In my whole life I have never been arrested or taken to a police cell so my frequent contact with the police during this difficult time was a shock.
Then when I suffered a psychotic break I was chased like a criminal.
Being put in the back of a police van is quite embarrassing when there is a large crowd of people watching. When I was finally caught there were about 30 people gathered together shouting encouragement and telling me I would be alright.
In The Back Of A Police Van
Some people advised me to recite parts of the Quran that are believed to protect the person who recites them. I sat in the back of the van and read relevant parts of the Quran from memory.
In my local area the younger residents are quite hostile towards police, more so because of the riots that happened in 2001.
The journey in the back of the police van was sickening and uncomfortable, especially as I was handcuffed too. I retched quite a few times but wasn’t actually sick.
I came into contact with police at least five times before being detained in hospital.
The police station is quite an intimidating place where they take all your belongings such as mobile phones and money and store it away. They also take your finger prints and carry out an intrusive body search.
Locked In A Cell
The worst part of the experience is being locked in a tiny cell, it is so quiet and still and there are no windows. I managed to sleep and woke up later not knowing what time it was and whether it was day or night. There was a buzzer in the cell which I kept pressing but no one would respond.
The food was horrible but eating is an activity to break the monotonous routine. Sometimes I would hear people walking past my cell and would hope they had come to release me.
I sometimes think about people held in solitary confinement in prisons and isolation rooms in some mental health facilities. I often try to imagine how people feel in prisons like Guantanamo Bay. I know I couldn’t bear to be isolated for a long time.
During this episode I lost all track of time and can’t tell how long I was held in the cell before being transported by van to a hospital in Stockport. It was all a blur to me, as terrible and traumatic things were happening.
When I was arrested they didn’t know that I was mentally unwell or they may have treated me differently. My psychosis got worse and I kept shouting and banging on the cell door due to frustration.
When they finally took me out of the cell to take me to the hospital I breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed the freedom. Ironically, I would eventually be detained under a section for almost a year.
Have you ever been held by police and if so how did you cope? Comment below.