Yesterday Big Guy became upset about something minor at school, and impulsively thought up a just-dangerous-enough-to-get-attention ploy. But a depressed kid who wants to send the message that he's hurting is not a poster child for good judgment. And what seems just-dangerous-enough can quickly end up being more than dangerous, or even fatal. Even if that wasn't the original intention.
Which is a bland way of saying that things didn't happen quite the way Big Guy expected, and a lot of people got very scared very fast. Big Guy's okay now. Andrew spent the evening with him in an ER last night, awaiting a psych evaluation.
We've gone through the ER so many times that I've developed a "Hey, at least I know he's safe if he's there" mentality. There are only two possible outcomes: either they keep him, or they don't. This time they didn't admit him.
Obviously, being released does not mean that Big Guy is healthy or well or even that he will be stable for more than the time being. Being released means that at the time he was evaluated he was no longer a danger to himself or others.
Big Guy's depressions are characterized by a daily mix of ups and downs, not all-the-time despair. You can ask him at 2pm how he's feeling, and he'll say he's fine. But at 4pm he might be struck by a wave of despair which nearly drowns him. It's taken us a long time to figure out that the severity of his depressions is discernible mainly by the number and frequency of his impulsive actions. The more fragile he is, the more often he falls apart. The more extreme his impulsive actions are, the worse he's faring.
He's coming for a visit tomorrow, and is eager to be at home with the family. I will be glad to give him a long, giant hug.