I have a 16 year old son who lives with my ex father in law, but I'm in his life and I can see him when I want.

I'm concerned about this. He tells me that he is depressed and he took 9 tylenol 3's to commit suicide, but the messed up thing is my ex father in law took him to the doctor today and they didn't help my son who just tried to kill himself, like nothing worse can happen to him.

I don't and didn't have custody of him and since he was 3, but this is not cool. They have to get him on something so he isn't depressed and tries doing it again.

The next time we might not be so lucky and we can lose our son and I can't just do nothing about it.

I need help and I'm not sure whom to ask or what to do, but I need to do something to save my boy.

  • 3
    You take him to the doctor and see for yourself. That's what I would do.
    – Bugs
    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:06
  • 1
    "They have to get him on something so he isn't depressed and tries doing it again." Medication isn't the only way to treat depression. In fact, in many cases, medication only treats the symptoms of depression, not the cause. Furthermore, a regular doctor is probably ill-qualified to prescribe anti-depressants (even if he/she is technically allowed to) and most regular doctors usually prefer to let someone more specialized handle such cases. What is wrong with your son? You haven't actually told us anything. Does he have friends in school? How are his grades? Does he have body-image issues? etc Jun 8, 2017 at 4:38

2 Answers 2


my ex father in law took him to the Dr today and they wont help my son , thats nearly impossible a psychiatrist doesn't help someone especially if he has depression symptoms.

Maybe the doctor is not a psychiatrist or the father is lying. However if you cannot send him to a doctor , try to talk to the father and understand who the doctor and why he didn't accept him and refer your son to a reliable one.

If the father refused to send him to a psychiatrist, you can start by calling suicide crisis lines explain your issue to them.

if none of the above help , you can try to talk to some of his close friends/cousins/gf.. so they can convince them to go to a certain doctor (you dont have to explain to them that he has issues ).

  • You can also encourage the son to visit a doctor himself; he's old enough to make his own appointments.
    – Erik
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:23
  • @Erik ofcourse if the mother has good relation with the son she can encourage him to go to a doctor, as i mentioned and refer your son to a reliable one if the dont have good relation she can talk to some close friends.
    – Moudiz
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:54

Look, as the noncustodial parent, there is little you can do about his health care needs or decisions. That's the role of the custodial provider. Having said that, you are not without options:

1. Talk to your son. Ask him what"s going on. Does he still feel suicidal? Is there anything you can do to help?

2. Talk to the custodial provider (ex-father-in-law). Did your son go to a psychiatrist? Truth is, suicide attempts are incredibly common in teens, usually by overdose, and rarely successful. At the very least, medications in the home can be locked up. Guns should be removed from the home.

3. You have the right and responsibility to contact the police/911 whenever you think your son may be a danger to self or others. Municipalities work differently, but all have the ability to detain a person suspected of a mental illness until an evaluation can take place.

4. Apply for custody. You seem sane enough to me. Unless you are hindered criminally, it's probably just a matter of money--a lot of money.

5. Educate yourself on teenage depression. Unfortunately, antidepressants frequently present more risk than benefits, but they are still used.

6. Talk to his friends and school counselor to the extent they'll talk to you. Even if the information is one way, at least you're being proactive.

7. Have some fun with your son. Don't make your relationship with him center around his mood. Teenagers' moods change like the wind. You can help by staying positive, within reason.

Good luck

  • 1
    Depression is not a mood. I'd reword that part, because while trying to have fun is important, an actual depression doesn't just "go away".
    – Erik
    Jun 8, 2017 at 8:25

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