Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Psychiatric Unit

Do not be alarmed. A week ago I was almost sectioned under section 2 of the Mental Health Act. 2 doctors recommended it on the basis I was presenting with bipolar like symptoms. I met people with bipolar on the ward and can totally see why they thought this. I will one day explain more but for now read this funny story.

"Hi just to explain I am a social worker. My role is to be the final say in the process of having you sectioned. If I disagree with the doctors then you won't be sectioned", said the kind faced man in front of me. My dear friend Becky who has been by my side since the beginning of the decline of my mental health 6 years ago must have been so frightened yet she didn't show it.

He went on "if you are admitted voluntarily to Rochdale what will you do?"

I kind of managed a smile "behave as though I am sectioned, I will comply. I won't like it but I would prefer to go voluntarily so it shows I am compliant and happy to go. Please give me that dignity"

He looked quite stern "You have to comply, you have no choice. If you abscond, although you have the right to leave at any time, you will be sectioned. I don't think you belong in hospital but I have no choice".

I smiled and said "I am a woman of principle and of my word. Just let me go of my own accord".

"It won't be nice, you will miss your family" he said.

"I am pretending it's an all inclusive holiday. I have been in units as a friend and advocate but never a patient. There'll be crafts, meals, friends, baths, sleep and peace. Ok Rochdale isn't in the top 1000 holiday destinations, but I am sure it will be ok".

He proceeded to tell me he dissented and I would be going of my own accord. Becky and I were to travel in his car.

He hadn't organised the car, we stood in the carpark in the rain as he sorted his car out. Then we got in and drove in tension, I hate tension.

"Excuse me" I timidly spoke. "May we have some music?"

"Of course!" replied the social worker. He put on radio 2.

"Um, not being funny but can we do better than radio 2? Radio 6?" I asked.

"I have a CD here not sure what it is though", the music filled the car. Nirvana, Come as You Are.

I felt panic "Do you really think this is suitable, let's go back to radio 2 shall we?"

"Why, don't you like Nirvana?" He asked.

"Of course they are ace, but Kurt Cobain committed suicide! It's hardly appropriate!"

"But you aren't suicidal are you?" said the social worker worriedly, no doubt thinking "oh crap I should have gone with the section".

Calmly I said "of course not but Rochdale is 30 minutes away, and after that length of time listening to Nirvana I could well be suicidal!"

Even in that situation my humour sustained me.

There were many lovely and funny moments whilst I was in hospital.

I would love to share them with you.

Next post is Bula Vanaka! 

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