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  • Writer's pictureEllen Dodd

Time to stand up

Updated: 6 hours ago

As a result of personal events in 2020, I have been caught up in the public mental health care system. There I have discovered some sad truths.

Patients receive a lack of care, there is an absence of therapy, for instance. In some cases, medicines genuinely make patients worse not better. Furthermore, the long stays cut off from family, friends, finances and affairs, the outside world and freedom is ultimately harmful. As is the lack of activities in the ward, breeding boredom. Some patients are disregarded and left for months without discharge for no major or apparent reasons.

I see this as a genuine abuse of power, or at least miscare. And, I say that the professionals given this power are unqualified to be given such at this time. This is due to a lack of true mental assessment of patients being made, and, a failing to listen to patients about being affected negatively by the medication.

I am effected by a side effect called “oculogyric crisis”, which renders me essentially blind in attacks until I take another medicine to stop it. This medicine, I am pretty sure I am allergic to and also reacts with another medicine I’m now on making me sick. I have asked to cease the causative medicine for this and more reasons and have been denied.

All this to dampen a mind that works differently to others. I believe we should work with people with mental illness, or what is perceived as such, to understand similarities and differences across people, without judgement and without fear of punishment. Which, exists today for people with such conditions. My freedom is stripped from me if I refuse medicine that actually makes me sick. Most people after being put on medication need to be readmitted. This proves it is not the answer.

I was recently sectioned, yes sectioned, at an appointment for no reason. They premeditated this sectioning due to me visiting a friend in a different city over a weekend - which is against the idea of the mental health act which is to be used in an emergency setting, which this simply was not. Since then, I have been in hospital, slowly getting sadder and sadder and seeing others decline in the same way. It’s not a nice place to be forced to live, and many freedoms are stripped from you. Furthermore, I have been reacting badly to my medication - which I would rather have the opportunity to come off and try healing myself for a period of time.

This is not allowed. The free will of my own body has been stripped from me - this I morally object to. Seriously. I have not consented to be treated in this manner.

The law is bent through means of loopholes. Large companies avoid taxes legally in this fashion. Some people, legally have control stripped from them. I have no access to my job, my study, my home, all legally, and depend on people who don’t always treat me well. I’m in an institution that ultimately harms me.

I have verbalised this to my doctors and they have agreed they’ve seen patients decline over time, but refuse to let me go home. A nurse point blank said to me they have observed people be detained for no reason and kept in for a long time.

To the best of my knowledge this is different to other mental health units, in Glasgow for instance, as one nurse who works occasionally as staff in a hospital through that way told me.

Something is up - and it’s a case of making change. I am making a stand for my free will, and am removing myself from the situation in order to heal myself which due to government control I cannot do legally in my lifetime - unless laws change for the better.

I believe law change is inherently needed and an investigation into Forth Valley Royal Hospital mental health unit undertook, as they blatantly ignore the wishes of patients, keep them in too long in some instances, and force staff into adhering to overly controlling rules, which affects everyone in the environment.

A doctor admitted in a meeting, that he observed patients get worse overtime in the hospital. He then said he would continue on the path of keeping me in there.

A cleaner has told me she and her colleagues complain to their bosses about the conditions of the rooms patients are expected to live in.

It is an acute ward, but patients are kept in for abnormally long amounts of time. Often, patients are kept in the ward after appointments. As prior mentioned, there is no psychological care on the ward. Only experimental medicine given without consent of the patient.

Had I been forewarned about the life altering side effects which have affected me, I would have refused the medicine in the very first instance. I took the doctors blasé approach to mean that it should be okay, and I was also in a situation of being in this ward with no end date for discharge. This is a scary position to put those affected by mental health conditions in, as it is stress and anxiety, as well as depression invoking. These wards should be used as a short term solution for emergency cases, the goal should be to get people the help they need in the community and readjusted to life.

Some patients wish to stay on a voluntary basis, and are refused. Others are admitted then not allowed to leave again on a voluntary basis. This is fundamentally wrong and unethical.

I would like to reiterate - I have heard other hospitals do not operate in the same way. I have only been exposed directly to this one.

Change needs to occur. I do not feel safe on that ward, I feel like there is no care or help for me or the other patients, and that I need not be there. I feel that the physical effects of the medicine outweigh the positive. As an emergency - further looking into this ward is required.

I am officially removing myself from the system; until my fundamental human rights are fulfilled with public promise. I have been lied to in order to get me to consent to things during this process already.

Firstly I refuse to return to the hospital, as I am not unwell. As stated in the bill of human rights, I have the rights to my own beliefs. Which, do not harm anyone and which I do not force upon anyone. Additionally, I have a right to privacy which is not being upheld. This has emotional side effects which are worsening the situation.

My freedom of expression is also limited, as my own personality is used against me. More than once the rational given to me for being kept in hospital was that I was “speaking quickly” - I was wholeheartedly offended. Literally section almost anyone in Scotland then why don’t you. I mean cmon.

The most important broken human right, is freedom from torture. I genuinely feel being imprisoned with no end date in this institution counts as torture. Additionally, the medicine causes torturous side effects. This institution needs looked into.

Our human rights are actually being replaced with a bill of rights which take from us.

I call to reason that the doctors currently caring for me are not in a position to detain me as they do not recognise that I don’t fit the criteria as I am no danger to myself or others.

I am a pacifist. It’s crazy - I just want to go home. As do a bunch of patients. And the lack of communication and observation means they lack the grounds to detain for such long periods. It’s a genuine crime. I refuse to fawn my life to a government not worth trusting.

I fundamentally do not trust the pharmaceutical industry, from whose chains I have no legal escape.

If this can happen to a normal young girl, it can happen to you. And, what kind of atrocities will happen in the future if we as a collective allow institutions such as these to gain our control back.

At present, my future is on the line as it seems this place can detain me at any point for any reason as they deem fit. As I said, I call to reason that they are unfit to make these decisions as they haven’t recognised my soundness of mind and revoked my detention. And, have lied in my legal affairs (which shouldn’t be forced upon individuals in my situation anyway), which is straight up shady.

I refuse to go back to a place my human rights are infringed upon, and peacefully protest this infringement until taken for the serious matter it is. For not only me, but other patients.

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