I ended up admitted to a psychiatric hospital without being involved in that decision. At a time of stress and vulnerability I expected genuine support. Instead I had the police on my doorstep and I was locked into a building for three weeks. Forced hospitalisation was a serious trauma and I continue to suffer post-traumatic stress over a decade later.
Having one’s rights and freedoms removed is inherently degrading, no matter how nicely or correctly the procedures for enforcing and managing those removals are implemented. When one’s ability to act autonomously and in personally meaningful ways is significantly undermined for an extended period of time, it is soul destroying, and for me, it certainly contributed to my escalating mental distress.
It’s World Mental Health Day as we publish this. On this day, while we think of how it is good to talk and that 1 in 4 of us (at least) will experience mental health problems, let’s try to remember some other people too. Let us try to remember the people for whom we pay £200,000 a year to keep out of sight and out of mind. Let us consider whether life at all costs is worth forcing people to live in hell. Let us ponder whether our care can harm people.
From BBC's A Point of View. Will Self tells the disturbing story of what happened to a friend, recently detained in a London psychiatric...