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My boyfriend has wanted to commit suicide for a while, I don’t know what to do, should I tell his parents? I live in a different state

I (F19) study in the ACT but am originally from NSW. He (M20) lives in NSW, we met in high school and have been together for 4 years.

I really truely care about him and I love him so much, so I really don’t know what to do.


I know he has been feeling suicidal for a while but I knew that if I said anything to his parents he would feel incredibly betrayed. If I said anything I knew I would have to tell them over text or call as I can’t come to NSW at the moment.

He has ADHD and has medication for it but he doesn’t take it. He’s sees a psychologist which is provided to him by his university. He is addicted to video games (at least 16 hours a day). He doesn’t study and has been notified that if he does not pass his courses this semester the university will ask him to leave. He has absolutely no friends except for the two people who play video games with him who he has never met one of which is 15 years older than him. One lives in Victoria and the other in Queensland so he has never met them. His parents are both doctors and so work very long hours and he is in his room 99% of the time. He has not eaten any food in days and hasn’t showered in over a week. He is really depressed and I have never seen him like this before. The only reason he gets out of bed now is to go to work so that he can get money to pay for more video games. He has a younger brother too who idealises him but his younger brother is ‘the golden child’. He does not interact with his family and his parents don’t know what to do. They can’t make his study or socialise or anything. It is like his world is the size of the video game screen and he has isolated himself and pushed everyone away from him so that his video game reality is the only one. I don’t know what to do. 

There are 4 things that are the only reason why he is still alive and told me this a few minutes ago which is why I am posting here: his family, me, his grandparents and his guilt if he were to do it. He is trying to push all these things away from himself so he can do it. His grandfather has stage 4 cancer and will probably die quite soon. 

He has convinced himself that no body cares about him and that the only thing his parents care about is his university grades - in three years he has only passed three courses hence the university considering to kick him out, at this rate it will take him another 21 years to graduate. But he doesn’t care. All he wants is to disappear from reality to play video games because he thinks that the real world is to difficult. He believes his parents don’t care about him at all.


I know he lies to me about if he eats or sleeps and I know he hasn’t slept in a while. The last time we were together we travelled to Japan in February and there were nights that he would silently cry himself to sleep even though in the day time it seemed like he was having the time of his life. 

His two video game friends are also planning on living together in Victoria and so they will most likely not be playing online anymore and then he really really won’t have anyone.


I am lost. I know that I am not the only person that cares about him, I know his parents care about him. I also know that his parents don’t know how bad it has gotten and don’t know how to help him. I don’t know how to help him. 

I have asked so many people what I should do. Some people say I should dump him and that I shouldn’t have to deal with him being addicted to video games other people think he is faking it. 

it has gotten to the stage where I am having to do everything for him, I have to look at other options if his university kicks him out and I have to plan his 21st birthday because he wants all of these things but does not have the strength or the motivation to look at his options. 

I love him so much and so if he wanted to move to Victoria to be with his friends (he has been thinking about this as he is worried he will loose them) I agreed to move with him after I graduate in two years. Yes I know that that would mean that I loose my friends and my family and my possible job but I genuinely love him so much that I would do this. I can’t imagine my future without him and I know he wants a future with me but I also know that he isn’t even sure if he wants to live anymore. 

I am really close with his mum. I see his family in a few weeks as the four of them and me are going to Victoria on a holiday because his brother is a national skier and he has training there (my boyfriend is planning on meeting one of his video game friends too even though his parents aren’t really comfortable with him meeting this friend because of the 15 year age gap).


I think I have to tell his parents, but if I do I either have to wait to tell his mum in person as we are catching a flight together to get there or I would have to text her or call her. I could also text his dad and put them in a group chat. I could also send them screenshots of what their son has told me this morning but he is at work right now and so if he finishes work and is bombarded with hundreds of calls from his parents he will get really really upset and will shut down. 

This morning we were on a call and I suggested that he transfer to Melbourne University and start the new semester there and he yelled at me in such an aggressively manner that I didn’t believe it was him, he had never ever yelled at me like that before and it made me so scared. He is not life that at all but I think he is starting to break down and he constantly says that he is “wearing a mask to pretend that everything is ok”, I think that this yelling at me was him starting to loose this facade. He pushes everyone away from his so that he can escape and believe that no one cares about him so he can disappear from reality. 

I feel like if I text his mum that would be bad just because it’s texting but I can’t catch a bus to NSW right now because all of them are booked for the rest of the day but I’m worried that if I wait until I see his family again in a few weeks time he might not be there, he might not be alive. 

Please help. I don’t know what to do. 


Re: My boyfriend has wanted to commit suicide for a while, I don’t know what to do, should I tell his parents? I live in a different state

Hi @CT19,

Welcome to the Forums. My name is FloatingFeather and I am one of the peer support workers at SANE. It is nice to have you with us.

It sounds like things are really difficult for your boyfriend and also yourself right now. My heart goes out to both of you. I have been in a similar situation many years ago with a close family member. They also didn't want me telling anyone about how they were feeling so I was left to try and second guess what to do by myself. It's not an easy situation to be in and it can feel like a huge responsibility. In my case it was like being stuck between a rock and a hard place (you may feel the same). I knew the importance of keeping my family member's trust because I didn't want to risk losing that or they may clam up and not share with anyone and then I wouldn't know what they were thinking. I also knew what the risks could potentially be if I didn't share this information with other people. It is a big burden to sit with and perhaps your boyfriend doesn't realise how much stress and responsibility this is for you but having been in a similar situation I understand and really feel for you.

It is good that he has four reasons to stay safe, these protective factors are important and perhaps if you find him talking about suicide again you might remind him of these things. It is also good he is speaking to a psychologist so he does have a trained professional to share with. Hopefully he is sharing his true feelings with the psychologist. I do also think that as his parents are both doctors (I'm guessing medical?) they would be trained to look for signs around depression, anxiety, suicide ideation etc.

It does sound like your boyfriend is pretty down on himself and having a really hard time. Sometimes when we are feeling pretty depressed it is really difficult to see any of the positives in life. It also does sound like he has a good family that do care about him and it is evident that he has a lovely, caring partner in you. 

My concern is this is a heavy burden for you to carry on your own and you also need support. It is a lot to feel really responsible for another person, their secrets, their mental well being, their friend group etc. I would really encourage you to reach out for you own supports and will list a few organisations that may be able to help you:

Carers Australia 

Carer Gateway 

Reachout (this might be beneficial for both you and your boyfriend. It is an organisation for young people / young adults that are looking for support).

SANE is also available and may be of benefit for both you and your boyfriend. The SANE Support Centre is available to support you from 10am-10pm Monday to Friday. We have counsellors and peer support workers available to support you via phone (1800 187 263) or webchat.

The SANE Guided services which is our new guided service that provides free digital and telehealth services and ongoing tailored support to people over 18 years of age with complex mental health needs and their families and carers SANE Guided Service

At the end of the day the only person who can really decide you how to proceed with this is you. It is a tricky place to be and it's a lot on your shoulders to carry alone. I really do wish you and your boyfriend all the best.

Also keep posting on the Forums if you need to - we are here to help support you.

Warm regards,




Re: My boyfriend has wanted to commit suicide for a while, I don’t know what to do, should I tell his parents? I live in a different state

Hi @CT19 


I am really glad you have posted - and I would like to welcome you to this forum.


I am the bereaved mother of a boy who completed suicide well over 35 years ago now and I knew he was suicidal but back then I couldn't get any help - things are different now.


Personally - I think your boyfriend has put you in a very difficult position - it's good that he has been honest with you - but it is very hard for you to supposed to not tell other people. It is a huge responsibility for you to carry alone.


Of course - he is obviously not well - so - what can you do?


If it was me - I would have liked other people to have told me - and in the years since a few of my son's friends have had the courage to approach me about it - they carried it on their own - or perhaps with their mates - and I knew all the time - so - it's tough call.


No one can tell you what to do - it is a terribly difficult issue for everyone concerned. Does your boyfriend's therapist know the extent of his despair? I know they can't tell you anything - I really know this - but can you make sure they know?


It's really mind-bending - personally I wish my son's friends had spoken to me about it because I know how hard it was for them - for years - after my son died.


The question you can ask yourself is this: which would be worse - feeling as if you betrayed your boyfriend by sharing his condition with his parents - or - knowing what you know if he completes the act. I don't know what's right for you - it's a dilemma I am sure no one wants to experience - and many people have.


I am so sorry and I care a great deal. I wish I could be more useful - I do understand.



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