Update small


(April 2012)

In 2011, I was detained in one of the UK’s busiest acute psychiatric hospitals, a brutal & sometimes hilarious introduction to NHS mental health care. You’ve gotta laugh!

I joined Twitter in January 2012. You’ll find me at @Sectioned_ (please remember the underscore at the end). I sometimes tweet a lot, sometimes a little. I set up this blog account 6 weeks later because I thought that sometimes I’d want to say something that would take more than 140 characters.

Generally I tweet about quite serious stuff to do with mental illness & being sectioned. But I like to laugh too & find lots of things funny. I also like the absurd, including the occasional pomposity & ivory-toweriness of clinicians and academics on Twitter.

I’m not a psychiatric nay-sayer, despite my own traumatising experience on a locked ward (which I liken to being kidnapped by terrorists and repeatedly gang-raped, just so you know how awful the experience was for me). I’m really interested in finding out about and disseminating best practice, & write about that too, because I want mental healthcare to be a healing experience.

I try not to tweet about things like having just made a cheese sandwich, but that sort of thing sometimes creeps in too, especially if it’s particularly good cheese.

The photo is of the nicest bathroom on ward. It was my sanctuary, where I would bath twice a day. It helped pass the time & was relaxing. It was also the one place I wasn’t observed. Small pleasures become so important when your liberty, dignity and bodily integrity have been taken away.

I was discharged from hospital in summer 2011. I came out brutalised, traumatised & pretty helpless. I was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from the ward experience. It wasn’t until 6 months later that I was able to start dealing with the issues that got me taken into hospital in the first place, let alone everyday life. I’m still some way off being a tax payer again.

Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @Sectioned_ (please remember the underscore at the end) & become a friend on facebook. See the Sectioned_ category for personal posts.












12 Responses to “About”

  1. simon gould 16 May 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Very well put together.Thanks.
    Does the link to the MPS Response to Adebowale work ?

  2. Hazel Charles 16 May 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I found your blog on Twitter. I look forward to reading more, sounds really interesting. I have PTSD as well, and was also hospitalized. Sounds like we’ve got some in common.

  3. savemefrombpd 27 August 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Ah, NHS trauma. Ditto. Awful experience for me so I am back abroad. I’ve never seen psychiatric hospitals like those I was in in the UK. Absolutely ridiculous!

  4. thekindnessblog 10 September 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hey There 🙂

    We are very interested to read about your experiences, perspectives gained *and* your good cheese sandwiches! 🙂


  5. faith-lauren 6 February 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    iv been suffering with bipolar for years now and have seen so many doctors. been on so many different meds and suffered side effects thereof. iv stopped my medication on my own at times only to find myself being forced back into the neuro clinic for medical attention. iv been fine for a long time now and want to come off the meds again, wat do i do? How do i come off it with doctor’s knowledge, without the risk of being sectioned. Im desperate to get off the meds the side effects r driving me insane nd all the doctor does is up or lower dosage on the meds or adds new ones to counter act side effects. Im sick of being sick! Bipolar is not my problem its the meds!

  6. Doris 25 February 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Blimey you were allowed a bath in you unit?! In peace?! Twice a day?! 😉

    Just starting following you today as I liked that you took action re the BBC London News story this evening.

  7. bethdx 6 June 2014 at 7:04 am #

    I’ve only spent 4 nights in a psychiatric unit but my experience was also traumatising and brutal. Years later Rape Crisis helped me deal with some of that experience.
    The bathroom was a place of sanctuary but I was stunned to find there bottles of industrial strength cleaning fluids with warnings on the bottles to wear gloves when using – even masks.
    Over and above the health and safety risks, these bottles of cleaning fluid could have been used to help a patient commit suicide. You wouldn’t have had to swallow much of that stuff to die from poisoning.
    The lack of dignity and respect psychiatric patients generally experience is totally unacceptable. E.g. queuing for meds in a corridor in full view of visitors to the unit. Nurses and docs can be as rude as they wish knowing that if a patient speaks up that will just be noted as hostility and a
    further symptom of mental illness.
    I recently spent 3 days on a medical ward because of atrial fibrillation and I couldn’t help but contrast how doctors and nurses treated patients there by doctors with the treatment commonly received on a psychiatric unit. I appreciated being spoken to like an adult with intelligence and feelings and not like some half-witted bundle of symptoms.
    I have nothing to do with mental health services now except as a visitor to patients and as a volunteer advocacy worker but whenever I visit the hospital’s anticoagulant clinic, my mind goes to the
    patients in the 2 psychiatric wards, wondering what kind of experience they’re having and hoping it’s nowhere near as traumatic as mine was.

    • desdemoaner 25 August 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Good comment and I can relate to much of what you say.

  8. Rana 6 January 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Keep fighting the fight – we so need you in our corner. 1 in 4 now and there’s still no political desire to fix the NHS and support the infrastructure for mental health issues. Perhaps we need to start an alliance of MH and other ignored key issues and get the 1 in 4 to vote – then maybe they would listen…would you stand as a candidate?? All the best – take care and continue being brave…we are still with you.

  9. Chris Brears 27 December 2017 at 12:25 am #

    I agree that being detained under the mental health act may lead to ptsd. I think the link is people go in there st their most vulnerable time mentally and being man handled by police under duress is the worst things to cause acute stress. Once on the ward being force fed tablets unsure of what they are. Could be a trick off the government (I had psychosis). I think this has caused me problems. Did you get gang raped by anyone? It’s a blunt question but it’s ambiguous the wording. When someone in my opinion and I’ve looked deep within myself to cure myself and try to beat psychosis I’ve come to understand that when you build a barrier to become unable to talk about something because you feel it so bad that no one can relate then recovery becomes even harder for yourself. Until you rationalise your owns thoughts you will not be able to rationalise the world around you.

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