Sister took an overdose

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 1/2/2007 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
My older sister (in her 50s) tried to kill herself with an OD Thursday night.  Her son found her and she has been under 24 hr. watch at the hospital since then. She is psychotic and very depressed.  She is hyper focused on dying--she tells me she is dying though she has been to many docs and specialist and there is no organic cause.  She'll say she has lost weight when she hasn't, she thinks that her skin is purple when it's the same tone as mine.  She says she is paralized when she can walk.  She'll say I'll be dead in 30 minutes but is then eating dinner.  I flew down on Friday and stayed with her trough the weekend but I had to get home since my husband is going on a business trip and will be out of town. 
She'll be moved to a psychiatric hospital today and they have started her on effexor.  I'm sure we'll get a more complete diagnosis once she is in the phos.  I am worried that she won't stay more then 72 hrs and that she is so focused on dying that when she is relased she'll try something again.  Her son was so upset that he couldn't stay in the house fri and sat night.  His Dad and I had a birthday party for him on Sunday night to get him home with a positive experience but my sister called at 2:00am saying she was dying and couldn't breath and my nephew heard the conversation and wanted to return to his friends house.  My brother-in-law stayed with him through the night but I'm not only worried about my sister and if she'll recover but the damage to my nephew. 
We threw out her meds and the tons of books she had on dying.  She has been upset since our dad died in 2001 and I don't think she has gotten over his loss.  She said she had a sign when she woke up and she had a vision of him--I tried to tell her dad loved life and would not be calling her to the otherside and that he would want her to be with her family. 
Your thoughts are appreciated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 1/2/2007 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mom2em,

I was recently hospitalized for major depression. I learned that if your are assessed as being suicidal or homicidal, you will be held for observation for three days. You could not leave. Maybe they will evaluate your sister this way and keep her. It sounds as if they need to get her stabilized with meds that will help her.

Is there any way your nephew can see a therapist? Maybe therapy could help him avoid being permanently scarred by the situation.

My thoughts and prayers are wilth you. I hope this helps a little.


God, Please Grant Me,

The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The Courage to change the things that I can,

and The Wisdom to know the difference……….Just for Today


Major Depression, Anxiety/Panic Disorder, ADHD, Binge Eating Disorder, PTSD, Degenerative Disc Disease (post Fusion),  Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia,  Restless Leg Syndrome, Maigraine Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis, IBS, GERD


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 1/2/2007 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi mom2em, I am so very sorry for your family and your sister.  I worked for many years in the mental health field mostly with schizophrenics, bipolar and borderline personality disorders.  It is very sad indeed to see someone go through that especially someone you love.  Depending on your state the psychiatric hospital can hold your sister invol. between 48-72 hours.  After that they may recommend that she stay longer and in her case it would sound like any medication that she be put on wouldnt take hold that quickly.  So she would need to stay longer in my opinion.  She can sign herself out, or your family can petition the court for guardianship as it seems that she cannot take care of her mental health at this time.  With guardianship you would then be able to make her stay in the hospital and receive the treatment she needs. 

Let the hospital evaluate her then talk to them about her long term mental health and what kind of options you should take as her sister.  They have socialworkers who are more then willing to help families who dont know what to do in these kinds of situations. 

I wish you all the best and please do let us know how it goes...Take care

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 1/2/2007 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
your sister sounds like my sister with bipolar disorder. my nephew is 15 and my heart breaks for him as well. i'm sure the hospital will put her on the right meds before releasing your sis. it has been my experience that if there can be someone around to make sure she STAYS on her meds, then she should be okay. it's when people like her think they don't need the meds because they are doing so well, they'll stop, and then hell breaks loose again. you and your nephew are in my prayers.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 1/2/2007 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your support, I'm going to the store to get some cards for us to send down today--maybe some pictures for her room. Her husband mentioned that her psychologist said she maybe bipolar but she has refused medication insisting that all her problems are from a medical condition that docs won't treat. BTW, my daughter Em is bipolar and was hospitalized a few years ago. She is doing great :-) now and she knows that if she misses her med she doesn't feel well. I hope my sister will get stable and feel the difference and want to feel good and stay on medication. As you can image, my Em is upset about this and worried. My sister has always been such a source of strength for her.

I like the idea of guardinship I'll mention to her husband.

thanks again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 1/2/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
i have chatted with em and i'm here to tell you, your daughter is a sweetheart!
just wanted to let you know that not only are your sister and nephew in my prayers, but you, em, your brother in law and everyone else involved. god bless you all.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 1/3/2007 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
sorry to hear about your sister . that's what major depression does to people like me and your sister . it is the nature of this illness . am a depressive as well . really hopes she gets better soon . good luck . god bless you. both of you will be in my prayers tonight
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