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El Cajon, CA
A 52-year-old female asked:

i need help. i have been in an abusive marriage for 18 years, my only sister is dying of breast cancer. i am paralyzed with depression. isolated. help?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steve Martinez
Breast Surgery 28 years experience
Hard steps: Step #1 is to remove yourself from an unsafe situation. An abusive relationship is not what you deserve. Find a safe place to stay, either with a friend or relative. Step #2 is to seek help for your depression. Talk with your doctor who can refer you to someone who can help. Step #3 is to be there for your sister in a difficult time. To do so, you need to take care of yourself first (steps1, 2).
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Depending on the situation, staying with a friend or relative may not guarantee safety. Contacting domestic violence resources may provide more safety. Help from doctor is great also. National Network to End Domestic Violence is a starting point, with Hotline available 24/7. http://www.nnedv.org/resources/stats/gethelp.html
Jan 29, 2013
Dr. Steve Martinez
Breast Surgery 28 years experience
Provided original answer
Thanks, Dr. Papas. This was probably the best advice anyone gave all day.
Jan 29, 2013
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Scary situation: This is a very unstable situation for you, and i'm concerned that your sister has been your main support. I agree with my colleague about first getting out of danger yourself. Please consult this web site for info: http://www.Helpguide.Org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.Htm the hotline is available 24/7, and they can connect you with local resources for help.
Dr. Barbara Lavi
Clinical Psychology 35 years experience
I agree with: Dr pappas and martinez. I am also concerned about your safety when you visit with your sister, if you leave your abusive husband. He may try to track you down and try to harm you. If he knows where your sister is he could come to the hospital. Take precautions and let the hospital know that there could be problems. Many hospitals require that visitors check in. His picture could be distributed.

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