You Wont Believe What it’s Like to be Sectioned For the First Time

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Boy, it was a difficult time for me when I was first sectioned. I ended up in a hospital miles from home surrounded by strangers.

Escape!!

The worst part was being locked in, I loitered near the entrance waiting for people to go out or come in to the ward so I could attempt an escape. I tried this a number of times and was chased down the hospital corridor by members of staff. I felt like a naughty child when they caught me and escorted me back to the ward.

I tried to abscond about five times like this and was brought back by staff each time, this was quite traumatic for me, to be chased by police then chased by nursing staff on the ward.

I was notified of my rights; that I could get a lawyer and appeal against the section. They gave me a list of lawyers all of whom I promptly phoned. They told me that the doctor could keep me in hospital for up to 28 days under a Section 2.

At the time, a month seemed like a very long time to me. I was really frustrated and was hyperactive. I had racing thoughts and couldn’t focus on anything.

 It was a mixed gender ward with young and older patients. There was a little garden within the building where I would go for fresh air.

The ward was actually quite bright and clean, but I remember there was a smell everywhere, like a mix of bleach and air freshener. My room was neither big nor small but there was a window through which I could see cars and people going past.

Playing The Guitar

There was another patient who used to sit in the garden and strum his guitar, I asked him to teach me to play. He agreed and let me hold his guitar and strum it. After one five minute lesson, I gave up. Guitar playing is harder than it looks. 

The food was bland, even the Halal curries I was offered were tasteless. I missed my mum’s cooking. 

I was adamant that I wouldn’t take tablets as I felt medication would make me dull and drowsy. I suppose a lot of people have this impression that anti- psychotic medication makes you sedated and lethargic. When you first start medication it does have that effect, but once your body adjusts then you barely notice it. 

In hindsight if I had only remained calm and settled I would probably have been discharged within a few weeks, but at the time I was not thinking rationally.

It was a huge shock to be captured by police and hospitalised, I had never experienced anything like it.  It was a stressful and difficult time for me, but the worst was yet to come.

The first admission is the hardest, getting used to the new routine, taking medication and coping with a lack of activities.

How was your first experience on a psychiatric ward?  Start the conversation below.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I remember visiting a psychiatric ward for the first time in my teens. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t gone. Even now I can recall the silence of the ward, the loud clank of the doors closing and opening, I remember feeling surprised that the visiting room resembled a police interrogation room. I also remember the smell, even now whenever I visit psychiatric wards, the smell hits me first.

    The outside of the hospital I visited was all greenery, I remember thinking ‘this is lovely’, but the inside was another story.

    The hardest part about visiting those places is leaving your loved one behind, it feels almost like you’re betraying them by not leaving with them.

    Anyone else with relatives in psychiatric wards?

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  2. With me, it was different sut (brother), I was ill the longest, and at first the doctor proposed that I go into hospital, for a few tests, which I declined. Then after a while Dr azlam stopped giving me appointments, and medication was all I had to help me for the next 4 to 5 years. There was this extreme fear of getting referred to hospital, that grew over time. I don’t know why but I loathed to be there. For the next 15 years, I was at home. Then I went through some sort of mental break down, and in anguish I called the police, telling them I wanted to go into hospital. So for about a year I wandered 4 hospitals…at first I don’t know what I felt there, because being medicated so long, slowly killed most of my emotions. Even the ones I repressed. So, bro, it was easy for me. I can’t imagine how much pain you must have been feeling, when you were sectioned…. Allah make it easy, and give blessing to your age and deeds

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