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was this comment about cutting meant to be upsetting?


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a while ago i was in a psych ward for schizophrenia i threatened to cut my wrists. when i said it the nurse said "you will just make a big mess everywhere and you dont want a scar do you??" i was upset by this. i didnt show it though. anyway when the nurse said it there were 2 other nurses there. dunnno why he said that! what do you guys think of that comment he made?" was it meant to be upsetting??? you would think that people who work with people with mental illness would be more understanding??

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In my experience they're not always nice. When I went to the hospital the first time the Social Worker I saw was really stern and harsh. They're people too so they get frustrated and have their moods. I wasn't there so I can't really say but I'm betting they weren't purposefully trying to upset you. Definitely sounds like they were being insensitive though.

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I don't think it would be to upset you.

Since I wasn't there, I don't know the nurse's intentions. The nurse may have been trying to lighten the mood. Even so, it probably wasn't the best thing to say.

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No, the comment was not made to be cruel or to upset you.

Rather, it was an attempt to refocus your attention on the consequences of your threatened action:

1. The mess created would get on your clothes, and the staff would have to arrange a change and come clean up.

2. A scar would be a visible daily reminder to you and others of this desperate and ultimately unhelpful action.

This made you consider the consequences on yourself and others. In a way this could help ground you and take your mind off your emotions.

Rest easy, she was trying to help.

Best, a.m.

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What response were you hoping for from the nurse? I'm interested as to what need you were showing in making the comment and how that need didn't get met. Were you looking for comfort, the inspire action in a nurse, to express how angry you were, to communicate how bad you felt, to shock the nurse, what was going on for you at the time?

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Sometimes my pdoc does things like this when she wants to shock me out of a really negative thinking pattern. Like, I'll say "Oh, I should just take all my pills" and she'll say "You know you won't die, right? You'll just wind up in the hospital with a trashed liver."

I don't mind it, but I'm slowly learning that if I want something other than that, I'd better ask for it in a clearer way.

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Guest Vapourware

No-one here can determine the nurse's actual intentions, but I doubt it was said to be intentionally upsetting. To me, it sounded like an attempt to redirect your thinking. They might have seen your comment as a parasuicidal gesture and usually the way to deal with this behaviour is to confront it.

Were you looking for comfort or validation from the nurse when you said that to them?

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it wasnt a she it was a male nurse who said that to me. that stupid comment like that still upsets me till now. he was being horrible and a prick like all psych nurses they dont give a damn. why the fuck did he say that? i bet if he said that to one of you, you would want to hate him and would be upset like me. anyway they put me on an ITO after that. no point telling anyone that you want to harm yourself or kill youself they will just yell at you and tell you off and make stupid comments and laugh and giggle about it with other people

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Crywolf, it's clear that this incident very much upsets you. I'm sorry. I'm not sure I agree with your characterization of clinical staff, but in the end their job is to keep you live long enough for the meds to kick in, not be your pal.

Obviously you were in deep distress, being in the hospital. But, when a patient "...threatened to cut my wrists" vice saying in a calm manner "Nurse, I'm having urges to cut my wrists" you get a different reaction from the staff. Nobody likes to be threatened or manipulated. A plain statement of fact will probably elicit a more sympathetic response.

Anyhow, try to let this pass. It was one day out of a rough period. You survived; no doubt learned something about yourself.

I hope you have a pleasant week. a.m.

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he was being horrible and a prick like all psych nurses they dont give a damn. why the fuck did he say that? i bet if he said that to one of you, you would want to hate him and would be upset like me. anyway they put me on an ITO after that. no point telling anyone that you want to harm yourself or kill youself they will just yell at you and tell you off and make stupid comments and laugh and giggle about it with other people

Um, NO.

I AM a nurse, a brand new one, and I became a nurse with teh intention of going into psych work because I'm tired of nurses treating psych patients badly.

OTOH, as a nurse, I can tell you that 1. not all psych nurses are bad 2. not all nurses behave the way you say they do.

Generalizations are generally, well, wrong.

Now, as to why he said that: perhaps he had found that, in general, he got better results being calm and matter of fact. Perhaps he was learning new skills to handle people who say they want to cut themselves. Perhaps he was a new nurse, or new to psych. Maybe he himself was having a horrible day. Maybe he is jsut not a nice person.

There are a lot of maybes and perhaps, and not all of them are bad. You haven't really said HOW he said that comment. Tone, body language, and such also say a lot. So I don't know if he was being sarcastic and mean, or calm and matter of fact.

I can tell you from experience that we nurses do have to stay calm and rational. When we get upset or emotional, that will feed into someone elses emotions. It's like adding gasoline to a fire. We're supposed to be the fire extinguishers, so we do sometimes act very cool in order to keep something from escalating. And believe me, when something escalates, it goes very wrong very fast. Very, very wrong.

I am sorry you're upset. Again, I'm going into psych nursing simply to be the good nurse. But please dont' assume we are all heartless assholes. If nothing else, it will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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he was being horrible and a prick like all psych nurses they dont give a damn. why the fuck did he say that? i bet if he said that to one of you, you would want to hate him and would be upset like me. anyway they put me on an ITO after that. no point telling anyone that you want to harm yourself or kill youself they will just yell at you and tell you off and make stupid comments and laugh and giggle about it with other people

Now, as to why he said that: perhaps he had found that, in general, he got better results being calm and matter of fact. Perhaps he was learning new skills to handle people who say they want to cut themselves. Perhaps he was a new nurse, or new to psych. Maybe he himself was having a horrible day. Maybe he is jsut not a nice person.

There are a lot of maybes and perhaps, and not all of them are bad. You haven't really said HOW he said that comment. Tone, body language, and such also say a lot. So I don't know if he was being sarcastic and mean, or calm and matter of fact.

he is 50 years old and been a psych nurse at that particular ward for 10 years. he wasnt joking he was being DEAD SERIOUS

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Hey there,

I get that what happened to you really sucked. You were in a vulnerable place, and you were trying to ask for help and what you got REALLY didn't help. That sucks. It's happened to me too. A LOT.

I think the reason people are asking you to think again about what happened isn't because anybody is blaming you or because what happened didn't suck for you, but because people want to help you figure out how to get the help that you want from the people around you the next time this situation comes up.

Sometimes we have to learn how to do that. Heck, I think that at a certain point, just ASKING for what I needed rather than expecting my therapists/doctors to read my mind was a big step up. I mean, for ages, I was just boiling with rage all the time because it seemed like they were all being mean and heartless and cruel and not giving me what I needed because they all sucked damn it! I think it took me like more than a whole year to rethink my strategy rolleyes.gif I eventually learned that I could either keep doing what I was doing and get to feel righteous rage about all the mistreatment being heaped on me, or I could change my strategy, and possibly get the thing I actually wanted in the first place.

Sometimes I still pick the former, but my percentage is getting a bit better dunce.gif

It would be really nice if people could just know what we needed to feel better, and do it. But sometimes they don't. And so after you finish being angry, it can be useful to try to figure out what it was you were looking for, and see if you can think of a better way to get it.

It's also possible that the guy was just a jackass - we've all met them - they happen, even/especially in psych. Nobody here can really tell without having been there, so we're trying to swing for the option that might help it to not happen that way again.

Either way, I'm sorry you didn't get what you needed from the interaction. I can tell that it's still bothering you a lot, and I hope that next time you feel that way, you get better help.

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  • 10 months later...

Nearly one year later I've gotten better and stable with meds and I've thought about what that " jackass nurse " said: Basically he was talking to me like that coz HE DIDN'T WANT ME TO DO IT and to give me the idea my behavior at the time will keep getting a bad/nasty/negative reaction so I would knock it off in the future to stop me from self harming

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  • 3 months later...

waypills,

I'm not sure what your intention is by asking what's worse...

I don't think the situation can be second guessed any more than it already has been.

I'm curious if you can say more about what you are trying to get at.

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The OP gave a verbal intention to the nurse that he wanted to cut his wrists. Not his arm HIS WRISTS.

He is upset coz of what the nurse said back.

The nurse has a duty of care not only that he is still a human being and he was more than likely was upset and angry at the OP for wanting to 'cut his wrists'.

Imagine if that day he 'cut his wrists' what would happen?

scars, seriously injuring himself and a shit load of pain.

Look at the OP's intention vs the nurse's intention.

I think the OP upset the nurse first by what he said.

OP wants to cut his wrists and the nurse said what would happen if he did.

Yes the OP was upset by the comment but how do u think everyone else would feel?

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