I will always remember my first experience of going to hospital after a suicide attempt. Honestly I had no idea to expect, it all happened so fast and to be frank, I was feeling pretty high, must have been a response to the OD.
My doctor, whose name I will not share but in my state, I found hilarious as he shared the name of a penguin in a favourite cartoon of mine, was a little rude. He was the same doctor who said “So why did you do it, was it over a boy?”, in which he proceeded to guilt trip me and say that his life was bad but he didn’t want to end his life. I didn’t care for it and so I spent the time he was lecturing me staring at a clock.
I don’t know how long passed but I know I was looking at that clock for at least three hours, it relaxed me in and gave me a twisted game as to what the time would be if I did die, would I die? I remember these thoughts vividly.
A young male nurse then came to me and did a load of tests, there were a lot and apparently I had a seizure but I have no memory of this, only a permanent feeling of coldness. In which I went to the reception desk to ask for a blanket and the nurse glared at me she wasn’t even busy.
The young male nurse on the fourth or fifth visit put in a cannula and I asked as to how long I would be here, he told me “As long as we decide to”, it was in such a tone I felt imprisoned and it caused me to panic. I think I assumed I’d only be in the hospital for a few hours and then would be sent on my way, It was then I realised I was at risk of being sectioned.
I was only at the hospital for about 12 hours, I spent some time on the ward and then was prematurely discharged by a nurse, not a doctor which was a mistake as I vomited the moment I got home and passed out in the shower not long after, the following week I was, as a friend said, on my death-bed. So much malpractice.
But not before I was visited by the crisis team and by the man who was responsible for my father before he died by suicide, this man let my dad down and maybe contributed to my father’s death so I didn’t trust him, I just said anything to get him to go away.
Then before I left, he asked me if I wanted to stay in hospital for treatment, I refused but then he told me something that stuck, his last piercing words “If you do this again, you will be sectioned”.
Now don’t get me wrong, it makes sense that if a person tries suicide more than once that they would be sectioned as they are a danger to themselves. But my response in my head and even still now is that if I want to end my life again, it makes me want to succeed.
Nowadays it worry’s me, if they still use that language, as I know I wont be alone in this reaction, it’s a careless phrase that doesn’t encourage a desire to live, only to avoid ever being sectioned, at whatever the cost.
I have never been sectioned, I have considered it but It isn’t the ideal place for me. I can’t lie in the fact I haven’t thought about having a few months being sectioned when I have been scared of myself but then I would have never got married or gone on holiday and all the things I already had planned, I wanted these experiences more than my health.
The problem I have with being sectioned is that I know for sure that it would make me worse, I need my husband and dog to keep me sane. Now the fact I break down if I don’t see my dog for a few days, gives me no hope for months.
My husband is supportive though he doesn’t understand my mental health but that is ok because he tries. My dog makes me feel so much love and responsibility that I couldn’t end my life while these two perfect beings exist.
This fear I have of being sectioned does effect my care, I find myself downplaying issues or reciting things in my head before I say them to make sure I don’t sound crazy. It’s difficult because I want to be able to get the right help and treatment however I don’t want my life to be ripped from under my feet.
Maybe if I understood being sectioned more and knew of real experiences or exactly what happens in a mental hospital I would not be so scared, awareness helps with fears. I do feel that most of my fear is from false information.