Very little makes me sadder than trying to take care of someone who has just tried and failed to commit suicide. This person has chosen this day to die, and it's my job to make sure that they fail in their endeavor.
This past Thursday I had two attempted suicide patients in a row. I won't focus on the second patient who tried to commit seppuku (according to his suicide note). His case was sad, and fortunately his injuries were minor and he was admitted to our psychiatric unit the next day.
No, I'm going to focus on the next idiot. "OH MY GOD, DOC! HOW CAN YOU CALL THIS POOR GUY AN IDIOT?" Oh, just you wait. I guarantee you'll agree with me by the end.
A 19-year old kid was brought to me from jail having tried to hang himself. You may be thinking about the character Brooks from The Shawshank Redemption hanging himself with a rope tied to a rafter and kicking his chair out from under him. Oh no, no, no, nothing that dramatic or effective. This genius thought he'd try to kill himself by wrapping a bed sheet over a hook in the wall, sitting on a small trashcan, and leaning backwards to get some kind of tension on the sheet. Needless to say, it didn't work. He didn't even pass out.
What, that story isn't good enough? Would it be any better if he had tried the exact same thing a month ago? Well, he did. And it didn't work that time either.
You still aren't satisfied? Ok, then how about this - when his attempt a month ago failed, he waited a week before trying to drown himself...in his jail cell toilet. I suppose he thought that was a bit, ah, unsavory, so he went back to trying to hang himself.
I expect to see him again soon, and I expect him to fail just as spectacularly.
EDIT: Because of doc_caleb's comment below, I've decided to give a little more to the story to clear this all up. This guy clearly did not actually want to die. These were nothing more than excuses to get out of jail for a few hours, and trauma surgeons see this regularly. I saw the police walking him back to their car shortly after I discharged him, and he was actually smiling as he got in the car. Have you ever seen any suicidal people smiling as they head back to jail? No. And neither have I. That is why I called him an idiot, not because he supposedly attempted suicide. Psychology was one of my major interests in university, and I am keenly aware of the difficulties that suicidal people (such as the first patient I mentioned) face. If I had any suspicion that this guy was really suicidal, I would not have sent him back to jail. I would have sent him for a psychiatric evaluation.
Is that clear to everyone now?