Am I ill?
This question is so much on my mind. I came into hospital because I was having detailed suicidal thoughts and almost took my own life, but at my core I still don’t believe that in the face of what I have lived through that is so unreasonable. Some part of me didn’t want to die though, or I wouldn’t have called for help that Friday. Or maybe as I’ve said before, I simply decided voluntary admission was preferable to involvement of the emergency services and detention under the Mental Health Act.
When you arrive as an informal patient you’re told that you can leave at any time, but as the wife of someone with detailed knowledge of the MHA I’ve always known that’s not strictly true. If the risk levels are high, staff aren’t going to just let you waltz out of the door with all your possessions. I doubt most informal patients are aware of the limited powers of nurses to detain a person at risk until they can be formally “sectioned”. Last time I discussed my informal status with the doctors I was deemed not sectionable but I’ve always been very aware of how quickly that can change.
My distress has eased over the past few days. This morning I had a hefty dose of bog standard depression, but this is something I at least know how to deal with (if hiding in bed all morning missing breakfast and gym equates to “dealing”). I think the fluctuations are much smaller and less frequent now; I also think I’m kind of bottoming out into low mood. I guess that makes sense since another blood test has show my levels of lamotrigine are lower than they should be. We can go ahead with the increase starting tomorrow morning.
A few days ago that was the treatment holy grail. Now I feel pretty meh about it. I just don’t feel ill. Well, a little bit maybe, but nothing I haven’t weathered a million times before. I know I am having a lot of very dangerous thoughts, although I conceive of them as dangerous only in that they would have mega repercussions if I was found out/located. All that escapology stuff for example. I have the chance to get the big med change I’ve wanted for a very long time, yet I seem to seek self-sabotage.
As ever when I get a case of The Sneakies, part of me wants to stop but the planning escalates and becomes ever more devious. I managed to say a bit of this to a nice nurse, a kind of warning that they think I am a pleasant lady and therefore a compliant patient, but I’m not. I am devious and always looking to exploit any cracks in the system. Nice Nurse was there when I was called to speak to the doctors they had been given an idea of my mindset. I told them I have been thinking that maybe there is nothing in here that I need, that I could discharge myself and just go home and sleep off the depression and forget about the whole med change crapola.
Except… You know what’ll happen if you try to leave, right? Asked Beardy Doc. Yup. As my friend Bunny put it: Hotel California. As an informal I can check out any time I like. With ideas like these I can never leave.
Such stupidity, all this self-sabotage; why? Why am I compelled to behave in ways that have increased the likelihood of being sectioned and stuck on 1:1 obs (observations) with a nurse tailing me everywhere and sitting in my doorway as I sleep? Abscond and I could end up on a different ward with tighter security after being pulled out the back of a police van.
Sectioned, even on a 28 day s2, I miss chances to spend time with my children. I just spoke to my daughter, who is a treasure and a delight as ever. Why would I want to spend even less time with her than I can as an informal? I’d be away from Tom and home for a whole month on top of the 2.5 weeks I’ve been in. I’d lose out on brilliant work opportunities. I risk not being in the community for our much-anticipated holiday to Germany.
So why the fuck would I want to do anything that could lead to all that? Why can’t I stop? I’m crossing little lines here and there, but little lines add up. I can’t stop. But I don’t feel ill. Except sometimes I know these thoughts are the thoughts of a crazy person. And I’m now more unwell in the eyes of staff.
I don’t know what to think/believe anymore.