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Need advice about a doctor's authority.

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I need some help with what may become a serious problem. Recently, my wife, in an appointment with her doctor revealed that at she had previously performed acts of a self injurious nature upon herself. My wife was the victim of extensive childhood physical and sexual abuse by her father. Self injury is sometimes associated with tramatic abuse. That is a fairly documented fact.

Regardless, the doctor seemed to fixate on my wife's mental health (even though that was not the nature of her issue she wished to discuss with the doctor). My wife is concered that if she dosen't agree with the doctor's recomendations that the doctor may be able to force her into some sort of mental institution against her will. I DO NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!! Please advise.


Johnny B. Goode

It is unlikely that the doctor will try to institutionalize your wife. Institutionalization is a last resort approach to mental health problems. I would expect that the doctor will encourage your wife to seek appropriate treatment. Institutionalization would likely only be considered if suicide was a possiblity. Encourage your wife to get help, she doesn't have to live with the pain from the trauma.


Senior Member
And the doctor is right to be concerned, one does not usually overcome these problems on their own or outgrow them, there is a serious chance that they could arise again at any point in her life where she might be faced with severe trauma or undue stress.

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