send your questions via e-mail: [email protected]


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