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Redditor Called Out For Telling Truth When Social Worker Asks If Bipolar Husband Owns Guns

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Content Warning: Gun Safety, Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, and Bipolar Disorder

It’s a common understanding among close family members and friends that we will cover for them, even if that means occasionally lying on their behalf.

But when it comes to keeping our loved ones safe, sometimes we can’t cover for them anymore, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

The Redditor, who has since deleted their account, decided it was best to be honest with a social worker about having guns in their home, so they could help their husband in the best way possible.

But when their husband was upset about their honesty, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they shouldn’t have been so forthright with the social worker.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for telling the truth about my husband’s guns to a social worker?”

The OP’s husband recently was admitted to a behavioral clinic.

“My husband voluntarily admitted himself to an inpatient behavioral clinic. He had been on a drinking binge and began to hear and see things.”

“He was previously diagnosed with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder, but they have now changed it to Type 1 and switched him to an antipsychotic medication.”

The OP recently spoke with a social worker on their husband’s behalf. 

“A social worker with the hospital spoke with him today and then called me and asked basic questions.”

“One of the things she asked is if we owned guns.”

“I said yes. We have two small handguns that we occasionally take to a shooting range.”

“He has never been violent towards me, nor have I ever felt like having the guns was a danger, so I was just honest with her.”

“She asked if there was a place I could hide them away for a while when he first comes home.”

“I said yes. This seemed pretty standard procedure to me.”

The OP’s husband was upset with her.

“However, I went to visit him during visiting hours, and he was very upset because when they asked him if he had guns, he said no.”

“Now he’s convinced they’re going to keep him locked up or that authorities are going to come and take them (one of them belonged to his dad who passed away recently).”

“Now I feel like I messed up. Like maybe I shouldn’t have told them.”

“It’s making me feel like an absolute AH that I may have messed things up for him.”

“So, AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were grateful for the OP being honest when their husband likely would have lied.

“NTA. I’m pretty sure the Hospital expected your husband to lie and that is why they verified it with his spouse.”

“As for your husband, he needs to simply come to terms with the fact this is the standard treatment and his focus should be on his mental health and not paranoia about guns. I seriously doubt anyone is coming to take his guns away.” – PaganCHICK720

“They absolutely expect him to lie. Every question my docs asked me, they also asked my husband and my best friend, to compare answers and make sure no one is trying to downplay anything. The social worker the hospital gave me was surprised I didn’t lie to them about anything.” – flyin_high_flyin_bi

“People lie so routinely, it’s often not that big of a deal that they lied. You kind of expect it.” – RainahReddit

“It’s standard no matter what the patient says. When my roommate was getting sent home, they called me and asked if we had anything she could use to hurt herself despite her having told them we do and I had them locked away.”

“I just confirmed what she had said. No one came to take our knives away, and we weren’t even allowed to have knives!” – etherealparadox


“Your husband is having hallucinations. Do you really think that’s the person you need to listen to about whether you did the right thing?”

“They ask about weapons for good reason. You’re going to put them away out of reach for good reason.”

“Being honest about the facts is the right thing to do here.”

“Your husband’s concerns are not based on reason at this point. Why are you feeling bad over something that is, tbh, driven by paranoia on his part?” – Left-Car6520

“I’m not the OP but have gone through similar events recently with my partner. People in the midst of a psychotic break do not have a grasp on reality and have a twisted view on reality.”

“Take a deep breath and do something nice for yourself. You have my permission to go and be selfish, and please don’t feel guilty. Hugs from a stranger in a similar boat.” – Neat_History4966

Others were concerned about the family’s safety, and the husband’s. 

“IDK (I don’t know) when I was asked, but I just said yes, because that’s the truth.”

“I’d rather lose my guns than my mind, meaning, my life.”

“Still have all three.” – Mamamama29010

“I would argue that this is absolutely about her safety. It does not sound like this man should be in a house with a gun, or her and their children, period for the time being.”

“This sounds less like ‘just’ hallucinations and bipolar, it sounds like a truly unfortunate combination of a developing mental illness and the type of radicalization that has led to violence in others (see: Buffalo recently) and could very well lead to deadly violence in a case like this (assuming it’s real, which I honestly hope not because it is a sad story all around).” – life_without_pyrrole

“They’re probably worried he might hurt himself. Something like half of all gun deaths are suicides.” – Doctor-Liz

“It’s not just #1, it’s more than half of all gun deaths in America are suicides, and that doesn’t take into account things like suicide by cop. If somebody is struggling mentally they should give up not just firearms, but anything that could do serious damage to themselves or others.”

“My MIL about 10 years ago had a mental break and tried to kill her landlady by driving over her. Up until that point, my MIL was the sweetest person you ever met but was diagnosed schizophrenic when my wife was a baby, and was treated on and off my wife’s whole life, but the doctor changed her meds up, and she went on a paranoid murdering rampage.” – aroundincircles

“Why gamble with killing tools with someone who’s mentally unwell? He’s paranoid and has hallucinations. He shouldn’t have guns and his treatment team needs to know to keep everyone, including you and him, safe upon discharge.” – aldcommenter

Some also urged the OP to acquire some form of gun safety lock or storage.

“OP may want to buy a small gun safe and lock it with a passcode only she knows. If you can’t afford a couple hundred for the nice fireproof tall ones, they make some cheap handguns only ones that are small enough to hide and lock. Use a passcode no one else would guess (no bdays or debit pins).” – engineer2187

“Don’t cut corners on gun safety boxes because of price. I had one that could be broken into with the proper tools which are tools most people have in their houses.”

“I own guns. I keep them locked away in a fire-safe that is passcode protected. The only way to get into them is with a torch. I don’t see many folks lugging those around. I actually avoid the small ones because I find them just too risky for my taste.”

“Like if a break-in happened, they are easily picked up and carried out. Then boom someone has my firearm they can use to hurt someone if they get creative and get in the safe.” – Thatpocket

“Adding to this, if he comes home and you’re still concerned about how he’s doing, many states have networks of safe storage for firearms where you can temporarily surrender them and a registered business will keep them for you until it is safe to have them in the house again.”

“If you Google ‘[your state] + safe storage map,’ you should be able to find locations in your area. These services are free and voluntary, and you should be able to retrieve the weapons whenever you want.”

“Good job keeping your husband safe, and please don’t feel guilty for doing so just because he’s not thinking rationally. He’s lucky to have you.” – kjvp

“One of the guns has sentimental value, which isn’t something to just overlook. Better OP give the guns to a friend or relative to hold that she can absolutely trust to NOT put them back in the hands of her husband without first checking with her.” – Old_Minte

“NTA. You told the truth, and he lied, about something extremely important when it comes to mental health hospitalization. I suggest getting rid of the guns entirely, considering his issues. If anybody messed up, it was him for lying.” – Aunty_Fascist

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update.

“Thank you all so much for the encouragement. I realize now that he still is not in a good place with his mind and therefore can’t make rational decisions.”

“I felt so small when he shook his head and looked so disappointed in me, but I realize now that his reaction does not indicate the facts.”

The subReddit could understand the husband’s concerns, especially when one of the guns had sentimental value, but they valued his safety more, just like the OP. Though they could have covered for him, it was more important for the OP to show their love by cooperating with the social worker.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit