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my friend won't seek treatment


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My friend who lives very far away won't seek treatment for depression, anxiety, anorexia because she says her abusive, sociopathic tried-to-kill-her ex husband will be able to access her medical records in court and declare her an unfit mother, thus taking her kid.

So, is this true?  Are her medical records going to matter in a custody battle?  She lives in Canada but I'm assuming the law will be very similar on this subject in most places.  If so, how the hell can she get treatment without it showing up in her records.

normally i wouldn't post another person's problem, but right now I'M her treatment, by way of very long emotional phone calls where she tells me she is worthless and so on (we all know that story).  I don't think my tele-counselling skills are up to the task.

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Wow...

Your friend is in a tough spot. This is something she would need an attorney for...he can tell her how treatment will effect standing. But I can tell you one thing, UNTREATED will be worse in the long run. Divorce and custody battles often involve a court mandated psychiatric evaluation. If she is ill an not seeking treatment, and the courts find out she is nutty, her x is going to have a very easy time taking the kids. If she is already being treated, there is not much hubby will be able to do and she will have her doctor's testimony to back her up.

She needs a psychiatrist and a lawyer ASAP.

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Yes, sadly, it is true. Basically there is no such thing as privacy.  Mt tdoc says if the court subpoenas his records he has to give them.  So I'm careful never to say anything that I think could be used to take my children from me.  Not that I'm planning to get dovorced, but hey, the odds are 50/50 in the US, and since my spouse knows I see a shrink all he'd have to do is mention it to his lawyer and there goes my privacy and my kids.  It was very hard for me to seek treatment because of these fucked-up laws, and I filter everything I say, which means I probably will never get better...at least until my children are 18. 

There is not enough time in the world for me to rant about how completely unfair this is...it's one thing for shrinks to be mandatoru child abuse reporters, or have to report if someone is suicidal.  But this taking away your privilege for a court case...this sucks.

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What AM said. Also it would have to be deemed by a Judge pertinent to the way in which she is affected in her ability to Parent and take care of her kids. It would be a very high standard and without proof of harm done or possible physical of psychological negligence I just don't see it being granted as evidence.

Unless her soon to be ex has a shitload of money and time to devote to filing requests to the Judge he isn't going to be getting her medical records.

Besides as was suggested if she can show she is in therapy and being treated and is cooperating with a goal to get better, it will be a moot point anyway.

As far as I know it is very rare for actual records to be introduced. Judges don't go there without really good evidence. They do not accept allegations from the ex or heresay and would probably order their own psych evaluation by a court accepted Doc.

Unless the ex is a Saint he should be worried about his own crap coming out if he pushes it.

More often than not it will be a shared joint custody with a main custodial parent for schooling issues.  Even if she was deemed as having major mental problems she would probably not lose her right to joint custody.

Of course these are all highly hypothetical and her excuses to not seek help at LEAST from a GP are just that. Excuses based on fear.  A GP could at least get her started on something and see if it helps until she is ready to move forward with a pdoc evaluation.

CC~

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thank you all.  i told her what you said without letter her know i posted her problem.  I basically said your opinions were mine.  She called again tonight drunk and crying.  I'm not going to indulge this, as I think it's not a good solution.  I think i'll bring the matter of treatment up each time she calls, as I'm not a good source of therapy.  Truly, I'm much too honest and uncensored to be a therapist.

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One last word of advice to her, if she is not careful, she is going to set herself up to realize her own fears. The stress and lack of any treatment may make her crash and then she really will end up in a mess that may threaten (temporarily) her childrens custody.

I agree you have to say your piece and then back off and hopefully make her responsible for her own decisions. Wherever they lead.

CC~

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