Suicide is often seen as an ‘easy way out’, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.

Obviously, I survived and faced the aftermath of a suicide attempt. The best way of describing it, other than the self-evidence of it being difficult is to describe it as weird.

The first thing to accept is that you’re still here. You’ll see people you never thought you’d see again. You do things you never thought you’d do again. You eat food you thought you’d eaten your last of. It’s bittersweet, because at this point you’ve already caused pain and you’ll have to forgive yourself for that. At the same time, the pain or anger on peoples’ faces is actually love – they’re scared and relieved because they thought they’d lost you!

From my personal experience I’d suggest doing your very best to avoid reaching this point.The easiest way to do this is by admitting how you feel to someone: either a close friend or family member, or a doctor if this is easier for you. Take everything a minute at a time and focus on keeping yourself safe. If you need help with this take a look at this advice from MIND.

Just in case you can’t do this, it’s too late or you’re supporting someone in the aftermath I’ll give you a bit of information about what happened to me once I woke up.

Once you’re physically fit, you’ll have to wait to see a mental health specialist from the hospital. They’ll ask various questions such as whether you regret what you did and whether you’re likely to try again, their reaction will depend on your answers. (I wouldn’t recommend lying, they called me out on it every time.)

When I was discharged I was referred to the mental health team who later assessed me as an outpatient who monitored me and gave me treatment for my Personality Disorder. I also saw the Crisis Team for a week afterwards. They came to my house every day to check I had my medication and to see how I was doing. They will tell someone if they think you’re unsafe at home. I was also given a crisis number for use if I reached the stage where I might try to end my life again. There are other organisations that offer this help if you don’t have this number and most operate 24 hours a day. It’s worth noting a couple of these if you think there’s even a possibility of you needing them at some point:

Samaritans

Recommended by MIND

There was a time when I wasn’t discharged, instead I waited in hospital until I could be admitted into a Psychiatric Ward for my own safety. These are a last resort, I was admitted voluntarily as I didn’t believe I could keep myself safe and only stayed in for a week. If you are sectioned this will be a different process: there’s more information here.

Psychiatric wards are not the Insane Asylums of times gone by and if there is no other option it’s probably best that you have a short stay in them. There’s more information about my time in the ward in The Aftermath – Inside.

 

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