Sunday, 3 June 2012

An 'unlawful Section'

The majority of my blog views come either from Google or from Facebook, and so I wouldn't have thought that most people reading this have all that much knowledge of the ins and outs of the English mental health system. I'm trying to work out if I'm being a patronising cock, and if I am, how much of one I am, but I reck I ought to explain some bits and pieces, 'stead of assuming everyone has been through the system as I have. This could well end up VERY BORING, but be nice and then I'll tell you about my latest admission and The Story of the Unlawful Section.

You can get admitted to a psychiatric hospital a few ways. Either a member of the crisis team or whatever can say that they think you ought to be admitted and you can throw your hands up and go in voluntarily, or you can get yourself dragged in. The former is the cleanest way, the neatest way, the way that makes it easier for you to leave when you're better, and the way that my stupid pride barely ever lets me go. Instead, I end up 'detained under the Mental Health Act' (known more as 'sectioned') which is a legal way of saying you refuse to be admitted, so they shove your arse in anyway, and make sure you can't run or refuse any treatment or owt. It also makes shit very messy, because it means that when you're better, you can't just ask to be discharged, you have to petition your consultant. You have to play a certain role; say certain things in a certain way and, oh, sit in a certain position and make sure you're very groomed and blahblah.

Sounds easy enough, when you know the routine, but, like... ohhhh, one time I was told by the nursing staff I'd be discharged on a Monday, but then my consultant went home early. The Tuesday she had off. The Wednesday she was called to an emergency. The Thursday, after I had spent the few days kicking off big styleeeee, I finally got out. Had I not been sectioned, when the nursing staff thought I was good to go on the Monday, I'd have been straight on out, rather than the extra few days (which, since there are about 3 weeks in the normal world to every day in the nuthut, was bladdddy awful).

There are a whole load of sections of the Mental Health Act, like any law, and they can detain you under about a trillion of them. There's Section Two, which is all fine and dandy and I've managed to rack up a fair few of them, bit of a nightmare when you're in and trying to get out, but don't really have any repercussions for owt once you've gone. Then there's Section Three. And mymy, is that a different kettle of fish. If you've ever filled out a job application, maybe you've noticed that they ask if you've ever been detained under Section Three of the Mental Health Act. Oh aye, that question is there, just begging for the company to discriminate against you. From the shit I've been given in the past and reactions to my episodes by laypeople, I don't trust society not to discriminate. Society is not developed enough, if it was then that question wouldn't even be asked. You can't travel really anywhere outside the EU with a Section Three on your record, either. Did you read my entry about how I wanted to graduate and then pack a bag and travel America? Goodbye dream. It's the ultimate glass ceiling and so to detain somebody under it, rather than just under Section Two, is a pretty big deal and there are supposed safeguards to make sure they can't ruin your chuffing life, just for the chuffing lulz.

Now for The Unlawful Section. I got admitted to hospital in Doncaster not last Wednesday night, but the one before, and went in without them sectioning me and everything. Good girl. On the Thursday, I was told that despite the state I was in, I was being discharged. Then an hour later, I was told that actually I wasn't. On the Friday, I was sick of their bullshit and decided that actually going home would be a glorious idea and demanded they let me discharge myself and then went to pack my bag. Instead, I was presented with Section 5.2 detention papers (I told you there was a whole bunch of different sections, hahaha), which meant that I was being held there for 72 hours, which would give them chance to assess me properly after the weekend.

Doncaster is a half hour or so away from Scunthorpe, when actually my house in Scunny is all of about 30 seconds from the nearest nuthut, but there were no beds in Scunny. Saturday morning, one came free so they shipped me over. Saturday night, I was woken up and taken into a room with a crowd of people, and told I was being detained under Section Three, apparently for the lulz, since I wasn't threatening to leave (not even I can whinge and bitch and threaten whilst asleep, and I am usually le patient terrible) or, yanno, doing owt but drool and probably snore like a pneumatic drill. They made a few fatal errors though, in trying to get that glass ceiling in place, the major one being they never got Ginge's permission. Because a Section Three is an absolute biaaaatch, they have to either get permission from your nearest relative, or go to court and get the state effectively made your nearest relative, stripping your mama or whomever of their right to refuse.

So I have me a lawyer. I keep trying to get it into conversation just so I can say MY LAWYER dotdotdot. It's like waaaay back when I first got a psychiatrist, for the first year or two, and I kept trying to get it into conversation. And he thinks he can not only get me off Section now, but hopefully get it off my record altogether. He recks that they'll maybe just want to stick a note on my record pretty much saying 'ooops, TOTEZ DIDN'T MEAN TO STICK A THREE ON HER' which wouldn't be any help whatsoever, 'cause I'd still have to declare it. So he's pushing to get it off my record altogether and thinks we have a good chance because of it being UNLAWFUL. And unjustifiable (for the record, I don't disagree with the 72 hour section, nor with maybe needing to be held in general. But the way it was done, the fact that I still had 2 days of the 72 hour section left ANYWAY and the whole Section Three instead of S2 in general... utter bullshit). And a bit of a dickhead move, given that I'm only 21 an' that.

I begged and pleaded to be discharged on Friday, I did everything right and got almost what I wanted. I'm still Sectioned and will be for at least another week, which just means that there's a bed on the ward for me and if my symptoms return all Ginge has to do is take me to the ward and I'll go right back to where I was, in the same position. But I'm home on leave and it's amazing, there is nothing like the feeling. I've to pop in on Wednesday, sort of like for a mental health check up, and if I pass that, then I get to go to Essex for a few days, for summer ball on Saturday, which I am ridiculously excited for. Then back to hospital on Monday week, to be discharged if all goes to plan, and then off to Spain for a week, 3 days later :).

After a terrible coupla week, things are looking a bit peachy, although I'm feeling a bit delicate. But I'm trying to sort out the major stresses, which triggered this blip, the money sitch and uni sitch and everything like that. I'm going to be JUST FINE, I think (although if you want to chuck me some cash, this would be hella more simple, hahaha).

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