My Friend Was Hospitalized For Homicidal Urges

Published: May 20, 2015
Dear My Friend Was Hospitalized For Homicidal Urges,

A friend of mine recently got out of a psych ward for homicidal urges. He says he didn't want to kill anyone in particular but I thought the plan for homicidal thoughts was the same as suicidal thoughts? They could only institutionalize you if you had a plan and date? Do they put you in just for feeling violent in general? Also am I safe around him now that he's out? He's medicated and he's never shown any signs of wanting to harm me but I don't know much about this.

Dear My Friend Was Hospitalized For Homicidal Urges,

When a mental health professional is evaluating the need to hospitalize someone, that person will be looking at various risk factors. Risk factors might include:

  • Potential to harm self

  • Potential to harm others

As far looking at the risk for violence with someone who reports homicidal ideation, other factors will be assessed as well. A mental health professional will want information on that person’s history of violence, intent and plan for future violence, a sense of that person’s impulse control and ability to delay gratification, any impairments regarding reality testing, substance abuse history, and that person’s access to drugs, alcohol and weapons.

Keep in mind that homicidal ideation is not a disease, but may result from other mental health illnesses, such as a psychotic disorder, substance abuse disorder, personality disorder, or a severe mood disorder. Depending on the situation, a person may be hospitalized not just because of the homicidal ideation, but because of symptoms and issues related to an associated mental health disorder.

As for whether or not you are safe around this person, TeenHealthFX would hope that if he has been discharged by the hospital and is following through with treatment recommendations made by the hospital that he would be safe to be around. However, not knowing this person or any details of the situation, FX certainly cannot know for sure. That said, if you have questions or concerns about your safety, FX strongly recommends that you start by discussing this with your parents or a school counselor so you can get the support and guidance you need in determining how to proceed with your friend and whether or not you are safe in his company at this time.