Have gone through the relevant tags in this community, searched for and asked questions on the NaNoWriMo forums, read through various websites and answer forums with different search terms including "aftermath of suicide attempt" "hospitalisation after failed suicide", "suicide attempt survivor stories", etc. Have also tried to do research on different types of medication but have found a lot of differing opinions on what does and doesn't work. I seem to have too specific a situation and can't find enough detailed info.
Anyway, onto my scene in question.
Setting is Sydney Australia, present day. My character is female, 19-20 years old, about 125lb (56kg), 5"5 (165cm). She comes from an upper-middle-class family who live near the city. I want to write a realistic suicide attempt situation that also fits with how my character would act.
At the moment the character has about half a bottle of wine and a few swallows of jack whiskey in her stomach. She locks herself in the bathroom while her family is out, cuts both her wrists with the intention of bleeding out, then ODs on some pills for good measure or with the intention of numbing the pain -- was thinking a combination of panadeine forte (edit: Just panadeine, not forte) and sleeping pills because that's what she'd have on hand but I've read in different places that this either doesn't work, takes a long time, etc... Anyway whatever she ODs on I want her to throw up very soon after, which prompts her to call a suicide hotline, who get an ambulance for her just as her parents arrive home.
This is her first attempt. She has undiagnosed depression (which I assume would be diagnosed soon after this) and a history of self harm that her family didn't previously know about. She also has a near-debilitating case of perfectionism and extreme competitiveness that I guess might be signs of undiagnosed anxiety/OCD.
- What would she OD on that she would have on hand, give her the impression that it might work but ultimately cause her to throw up? By the time she threw up what damage would it cause to her (I've read about liver damage, etc)?
- If she can make small, neat but deep cuts on her wrists what would she use? A razor? Sharpened kitchen knife? Also ... horizontal or vertical? Does it actually matter? I don't really want her to majorly damage any arteries/nerves.
- What kind of time frame am I look at here between first cutting and the ambulance arriving? How long until she would lose consciousness? How much blood would there be? (Edit: By this I mean how long would it take from her first cutting until she lost consciousness from blood loss, so I can know if the ambulance would get there before then?)
- Then, importantly, the aftermath. Her parents are present once the ambulance arrives. She'd be hospitalised, but then -- would they pump her stomach even if she'd thrown up? How does that work? How long would she be in there and in what unit? Would she be on suicide watch and if so for how long? Would she go to a psych ward? What kind of continuous treatment would they recommend after she leaves for home?
- I think her parents will set her up to visit a psychiatrist soon after. What kind of medication would she be given?
Thank you very much in advance to anyone willing to share information, I appreciate your help so much as I know that it often comes from personal experience.