I Have Never Been In A Place More Indifferent To Suffering Than A Psychiatric Ward

On the Recovery in the Bin website, a blogger writes:

“I have never been in a place more indifferent to suffering than a psychiatric ward. People walking around in great distress must be so much part of the furniture that mental health nurses can walk past them with barely a glance.

A few nights into my stay a nurse found me crying in my room. ‘It’s good to cry’ she said matter-of-factly, ‘But sometimes it can go on too long’. She got up and left, promising to return later when I’d calmed down. I wondered what point there would be for her to return when I was no longer in distress, but ultimately it didn’t matter, because she never came back. I had a similar experience a few days later. While I was crying in my room, two health care assistants entered and began to carry out a room search. They didn’t ask if I was OK or acknowledge in any way that I was sobbing. After they finished they smiled and said ‘Thanks!’ brightly, before leaving the room as quickly as possible.

In both these encounters I believe my historical diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) was at play. My crying was attention seeking, manipulative and proof that I was unable to regulate my emotions. Had they spent time to get to know me, they would understand that I rarely cry, let alone sob in front of people. As someone who OVER regulates their emotions it was upsetting to have my vulnerability responded to in such a callous way. …”

Read more here.

Recovery in the Bin say: “… we direct those thinking this is an isolated case or ‘not all’ to pages 53-58 of [UK’s]  Modernising the Mental Health Act – final report from the independent review.

On page 54, the above report [published December 2018 and subtitled “Increasing choice, reducing compulsion”] says : “Overall, we have been disturbed and saddened by what we have heard from patients. Only 30% of respondents to our survey of service users and carers felt that they had been treated with dignity and respect.”

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