*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Being in a relationship with someone who struggles with mental illness can be a challenging situation to navigate, especially when it comes to balancing the monitoring of their health with respecting their privacy.
That’s the situation one woman on Reddit faced with her boyfriend, and she wondered if she’d handled it correctly. So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
In her since-deleted post, the Original Poster (OP) asked:
“AITA for getting a locksmith to open my boyfriends apartment?”
“My (F[emale]23) boyfriend (M[ale]25) had a pretty severe bipolar episode in February that ended with him downing over 8 sticks of Xanax in one night (don’t worry, he’s gotten professional help to address this episode and he has fully recovered) – it happened on a Friday evening, he told me on the phone about the Xanax and I went over to his apartment to make sure he was physically okay and he was.”
“I went down the street to pick up some food for him and when I came back the door was locked and his phone was off. I didn’t understand what was going on but because I live down the street I wound up going home for the night and returning in the morning to check on him.”
“The door was still locked in the morning and his phone was still off. He had taken so much Xanax the night before that it was possible he had overdosed.”
“I began to think of that or worse, because he is bipolar he has episodes of intense suicidality and this episode was truly severe and I was afraid for his safety.”
“His roommate was away for the weekend so he couldn’t help. I debated on calling the police.”
“I figured they’d pry his door open and then take him to the hospital. I wasn’t sure if him being committed would be the right thing and didn’t feel like I should be making that call for him.”
“I debated on calling his mom for input but she lives states away and I didn’t want to stress her out with a crisis. So what seemed like the best move was calling a locksmith to open the door, so I did.”
“They came quickly and opened it, I paid them then went inside to find my boyfriend sleeping and completely unaware of what had happened.”
“He didn’t remember a thing from the night before, but he told me that he thought I did the right thing by calling a locksmith before calling others and I felt proud in the way I handled it.”
“Fast forward to yesterday when I was at dinner with him and his roommate. The incident came up and that’s when I realized his roommate didn’t know about the locksmith.”
“My boyfriend told me later that his roommate was extremely upset about the concept of me essentially breaking into their apartment without anybody’s consent.”
“That’s when I realized that I completely intruded on an apartment that is not my own and I feel really sh*tty about it.”
“I can’t tell if I was right or wrong to get the locksmith. AITA?”
Folks on Reddit were then asked to evaluate if OP was in the wrong in this situation using the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And for OP’s fellow Redditors, this was a tough nut to crack.
“Ask the housemate if they would rather you have had the locksmith break in, or them potentially come back to your BF’s dead body.”
“I’m sure they will back pedal and try to claim that isn’t the scenario – but that is literally the potential scenario you had.”
“Calling the police on an suspected attempted suicide would result in them smashing the door down (here at least) so calling a lock smith definitely resulted in way less damage.” —Beneficial-Soft-3492
“Yeah, there were some broken laws, but this is a moral judgment sub, so NTA. You did what you though you needed to do for your BF.” —Adric_01
“This, but NAH. Roommate isn’t the AH for being concerned that a locksmith would just bust the lock without any proof of tenancy.” —Advanced_Lobster9871
“This. While there’s questions about the choices after the fact balancing the risks to your boyfriend’s well being, as cops often do kill mentally ill and disabled folks needing help.”
“There’s a thousand what ifs. You did the thing that worked. It’s morally gray.” —FirebirdWriter
“I think it’s NAH because I do think the housemate has every right to be upset that she got a locksmith to break into his home.”
“And tbh I’m not sure she isn’t the AH because how do you justify being so concerned about someone you break the law and violate someone else’s privacy, when you aren’t apparently concerned enough to call an ambulance.”
“It’s either an emergency or it’s not.” —ACatGod
“HUGE nta. This was an emergency. The fact that your bf was ok in the end doesn’t mean this was any less serious.” —safetythird3
“I’m going to say nta. You didn’t know if you bf was alive or dead.”
“What does confuse me is the locksmith. Do they not require proof of some sort, such as a license with that address on it to open a door?”
“Can I wait until my neighbors go on vacay, call a locksmith and then plunder at will?” —Comfortable_Stop_717
“•You did ‘break’ into his apartment to see if he was ok. If he had committed toasterbath it wouldn’t have been pleasant to find him when his roommate came back”
“•The roommate is also rightfully upset because yeah, you did break in and how would he know that you didn’t take anything?”
•If your boyfriend is getting help he is also no asshole.
“I think that you did the right thing. Calling the police may have ended up in a clinic (which sometimes isn’t a bad thing) and with a smashed door.” —Gecko_behind_mailbox
Here’s hoping OP’s boyfriend can get the help he needs and stay healthy.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/