I am a 28 year old single mother of two who lives with her parents. I graduated from college in 2008 but have not been able to find a job at all. I don’t have anybody at all. I had to move in with my parents because my ex was abusive. I have been suffering from depression for about three years. I can’t go and talk to someone because I have no money or insurance. I have insomnia and have been hallucinating. I find myself being irritable and lashing out in anger. I haven’t bathed in about a month. I’m afraid to go outside and I stay in my room in bed all day. I have constantly thought about death everyday, I like to cut myself. My parents get mad at me because they do not want to hear what is going on with me.My dad attacked me one day and my mother called the cops on me. I am so lonely. I just cut all my hair off today. I feel so lost and incapable of doing anything at all. I hate myself and my life. I want to always kill myself. I can’t get a job because I don’t have enough work experience. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. Help me! I feel like I’m drowning. I feel guilty and like a failure in life. I feel out of control. My brother tells anybody who will listen that I don’t do anything and am lazy. I can’t get over the only man I have ever loved and he dumped me 3 years ago and is married. I’m just a wreck. I feel like I’m crazy.
You should strongly consider going to the hospital immediately. You currently are having suicidal thoughts. You are also unable to care for yourself at this time. This is evidenced by the fact that you have not showered in a month and cannot leave your bedroom. Other very concerning symptoms include: hallucinations, insomnia, extreme anger and irritability, cutting, hopelessness and the lack of a support system. It seems as though your home environment may be significantly contributing to the problem. The hospital could provide a much needed reprieve from an unstable and unsupportive home environment.
You should go to the emergency room and report all the symptoms that you wrote about in this letter. Even if you do not have health insurance, given your symptoms, you are likely to be admitted. The hospital has an obligation to admit individuals who pose an imminent danger to themselves or to others. Once in the hospital, you can work with a doctor who can prescribe medication that will help to decrease your symptoms. You will also have the opportunity to work with a therapist and a social worker. The social worker can assist you with a comprehensive aftercare plan including follow-up care, the acquisition of health coverage, housing assistance, as well as any other practical and immediate needs that you may have.
If you do not wish to go to the hospital, then call your local community mental health center (CMHC) and ask for their assistance. They can provide similar services to that of a hospital social worker. CMHCs also have therapists on staff who can provide counseling. You can also call the local health department and ask what type of services may be available to individuals who do not have health insurance.
The CMHC or the local health department may be of assistance with regard to locating mental health services but I would recommend more immediate assistance. It is important to recognize when immediate help is appropriate. Given your symptoms, I would advise that you go to a hospital for an evaluation. Call 911 if you feel that you cannot get yourself to the emergency room. You need and deserve help. I hope you’re able to get the help that you need. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle