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To ask if/how you would tell your mum? [Trigger warning: Suicide] Edited by MNHQ

(139 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:03:39

Not a mum myself, just need a help or some advice from a few if that's okay!
I overdosed on Sunday night, was kept in hospital until yesterday lunchtime. Physically I'm completely fine with no lasting damage. Obviously mentally I'm not fine.
I have a great DP and lots of friends who are extremely supportive, and I come from a great family.
I live in a different city to my mum and haven't told her, or any of my family, because I didn't want to worry anyone.
I sort of think what's the point because it will destroy my mum and that could make me feel even worse putting a burden onto someone else.
If your dc ever came to you and told you all of this what would your reaction be? Not what SHOULD it be, but realistically would you be angry, cut all ties, would it destroy you?
My mum adores me, and is the best, I hate keeping things from her but I have noticed that when she gets extremely upset and doesn't know how to cope that it comes out as anger and frustration- not sure if I can cope with that.
Should I tell her or should I keep this from her? My psychiatrist seemed concerned that she didn't know I was in hospital.
I'm a 21yo woman, no kids FWIW

GottaGetUp Wed 20-Mar-19 07:08:14

If telling her will hurt you, and keeping it from her (for now) gives you space to heal, then you don’t have to tell her.

AlwaysCheddar Wed 20-Mar-19 07:09:08

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:11:33

I didn't think it was a good idea to write how to overdose online. I overdosed on purpose, I don't know if I was trying to end my life or just harm myself.

AlwaysCheddar Wed 20-Mar-19 07:13:23

If your mum adores you, she would want to know. Speak to her face to face. This will be a great shock to her. Be honest with her. I would want my dd to tell me if it were the case. But it’s your call. Try speaking to Samaritans or someone.

DisplayPurposesOnly Wed 20-Mar-19 07:14:29

Do what's right for you. That's the most important thing, right now.

If you do want to tell her, you don't have to do it in person. You could write her a short note. Or your partner could tell her. That way she can have her initial reaction away from you, then be calmer when she speaks to you.

I hope you feel better soon.

AlwaysCheddar Wed 20-Mar-19 07:14:51

The fact that you’re asking means you obviously care about her. If you had taken your own life, what do you think she wishes she could have said to you... if only my dd told me how she felt is a guess. Take care

Divgirl2 Wed 20-Mar-19 07:15:26

I wouldn't tell mine, I think it would just cause unnecessary upset and distress. But I'm older than you and I don't know your family dynamics.
If you have a psychiatrist I imagine you probably have a severe ongoing mental health issue so it probably wouldn't be a huge shock to her and she might want to support you.
It's impossible to say what you should do without knowing your family. Just do whatever feels right.

BigFatGiant Wed 20-Mar-19 07:15:37

If my children came to me with that o suppose I would take an all’s well that ends well attitude and try do whatever I can to support them,m. Obviously I would be extremely worried but I have enough self control not to show that. But if I were in your position and my mother was so emotional I would probably keep it to myself. You have no moral obligation to tell her. If you think it will be harder for both of you if you do tell her then just don’t.

DisplayPurposesOnly Wed 20-Mar-19 07:15:48

AlwaysCheddar, your question was out of order and none of your business.

Gingerkittykat Wed 20-Mar-19 07:17:36

As a mother I would be truly devastated and feel guilty if my child tried to kill themselves.

It's a hard call. Do you think she will be supportive or do you think that having to deal with her reaction is going to cause more upset to you than benefit?

Do you have support to tell her? If you want her to know could someone else tell her and you talk to her afterwards?

I'm older than you but have issues with mental health and sometimes struggle with self destructive thoughts and behaviour. Dealing with my family's upset has been harder to deal with the illness at times so I keep most things hidden from them and have built a support network.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:18:39

Thanks for all the comments, it is helpful to hear what everyone would do, and the idea of perhaps telling my mum in a way other than face to face does appeal to me, but I wonder if it's fair on her to find out that way iyswim.
I don't usually see a psychiatrist or have any ongoing mental health support, they just got the one from the hospital up to see me.

KM99 Wed 20-Mar-19 07:20:51

OP, I'm sorry you took an overdose. I hope you get the support you need to address your mental health.

When your mum gets upset or angry, how long does that typically last? Does she get through it?

If it were my DS I think my first reaction would be shock, fear and wanting to jump into "helping" modem

You don't have to tell her, but I suspect as your work through treatment you will feel compelled to. Maybe a letter to give you the chance to tell it in your own words without interruption or getting derailed with seeing initial reaction?

Good luck with your recovery. x

Ragnarthe Wed 20-Mar-19 07:22:13

Obviously I don't know your mum I can only speak for myself as someone else's.
If this had happened to my baby I would want to know. Yes it would be a terrible thing to hear and I would feel distraught but I couldn't do anything to help if I didn't know. I also would try to control my reaction in front of my (grown up) child. I once had a member of staff come to me at work and tell me they had tried to take their life the night before and they needed to tell someone. I called her doctor, insisted they see her and then drove her to the surgery and stayed with her while she waited. I called her sister to come and get her. I tried really hard not to seem shocked or upset but just to be normal and matter of fact. I didn't think freaking out would help. But I know not everyone can control their reaction. I went back to my car and cried.
I would want to hold my child and tell you it's going to be OK.
I would be upset if it was kept from me but only because I would be sorry I hadn't been there to help you when you needed me. I wouldn't stop talking to you. Can someone else tell her for you? Or could you write it down so you get to say everything you want to say? It can be hard to say what you want to say if someone is reacting emotionally.
I would hug you if I was there, I hope things get better for you and that you can hug your mum flowers

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:24:48

Thank you for being so kind!
My mum is really supportive and I do feel compelled to tell her, it is just hard because I know it'll break her heart.
I can imagine she'll be angry, it probably wouldn't last long and ultimately I do believe shell help, but because I feel drained it is just hard to deal with it all sort of thing.
I might travel home to see her this weekend, it'll be so good to see her and talk to her and maybe I'll decide then whether to tell her or not. I know that she would want to know and will probably be more upset that I went through this without her.

YeahNah1980 Wed 20-Mar-19 07:25:19

My reaction would be “I am paying for a private psychiatrist to diagnose you and you will take medication because I can’t lose you.”

picklemepopcorn Wed 20-Mar-19 07:27:08

This stood out for me "My mum adores me, and is the best, I hate keeping things from her but I have noticed that when she gets extremely upset and doesn't know how to cope that it comes out as anger and frustration- not sure if I can cope with that. "

You and your mum may have boundary issues.
Have you ever tried to understand the source of your mental health difficulties?

I'm sorry you feel so rough- if my DC told me this I would work very hard to make sure they didn't get an inkling of my feelings about me- it should all be about supporting them.
Not all parents are able to do that, though. Some accidentally make it 'all about them'.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:28:30

I haven't been offered much help from mental health services when I've attempted to reach out in the past, but everyone at the hospital was really supportive and caring. I've been offered at home help and I am very willing to accept this. I feel lower than ever and very embarrassed about what I've done, I feel like I've been dramatic and selfish because I really do have a good life.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:30:52

My DP thinks telling my mum is the best idea and that I'm imagining that she'll be angry because I'm embarrassed about telling her.
I thought he would be angry too, but he wasn't. He was amazing. I suppose I don't know how she will react until I tell her, but it feels wrong to hurt someone you care about in a bid to try to make yourself feel better.

WFTisgoingoninmyhead Wed 20-Mar-19 07:32:11

To be honest, as a mum I think I would rather not know in truth. Mums worry about our DC (even grown up ones) enough already. When my son did this years ago, he wasn’t telling me to help me he was telling me to share his burden which I found a little selfish. If you are a grown up with a DH then your MH should be kept between you and your DH. I know this won’t be a popular view but I am being honest, since my DS told me he did this I haven’t slept and don’t leave him alone. I am constantly worried about him, it was years ago too, but honestly I would sooner not know.

speakout Wed 20-Mar-19 07:35:36

No right answer here.

I would want to know if it was my DD, no way would I tell my own mother.

DeadCertain Wed 20-Mar-19 07:37:56

Very much depends upon your mum; it sounds as if yours will be supportive and understanding. I told mine something in the same vein once (MH related), which took a huge amount of courage as I tell people very little, and she responded that "thank goodness how you are isn't my fault" and then her next thought was to tell me to never, ever tell any other family members or family friends as "they wouldn't understand" - both of which translate as shame and embarrassment. At no point did she acknowledge that telling her must have been difficult or ask me whether I needed any support or was receiving any treatment and she hasn't asked after my wellbeing since. It was brought up randomly the other month in a vague "it was xx you mentioned wasn't it?". The whole experience cemented to me exactly why I have never talked to my mum about anything vaguely personal!!

If you wonder whether your own mum's failing to cope well with bad news will manifest in any way similar to my own mother's I'd recommend keeping the news from her. On the other hand, if you think she'd be initially upset but then provide you with the support and love that you need (and you believe that she would rather know) then I would tell her. It sounds as if it will be difficult for you both but if it results in an ultimately positive outcome then it will be worth it.

anyadvicepls Wed 20-Mar-19 07:38:07

I'm getting a consensus that most mum's would want to know, even though they'd probably be better off not knowing. I do get that.
I think I at least need to go and see her and have a big hug, I really need her right now sad maybe I should talk to her about how I've been feeling and then if it comes out then it comes out.

Yabbers Wed 20-Mar-19 07:39:05

I probably wouldn’t tell my mum. She’s lovely but I don’t think she’d need to know.

If my DD told me, I’d give her a huge hug and ask how I could help.

I can’t imagine any half decent mum being angry someone took and overdose.

HotpotLawyer Wed 20-Mar-19 07:44:12

Right now, I would say only tell your Mum if it would help YOU and if you want, and can get, support from your Mum.

As a Dd I would not want to tell your Mum for the reasons you outline. As a Mum my heart would be in my mouth for my child and every fibre
In pain for them.

As a Mum I also recognise that this is exactly why my child might not tell me until ready. But my wish to support would be total.

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