Worried About Having a Gun in My House with My Father's Mental Health Issues Part 2

Published: January 17, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I just wrote to you about a gun and my dad's borderline personality disorder. Thank you for your response, but you misunderstood my letter. I'm not afraid of having a gun in the house, I'm afraid that we'll lose it if my dad goes to therapy, which he badly needs to. People need to give a doctor's note to prove that they are not unstable in order to buy a gun or renew their permit. So my real question is, if my dad were to see someone like a psychiatrist or psychologist, would his problem be told to his regular doctor through the insurance company, or can the two people be totally seperate? Would he be able to go get help AND still keep a gun? - Worried about having a gun in the house with my father's mental health issues part 2
Signed: Worried About Having a Gun in My House with My Father's Mental Health Issues Part 2

Dear Worried About Having a Gun in My House with My Father's Mental Health Issues Part 2,

It sounds to TeenHealthFX like you want us to tell you whether or not your father will lose his gun if he is receiving mental health treatment. What FX can tell you is that mental health and medical health providers are generally considered mandatory reporters, so if someone working in the medical or mental health field knew that someone was of danger to themselves or others they would need to report that information to the proper authorities. That said, if your father’s doctor or therapist knew he owned a gun and had information that he might use the gun to hurt himself or someone else, they would be mandated to report that to the proper authorities to ensure the safety of your father and/or the people around him. If there is not a concern that your father may use the gun to hurt himself or someone else, then FX does not know what problems he may or may not encounter. FX recommends you ask someone local about this, such as someone in law enforcement, a medical professional or a mental health professional who will be more aware of the factors that apply where you live.

While you felt we did not answer your question in our last response, TeenHealthFX does think that our response was applicable. If your father has borderline personality disorder and is not stable, then he does need to be receiving mental health treatment. His ability to keep the gun or not should not hinder his getting help. As we stated in our last response, there are other means of home protection that he could look into if this is a concern. If you are that concerned about your personal safety if there is not a gun in the house, then FX thinks this is something you need to talk about with a trusted adult, such as your doctor, your school nurse or a school counselor so that someone can get a full understanding of your concerns and help you to come up with a solution that could work for you and your family given the many factors at play here.  

For more information about gun ownership and mental health issues, read the Psychology Today article, Who Should Own a Gun?

Signed: TeenHealthFX