Depression and Gun Ownership


For at least a year or two now, I have been debating with my husband whether we should get a handgun for home protection. You see, I have an intense fear of home invasions. I often have nightmares about it. I think part of it may stem from being robbed at gunpoint when I was 17 years old. Or maybe some of it comes from living in several areas over my lifetime that were crime ridden in one way or another. A history of physical abuse and c-ptsd certainly doesn’t help either.

That is why I believe that I might feel a little more safe with a handgun in the house (most likely locked up in a safe). My husband worries about keeping a loaded gun in the house though because of my intense periods of depression. I have bipolar type 2, and while I have never had a psychotic episode, have never tried to commit suicide, and do not think I am generally a danger to myself, my husband has seen me go through some extreme emotional lows that worried him. He fears that if we had a loaded gun in the house there is always the possibility that in a moment of intense depression I might make a rash decision.

I am thinking that perhaps I should discuss the possibility with my therapist and psychiatrist. I know both of them have said they do not think I would ever actually commit suicide. Personally, I agree that I am very unlikely to commit suicide unless my husband died and I was somehow left all alone without any help in the world. I do not think I could kill myself unless the prospect of living genuinely became worse than death. I also would not want to cause anyone who cares about me pain, as I know first hand what it is like to lose someone close to suicide.

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Hi! I am an artist, author, and blogger who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have won several awards and honors for my writings and artwork. I suffer from a few severe mental illness and chronic pain conditions (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Ehlers Danlos, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc.), which greatly affects my life and makes me want to advocate for others going through similar things. Other interests of mine include reading, writing, drawing, watching cartoons and movies, collecting toys, hanging out with my family, and annoying my 3 cats.

21 thoughts on “Depression and Gun Ownership”

  1. I am no expert but defiantly , talk to your therapist. A gun offers more risks then protection. The stats say that the possibility of the owner or somebody in the household getting hurt by the gun in the house is great that defending them from intruders.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, as you can tell, it isn’t a decision either of us are taking lightly. The fact that we have talked about it for so long but not done anything I think shows that we are trying to be cautious. I do think I will bring it up with both my therapist and psychiatrist and see what their genuine opinions on the matter are.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Just a few months ago, a friend’s daughter, on a new medication for bi-polar, shot herself with her own gun. So, please talk to your therapist first. And if you go for it, and get training to use it, make sure if you try new meds, your husband changes the lock, so you don’t have access to it until you know if the meds are safe. Take care and good luck. I live in a high-crime area and can’t walk well, much less run. I have a taser with me and one by the bed. I’ve also considered getting a dog barking recording I can turn on if I hear strange noises in the night.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Miranda…I think you definitely need to talk to your therapist about this. You would probably need to have it locked away, so really, what would be the point of having it? Maybe just for an extra feeling of security? But then you might end up stressing about having a loaded gun in the house.

    As someone who has suffered from anxiety/depression ( quite severe ) , I have an appreciation of some of the issues involved. Here in Ireland, very few people own guns. Only a minority of policemen carry them. So, thankfully, it is not something I would ever need to consider/worry about.

    I would not like to have to make such difficult choices, but my gut would say to listen to your husband and therapist, they know you best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the fact that there are so many guns in America makes it scarier to the point that you almost feel like you need a weapon in self defense. You start to feel like if someone comes after you with a gun the only way to protect yourself is to have a gun as well. I did like what someone mentioned about tasers though. That might be a good alternative to a gun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a strong proponent of gun ownership. However, I would recommend you think long and hard about buying a handgun. First, is the issue of you being bi-polar. You need to be stable for reasons beyond suicide. If you own a pistol for home security, know that the taking of a human life, even when justified, will place a huge burden on your soul. This is a fact. You can not ever think you can only shoot to injure in the heat of the moment. Not even with professional training or experience. Remember, hitting an arteries anywhere can be quickly fatal.
    Next, a gun locked in a safe is not feasible for home protection. Most times you will not have time during a home invasion to unlock a safe, load a gun and then be accurate when the adrenaline is flowing. If you are not able to have a loaded gun we within reach, you might as well have a pile of rocks to throw.
    As an alternative, you might consider buying a can of pepper spray. Even a can of wasp killer sprayed in an intruders face is a good way to buy yourself time. You do not need to lock this stuff, nor is it likely to kill anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason WordPress put this comment in my spam filter, but I managed to rescue it 🙂 You make some good points. Right now I am leaning towards maybe getting a taser or something like that. Pepper spray is a good idea too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m 55 years old and have owned a gun since my first BB gun at 5 years old. I am also trained and experienced with military and law enforcement training. For me, a day on the range is relaxing like going to a golf course. Although I do carry daily, I do not recommend this for everyone. For defense, you must be proficient under pressure. Most people never learn this. It matters little how good you are at the range in a relaxed atmosphere, it’s when the adrenaline is flowing that your skills need honed. Even in home defense, shooting another person will always be a huge burden.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey sweetie. In Australia, the gun laws are different. It is practically almost illegal to get a gun. But there is still gun crime. Because gun laws are only obeyed by law abiding people.
    Criminals will still commit crime regardless if they have a gun or not.
    I don’t think having a gun will make a difference to your likelihood of personal protection other than what you attribute to it. J has a gun licence but we don’t have any guns because I am impulsive, if I’m emotional i would instantly no questions go bang. He’s level headed enough to know that I probably shouldn’t have one but… I know that… I have a pattern of behaviour that kind of indicates every 8 years I fuck myself up big time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it is hard to imagine living in cultures where guns are actually hard to get. Here they almost are everywhere. I know I would never be a danger to someone else and like I said, I doubt I would really be a danger to myself unless circumstances deteriorated rapidly, but I do understand the concern.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Get the gun. If that’s what you need to feel secure. But know that the gun itself isn’t what protects you, but it just helps to make you feel better about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. No point if you aren’t highly trained and keep it loaded and by you. Much more likely to harm yourself or, accidentally, a loved one. Bipolar II has the highest suicide rate of any mental illness. These are all statistics. I like the pepper spray idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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