Not sure if I should seek out medical help

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by shiiki, Nov 21, 2012.

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  1. shiiki

    shiiki Member

    So last night, in a fit of anger and irrationality, I cut myself again. I just did it without thinking. The bleeding as stopped but the cut itself is rather deep. It's on the inside of my arm, 3 inches or so above my elbow. It's about 2 inches long and looks horribly disgusting. It kind of opened up, and it's about 3/4 of an inch wide. Like I said, I stopped the bleeding, disinfected it (reaaaaaaaly hurt) but I'm not sure if I should get it treated in a hospital or not.

    I have a good number of old scars on my arm, I'm pretty sure any lie I come up with for how it happened would be too easy to see through once they get a look at my arm. But, I don't want to just ignore it and hope it gets better if it's serious. I just don't know myself if it IS serious. Any advice? I'd post a pic of it but I am most definitely sure that is against the rules here, I'm probably already coming close to them in my description of the cut but it's been years since I've been on this forum and I can't remember all of them. Years since I last cut, and I am just trying my best to keep myself together about this. Trying not to let the dissapointment in my regression to old habits bother me that much. Because for me it becomes a self destructive downward spiral.

    I know cutting is a serious issue, I know I fucked up, but if I don't put much of empasis on what I did it'll be easier to get over it. To move past, and start improving my life again. It's when I start going hardcore introspection into my feelings and actions that I get more depressed and bothered just by thinking about them. So I am going to keep my head up, keep positive, yes this was a setback, but I have to keep moving forward. Keep getting better, and not let this slip drag me back down again.

    Anyways, back to the medical part. How do I know if I need to seek medical help and get stitches or not? I'd rather not go to the hospital, but it's needed I'll do it.
  2. OldGuy

    OldGuy Active Member

    Well only a medical professional asses the seriousness of your injury. Doctors generally won't apply stitches to a wound that is over a day old.

    But if it has stopped bleeding what you need to do now is prevent infection. You can use Steri-strips to hold the edges of the wound together and then cover with a non-stick pad. (I use a folded up paper towel if I don't have a non-stick pad). I assuming from you description the cut is perpendicular to the long axis of your arm which tends to make the wound have a smile like gap.
  3. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Any cut big, small, deep, shallow, can result in a serious infection. I've had a serious skin infection (not from cutting myself deeply, but from an arthritic node on my hand filling with fluid and bursting, and it was only a little teeny tiny opening - smaller than a pinhead). The infection required intravenous antibiotics for five days and then six weeks of oral antibiotics. The night it flared up into a serious infection was one of the worst nights of my life. The pain was so bad I was nearly screaming.

    In your shoes, "I" would get that cut checked out by a doctor and make sure that no infection was starting or could start. I will never ever again think of a little cut as "nothing to worry about." As OldGuy said, only a doc can truly assess a wound. Given that it's deep, even if it doesn't need stitches, it might be a darned good idea to make sure it is cleaned and kept clean and not infected. If it gets red and/or warm, or you notice a red line going up your arm, or if your temperature goes up, GO TO THE ER RIGHT AWAY! Infections are not something to mess with, hun. Really. Please - see a doc and make sure all is well. :hug:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2012
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