Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Afraid of Commitment?

Posted for Roy (taken from his comments on the Demystify Me? post)

So is knowing your doc got a cute new puppy who likes cat toys TOO demystified?

And, to AA's point, civil commitment to prevent a suicide is indeed a proper concern, though I'd argue that ignoring a suicide risk is also of concern. Most states require us to hospitalize if there is a risk, but how that risk is defined varies from state to state.

The area of consternation is likely that different docs interpret "risk" in different ways, so one could go to an ER on 2 different occasions after overdoses taken while drunk, and end up committed one time and released another.

Commitment demystification: factors that increase the chance of hospitalization after a suicide attempt:
-lethality of the amount/drug type taken
-planning it out over several days
-a suicide note
-taking it in a manner that reduces the chance one is found in time
-buying the pills for that specific purpose (versus finding them in the medicine cabinet)
-living alone/limited social supports
-attempted hanging
-not having anyone to corroborate story with
-lying (thus how would one know you were being truthful about being safe)
-not having access to aftercare over the next several days to week

FYI: coming in to ER via police petition does not appear to increase risk of hospitalization.