Self-Injuring Thoughts and Failed Wounds

Introduction

According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, there are 130 suicides committed every day (AFSP, 2022). Suicides are widespread across age groups, racial backgrounds, social status, and economic status (AFSP, 2022). Suicide Ideation does not have a specific face or nationality; its mission is to remove the pain from its existence (AFSP, 2022). Is it about bringing more awareness that self-harming is the ideal for terminating the terminal sadness and uneasiness? Or is it about being a part of the suicide prevention movement catching it before the attempt is successful? Suicide Ideation has become a silent confidant which no one detects from the external environment of wound care patients. The external environments are familiar with outer expressions of pain, sadness, anger, and frustration, so it is easy for the silent to complete the fatal goal of terminating the dark cloud of despair (AFSP, 2022).

Psychological Impacts of Failed Wounds

The psychological impacts of failed wounds trigger self-harming thoughts from experiences of the uncontrollable foul odor from their wound(s). They feel isolated from certain activities that used to bring joy and happiness, feel a sense of violation or punishment from having failed healed wounds, and diminish sexual health because their partners find them unattractive (Hussey & Young, 2020). Many patients suffering from hard-to-heal wounds experience depressive symptoms that go unseen because they are not exhibiting extreme emotions (Hussey & Young, 2020). Some patients have mastered the art of positive appearance. However, some patients are struggling to stay hopeful. Even though patients may have a robust support system through direct caregiving, housekeeping assistance, and financial support, some may not view helpfulness as a blessing but a curse; it demonstrates their lack of self-sufficiency (Hussey & Young, 2020). It is interesting how the patient’s external environment perceives a different perspective from how the patient perceives it.

Patient Teaching

The healthcare professionals are teaching patients to create better habits by eating nutritious meals, meditating, drinking an adequate amount of water; the frequency of wound dressing changes could be unintentional pressure (Schneider & Culpepper, 2022). The promotion of “doing the right thing” is excellent in theory but may be interpreted as cruel expectations to the patients. Hope deferred makes the heart sick when unmet healing expectations (Schneider & Culpepper, 2022). The suicidal thoughts, suicidal threats, and suicidal attempts begin to happen discreetly without the external environments noticing the patterns of suicidal behaviors (Schneider & Culpepper, 2022). The desire to eliminate the constants disappointments, the discomfort of wound care treatments, the constant patient education could lead a pathway for patients to attempt and commit suicide unintentionally (Schneider & Culpepper, 2022). So, the burning question is, how can we assist without unintentionally harming the patients.

Conclusion

How can we assist our loved ones, friends, family, and patients during these challenging times in their wound treatments? First, it allows them to speak their emotions in a safe environment, preferably in the presence of licensed mental health professionals (Mind, 2020). If not, call the crisis line for assistance while the patient speaks their truth. Second, understanding their emotions as valid, regardless of how bizarre it may be (Mind, 2020). Third, respect their feelings so they will feel comfortable talking. Third, do not force them to instantaneously change how they think but display compassion and patience (Mind, 2020). Fourth, try to change the wound dressings when the patient is in a better mood to view the wound(s) and participate in the caring of the wound(s) (Mind, 2020). Lastly, it assists the patients in celebrating any wins in the past week or so (Mind, 2020). They are reframing the mind to become optimistic in a realistic way that is tangible to their emotions.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions stated in this blog are exclusively those of the author and do not reflect iWound, its affiliates, or partner companies.

References

Mind. (2022). Helping someone who self-harms. Mind. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-harm/for-friends-and-family/#WhatHelps

 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2022, February 28). Suicide statistics. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/

 

Woundsinternational.com. (2022). Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.woundsinternational.com/resources/details/impact-psychological-factors-wound-healing

 

 

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