How do mental hospitals deal with suicidal patients?

Let’s say a 17 year old boy was taken into a mental hospital as he had depression and suspected Scitzophrenia. He was taken from a home where he got abused emotionally and sometimes physically.

In this hypothetical situation he refuses to care for himself. He doesn’t shower without the nurses having to do it for him, he stays in his bed all day and he also refuses to eat or drink, he doesn’t talk to any of the nurses and doesn’t even acknowledge that they are there. How will the nurses/doctors get him to eat and drink? How will they deal with the whole situation of him not being responsive?

Later on during his stay he was found punching the wall in his room and banging his head against it until he was bleeding. What would they do to stop him and calm him down?

The patient still isn’t communicating with them after the wall incident and a week later he tries to kill himself by biting his tongue.

How would the hospital deal with this whole situation? What would they do for the patient? How would they solve the three issues that have risen?

*Please try to answer all the questions including the ones that I have asked at the end of the paragraphs*

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2 Responses to “How do mental hospitals deal with suicidal patients?”

  1. Andrew C says:

    How will the nurses/doctors get him to eat and drink?
    -The nurses/doctors will go as far as putting tubes in his mouth for him to eat/drink.

    How will they deal with the whole situation of him not being responsive?
    -If the 17 year old boy is not responsive they will first try and get a psychiatrist in see if he can get him to awaken from his state, if that doesnt work then there is nothing they can do.

    What would they do to stop him and calm him down?
    -If they saw him punching the walls, and bashing his head they would put him in a room with mattress-like covering on the walls, floor, and ceiling. This keeps most self harm from happening.

    The patient still isn’t communicating with them after the wall incident and a week later he tries to kill himself by biting his tongue.
    -If he tried to bite his tongue, they would put something similar to a "shoehorn" also known as a "shoespoon" in his mouth that will cover his physical tongue without choking the boy. Some states do NOT allow this though.

    If he still finds other ways to hurt himself, they will put straps on his arms, legs, torso, and head to keep him maintained while laying down on his bed. (I know it sounds very bad and wrong, but it will keep him from hurting himself)

    How would the hospital deal with this whole situation?
    The hospital should run test when they notice that he is unresponsive to others, etc. These test should give the doctor an approximate diagnosis, the doctor should then start giving IV’s of medicine that could help (only IV the medicine if they cannot get patient to swallow pills)…..but sometimes the diagnosis could be a medically unexplained symptom (MUS)…researchers in the medical field are finding new diagnosis EVERYDAY. They will try different medicines until something changes, they might even put the patient on "adderall, vyvanse, etc" to see if that will get him to focus and want to talk and actually be responsive

    Andrew, Registered Nurse

  2. tigeress says:

    The main concern would be to keep the patient safe. Mental hospitals are equipped with padded rooms and sometimes if that isn’t enough, they put the patient in a straight jacket in the padded room. If the patient acts out or won’t stay in bed they have something called a soft posy which basically straps him down in bed.
    They can administer medication by injection and if the patient goes longer than three days with out eating they insert a tube and force feed them. If he bites his tongue they will stitch it up.

    If it is a high risk patient they might have an attendant remain with the patient at all times or put him in a room with a glass wall where he can be observed at all times. They have bathtubs with a canvas top so only the patients head is exposed so he can be groomed. The attendants can also put them in a shower if they refuse to bathe. Usually, the meds will kick in and when the patient feels better they will put him in therapy. If he doesn’t respond the the meds most psychiatrists will use a series of shock treatment which has worked better than medication in some cases. Unfortunately, it takes from 20 to 40 shock treatments to get satisfactory results.

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