If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself and live in the USA, you can text “start” to 741-741.
If you feel like your self harm wounds need medical attention, please seek it immediately.
I’ve posted about going to the ER for psychiatric evaluations but not for self injury. Generally, the response I get at the ER is similar, but not exactly the same.
When I go to the ER for self harm (always cutting in my case), I generally have someone drive me (though one time I did have to drive myself). I have my wound wrapped up tight and I go up to the desk and say I cut myself. Usually the first question is how and I’ll say with a blade. Then they ask if it was intentional or not. I don’t lie because that’s pointless so I say yes.
They bring me back to a room and generally it’s not the one mental health room they have in the ER because they need to be able to stitch me up. One time though, they just brought the stuff to stitch me up into the psych room.
The doctor comes in to firstly decide if I need to be stitched. They also ask multiple times if it was a suicide attempt. I always say no and ask them to please not make me do another psychiatric evaluation. I only had one time where my wish to not have an evaluation was respected. The rest of the times I was told I HAD to have one and that if I left before I had one, they’d call the cops to take me back to the ER.
The ENTIRE time I’m being stitched they will talk me through what they are doing and how it’ll feel and to let them know if the numbing medication isn’t working. Then they ask me what I like to do (trying to distract me).
After the stitching and bandaging is done, the evaluator comes and does their thing. I get asked multiple times, again, if I was trying to kill myself. I think there was only one time where I cut myself and the evaluator decided to send me inpatient (he didn’t believe me that I was truly not suicidal, saying that if you cut to the point of needing stitches that that means a suicide attempt which is very untrue). Most of the time they respect that I wasn’t suicidal and just needed that release of emotions or lack there of.
When the evaluation is done I’m given discharge papers and sent on my way. I return to my PCP when it’s time to get the stitches out.