Dear Emma,

My daughter is severely bi-polar and also suffers from depression. She is often suicidal, and if I’m honest, I can’t blame her. I always hear people say that suicide is a selfish act, but I’m not sure I agree anymore. She is so depressed that she can barely get out of bed or support herself. How do I convince her to keep going, if I have doubts myself? I’m just tired of seeing my daughter suffer.

—Barely Holding On

Dear Barely Holding On,

I’m assuming she’s already under a therapist’s care, and hopefully has already tried (stayed on) some medication. If I were you, I would ask to speak to her psychiatrist, because it might be time for her to try a new medication. I’m wondering if you’re getting any assistance with this. Living with a severely depressed or unpredictable loved one is a torment. If your daughter had a life-threatening physical illness, your support system would gather around you and help. Fortunately, there’s a wonderful organization called NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) that provides support for friends and family of the mentally ill.