Mania and Self-Mutilation

Last night my daughter (18 yrs old) was really manic. Had been coming on for about a week. She even called the psychiatrist herself for a change. Anyway, she really “lost it” and hit her head repeatedly on the kitchen table. This morning her right eye was swollen shut. Took her to urgent care and thankfully no serious issues…but I allowed her to lie and say she was in a car accident!

Question 1: Is this type of behavior typical of mania?

Question 2: was she right to lie? She feels that if she had disclosed the truth, they would have called the psych ward for sure.

Thank you,


It’s good that your daughter recognized that she was getting in over head with the mania… That being said, self-injury is not uncommon, especially when intense feelings come into the picture-such as the mania… I’m not going to say that it’s typical or not, because everyone deals with their feelings in different ways… Just keep an open communication with her, and let her know it’s ok for her to come to you… If this does turn into a chronic case of self-injury, she will need someone understanding to talk to-someone who will not judge her…

As for the lying… It’s always best to be cautious who you tell the truth to… But in my experience, they will not admit you to a psych ward for harming yourself… They may call for a psychiatric evaluation, which is where someone would come down and make sure your daughter isn’t in any imminent danger… But because this was not a suicide attempt, and she’s not going to hurt anyone else, the chances of her being kept are slim… Some doctors will even ask if you want a psych eval before sending for one… I know when I go to the hospital for self-inflicted injuries, they don’t bother… Of course, that could just be because I’ve been there so many times… But legally, the only reason they can involuntarily admit someone is if they are in imminent danger to themselves or others…

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