No Hospitalization after a Suicide Attempt?

No Hospitalization after a Suicide Attempt?

As I mentioned, a friend of mine attempted suicide last Friday. His life was saved by his friends, the police and hospital staff. I’m grateful his suicide attempt was not successful.

But one of the oddest things about this scenario is after the suicide attempt he was not hospitalized. The hospital stabilized and released him. Just like that. No psychiatric hold. No psychiatric treatment. Nothing.

What the hell is up with that?

You’ve Just Attempted Suicide, What Are You Going to Do Now?

(The answer probably isn’t, “I’m going to Disneyland.”)

No doubt, at some point during the hospital-post-suicide-attempt-stabilization doctors and nurses probably asked whether he felt safe. Whether he was a danger to himself. Whether he was planning on attempting suicide again. These are the questions medical people ask if you’ve just hurt yourself.

But seriously, I call bullshit.

Are you telling me a person who just attempted suicide will honestly tell you the answer to those questions? What makes anyone think the individual isn’t so traumatized they can’t possibly answer those questions honestly? What person goes from attempting suicide at 9 pm to being safe at 9 am the next morning?[push]You are likely to be at least as much, if not more, of a danger to yourself at this time.[/push]

Once you’ve attempted suicide everything changes and not really for the better. No one around you knows what to do and you feel ashamed and guilty over the suicide attempt.

Now the person, in so much pain as to believe suicide was the only option, finds themselves at home, probably alone, with people mad at them for the suicide attempt. Do this or does this not sound like a recipe for death?

Going Back to the Hospital after the Suicide Attempt

There is only one thing to do: drag your mentally ill ass back to the hospital and make the doctors actually care for you. You know. Healthcare. Care for your health. It includes care your mental health too (if not for your very life).

Hospitalization After Suicide AttemptI’m Not Going to the Hospital

Unfortunately, having just tried to take your own life it’s extremely difficult to find the psychological strength and motivation to do what the professionals should have done – keep you safe. In your home, alone, the hospital seems very scary and very far away. And if you’re really depressed, even trying to reach it seems useless and hopeless.

You Need Treatment; You Need to Go to the Hospital

But no matter how much your sick mind kicks and screams, you need to get back to that hospital. You will get better, but you need treatment and you need a safe place to be until that treatment has a chance to work.

And no matter how the Emergency Room staff may have treated you, you are not bad. You are sick. Just like every other sick person in that hospital. What you did was not shameful. What you did was the symptom of a disease. You deserve to get better. You deserve to be cared for. You will get better. But you have to get somewhere safe first.

(Yes, my friend is at the hospital and receiving treatment. Thankfully he is safe.)


About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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