Friend going to counseling - consequences?

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Clark, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the cryptic title, only so much you can pack into the title bar. A good friend of mine is finally going to seek counseling for years of issues. He has had some suicidal thoughts off and on, but never acted on them fortunately, nor made any true attempts. He's a gun owner and that's the big reason he's been so resistant to going, he's afraid if he says the wrong thing, or lets slip the wrong thing, they'll take away his guns for life. I told him that as far as I know you had to be put into an institution by a judge, but he fired back that judges were little more than a rubber stamp for "gun-grabbing head shrinks." As I said, he's going, but he's still worried, and he's as much told me that he'll lie to his therapist's face if asked about guns. Really though, if he's not a danger to others, and not necessarily a danger to himself, what can they do if he talks about thoughts that occurred more recently? He's here in Georgia by the way. I'm certainly not looking for legal advice to give him (if this even crosses into that territory), but I'd like to talk him into getting better care, namely being honest with the therapist and not hiding anything.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    As far as I know it's not a crime in Georgia to lie to your therapist. If he feels he doesn't want to discuss his ownership of firearms, then I'd say that was his adult decision.

    He's choosing therapy on his own, so it should be on his own terms as a free citizen. Now if and when he becomes a danger to himself or others, then it should rightly be out of his hands and left to the professionals and judges to deal with. Due process should begin at that time to deny his 2nd Amendment Rights.
     

  3. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Unfortunately most therapists are progressive and anti-gun. I have many years of experience with therapists starting with my time at the VAMC working the PTSD unit. When trying to determine dangerousness, to self or other, means, access, and reality of the plan being feasible are key decision factors. Your friend should get the help he needs but his concerns are not out of touch with reality necessarily. Of all the therapists I've known the only truly conservative ones were Christian Counselors. Good luck.
     
  4. AzB

    AzB Well-Known Member

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    If he is even a little suicidal, you could volunteer to hold his guns while he's in counseling. Then he wouldn't need to lie to the counselor.

    Legally, counseling shouldn't affect his gun ownership at all. Therapists and counselors don't have the ability to take his guns away.

    Personally, after experiencing the suicide by firearm of a childhood friend (for no reason that anyone was able to discern; he had a good business that made plenty of money, a good wife, and a nice house, erc) by gunshot, I would personally consider a cleaner method. It's a traumatic mess that someone close to you is going to see and clean up.

    I hope he gets help. Life is too short to be miserable for reasons that can be fixed.

    Az
     
  5. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Sorry but counseling can legally impact gun ownership. If he expresses either intent to harm self or other and has the means the counselor can have him involuntarily committed for evaluation. If that happens then gun ownership becomes a possible issue legally. We live in times where the government seems to be looking for any reason to infrige on our 2A rights. Holding his guns for him might decrease the chances of that happening, and might decrease his ability to act.
     
  6. AzB

    AzB Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that a probate judge was the only person in GA that could initiate a civil commitment, usually on the recommendation of police or a psychiatrist. (Psychiatrist = MD, counselors ≠ MD)

    But I could be wrong. Feel free to educate me on the subject.

    Either way, holding his guns would make sure they were safe and possibly make him feel better about the outcome.

    Az
     
  7. GAfirearmsReference

    GAfirearmsReference Weapons Law Booklet

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    future

    Right now, going to counseling on an outpatient basis is not even close to what it takes to trigger a loss of gun rights.

    Getting committed to a psych facility after being reviewed and determined to being a danger to yourself or others could be.

    Being declared mentally incompetent or having a guardian appointed over you would trigger a lifetime (or at least decades-long) gun ban.

    That's the law NOW.

    The more serious risk is what kinds of changes in the law are coming in the future.

    25 years ago, nobody would have ever thought that you could lose your 2nd Amendment rights, for life, based on a misdemeanor assault case from the 1960s where you slapped your girlfriend after she threw a drink in your face.
    Nobody would have predicted that a fundamental civil right could be stripped from you based on a MISDEMEANOR crime-- something that typically carried a $50 fine and a warning from the judge.

    But then, Congress decided to start adding misdemeanor violent crimes to the long list of offenses that can cost you your gun rights.

    These days, the gun control crowd is very vocal about crazy people and political extremists having guns. Mental health is the area of the next big push for gun control, I think.

    If that happens, and we get new laws (or administrative rules with the force of law, even if never voted on by our Senators and Representatives in Congress), they could expand the concept of mental health disqualification for gun owners.

    Would they go so far as to ban guns from anybody who ever sought counseling? No. But anybody who sought counseling for depression and who admitted suicidal or homicidal thoughts ("Doc, I tell you, I was so pissed off that I just wanted to take my rifle down to the plant and go postal on them! But I just took some happy pills and watched a movie on HBO, and I got over it by the next morning."). Yeah, those people COULD be the target for the next round of disarmament.

    But on the other hand, counseling could improve your quality of life, and save innocent lives. Let's face it-- depression and anger/ paranoia are mental problems that REALLY ARE commonly found in killers. Some people do go nuts and kill with guns when they're mentally unstable. There's some truth to it, and it's an area of legitimate concern. Suicide is the much bigger risk than homicide.. counseling can possibly SAVE the life of a suicidal person, so.... you have to weigh the risks vs. benefits. It might be worth it to do the counseling and take the chance, and let the chips fall where they may.
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be a pretty normal question to ask about guns in the house if he has had some suicidal thoughts. Using a firearm is a very easy way to accomplish that task, and men are more likely to use a firearm than women. I do not think that the therapist would try to have him committed based on an honest response to that question.

    Your friend needs help, and honest discussion is at least the start of getting it.
     
  9. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Just to reply as a non-lawyer who actually has the authority under OCGA to sign for involuntary commitment for observation and determination of someone - we're hearing LOTS about how we need to ask about guns, how we may have to report to the FBI/National Database about anyone who we think is a "threat" who "reports owning or having access to firearms". Nothing solid yet but I've been at this long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel and its not daylight in my pessimistic opinion. As for getting help, absolutely but the person in question is not paranoid to be concerned about his rights being taken if he seeks help. Many in the MH community think no one should own or have access to a firearm who is not a LEO. Remember, Psychology/Counseling/Social Work get rated, and self-rated, as among the top 4-5 most liberal professions. Just sayin'.
     
  10. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    If you're gonna lie to your therapist, might as well not waste the money.
     
  11. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    Just tell him to never mention his guns or that he has one, or that he's seeking ones.

    I find a lot of the time, unless chemical, which can be fixed too, a lot of suicidal thoughts are due to other issues in his life, which going to a counselor can really help a lot of them most of the time, meaning just by going, the firearm and suicide won't be an issue, because he's taken the time to fix himself, his life, and he'll be much happier, even if it is on some medication to fix some depression.

    Listen, those little small, weak anti-depressants are not dangerous at all as far as I understand them.

    Now some of them, the stronger ones, that might be a different story as far as mixing drugs or if one stop taking them immediately or something. Its not a big deal I don't think.

    Best of luck to your buddy on him getting his life straightened out, he's doing a very good thing.

    Also, tell him this, you only get better if you really want to change, so you have to put in the work too to change. Also, don't stop going, go in every once and a while just for a check up. That way 10 years down the road he's not in the same place he is today.
     
  12. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    This. I have held guns for a suicidal buddy before, its the best idea ever. Then after those feelings left and his life was good again, I gave them back to him. :)
     
  13. phaed

    phaed Active Member

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    there are no guarantees what may come from it, especially if it is a government shrink.

    and phil, know that it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with if he tells the shrink he has guns or not. yes, shrinks can act if there's an immanent threat to themselves or others, but that's not the only avenue one could lose their guns from. the govt is building medical databases about people. eventually, they're going to try to make all the people in the database that have had certain conditions prohibited from possessing firearms.

    my recommendation is for him to seek help, and deal with the consequences later if they come, as they come, with a healthy mind.
     
  14. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    A government shrink? Oh Lord have mercy if that's the case.
     
  15. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for your comments. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure what to do. I feel a little better (won't be a government employee), and I'm leaning more now toward having him tell the complete truth if asked, but I'm still unsure. Today he told me that one of the consent forms had something about disclosure of "threat of serious harm to self" (which is expected given even MD Doctors' forms have that) and he's waffling again, not even necessarily over the gun thing, but just on his life being "over" if he says the wrong thing and gets caught up in the system. Any comments on this? I really want him to go and get help, but frankly, I agree with his overall sentiment that locking someone down that's otherwise functional (and again, not threatening harm to others) is no way to live either.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I would have him tell that to the counselor, too. Be up front about his concerns from the first meeting. What's with all the secrecy? Damn. Just go get help.
     
  17. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    For what it's worth, I'm batcrap crazy. Just ask many of the longer-serving members here. It's pretty well documented.

    I've voluntarily disarmed twice in my life. Once by selling all the guns, once by getting a buddy to hold them for a while. It was the right thing for me emotionally and mentally while I got through a period where I was dangerous to myself.

    Maybe not a bad idea for your friend.
     
  18. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    Perhaps you could hold them for him. Stuff them under your bed or in your attic. Then he could honestly advise his counselor that he does not have any firearms.

    Nemo