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Brother took an overdose

(9 Posts)
Madratlady Thu 17-Oct-13 21:20:40

Just had a phone call from DM saying that my 20yo DB had been taken to hospital having taken an overdose. DF is with him and said there's no point me going to the hospital. I'm just totally shaken. There was no indication that anything was wrong. I don't see him often cos he's often at work or out with mates when I am at my parent's house but we spoke on the phone he other day and he sounded his usual self. Whatever is going on he hid it well.

What scares me the most is that DM is away this weekend which made me think it was premeditated and he waited until she was away.

I don't want to crowd him so I texted him saying to call me if he needs anything if he's kept in hospital tonight and that I love him. I'll make it clear that me and DH are here if he wants to talk and he can come over if he wants once he's out of hospital.

Am I doing the right thing?

ohfourfoxache Fri 18-Oct-13 10:53:41

(((hugs))) and brew

I think you've done exactly the right thing - it's difficult to know whether to go in and risk "overcrowding" him or keep a distance, so sending him a message is a happy medium.

Have there been any updates MatRat? Do you know how he's doing?

FWIW DSis took an overdose when she was 15 (I was 17). She called my parents who were out, she was home alone, mum called me and I got straight home - first to find her. Managed to start getting her sorted out (got her to the bathroom and got saltwater down her etc), but when parents arrived home I took a back seat so as not to crowd her. It was just the right thing to do at the time, and I am sure that she didn't want to feel pressured into explaining why she did it.

JohFlow Fri 18-Oct-13 11:51:28

Thinking of you today Madrat.

It must have been a horrible shock to find out what had happened. In the early days the hospital are just trying to stabilise the situation medically and getting his access to any help that he needs. Visitation is often restricted at first whilst doctors etc read the situation and get his thoughts. I hope you feel that he is in safe hands for now.

It's good that you have extended the help that you can offer right now - and in a sensitive way. Will you go into hospital if you are invited?

I don't need to know the answer - but have you considered whether his overdose is intentional or an accident? Obviously the treatment from here depends on which way the situation went.

If it was intentional - it is very common for people to deliberately stop communicating/hide themselves away when they are dealing with thoughts of suicide/self-harm. Many families do not spot what is happening - so please do not feel that you could have intervened earlier. A common reaction from families is 'why did you not tell us earlier?' and the reaction is usually 'because I couldn't'. This is a comment on how putting words together when you already feel detached is incredibly difficult. Many sufferers also feel a need to protect the people that they love from the hurt and harm of their situation.

I hope that his situation stabilises soon and he is home again with the people that love him.

Madratlady Fri 18-Oct-13 15:21:08

He saw a psychologist last night but was then discharged, which surprised me. He will be getting help but not sure what as the only information I have is via my Dad.

It was an intentional overdose, apparently he's said it's not the first time he's felt that bad but the first time he's done anything. I think it was more a 'cry for help' as he must've told Dad about it than an actual attempt to end his life.

He hasn't acted any different recently so I guess he was hiding his feelings well.

I haven't heard anything from him, I sent him another message today saying that he's always welcome to talk to me and dh if he needs someone to talk to and he's always welcome to come round at any time.

I'm just really worried about him but there's not a lot I can do to help apart from letting him know he can come to me if he wants to.

HoopHopes Fri 18-Oct-13 19:03:03

Hi most patients are discharged, that is normal if they have not caused any damage to themselves that need medical treatment. There are few beds in psychiatric hospitals so they are used for people who need to be kept safe or are at risk of immediate danger to themselves which is what your db will have been assessed for.

Whilst waiting for professional help your db can go to his gp and let them know what is happening and that can provide another source of support and possible medication etc.

You sound very supportive and try not to worry - as you say he let people know what he did and is seeking help.

Madratlady Sat 19-Oct-13 17:35:39

Hoop I know an acute hospital bed isn't an ideal place for someone with mental health problems, and that psychiatric beds are i very short supply, I was just worried about the potential of liver damage with a paracetamol overdose.

He has acknowledged my text but apparently doesn't want to speak at the moment. It's probably ideal him being with my Dad at the moment because Dad isn't very talkative anyway, but they have spent some time together yesterday watching films quietly.

To those of you who have been in a similar situation to DB, is thee anything that I could do to help or am I doing the right thing but letting him know I'm here but giving him space?

HoopHopes Sat 19-Oct-13 17:48:04

Hi the hospital will have done blood tests to check no damage to his liver, and he can get his gp to re test if still worried. It sounds like no damage which is great news.

JohFlow Sun 20-Oct-13 16:36:57

Perhaps just find an activity that you can do together that does not involve you discussing what has happened. Everyone wants to 'talk' when you have just left and sometimes that is the last thing you want to do. Maybe he can just spend time with you and just 'be'. He has to come to you when he is ready though. Is anyone checking into ongoing treatment via his discharge plan?

Madratlady Sun 20-Oct-13 19:33:40

I really don't know much, DM has been away, DF is terrible at communication/staying in touch and even if I contact him he's very vague (about everything not just this) and DB hasn't been in touch. Hopefully I'll find out what's actually happening from DM now she's home.

Apparently DB has been out to play football with some mates tonight, it's great that he's felt up to doing something but he has managed to break his ankle while playing.

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