Apart from a shitload of paperwork, not a lot…
If you ever find yourself unfortunate (or lucky) enough to be admitted to a mental ward, be sure to try and understand the basis under which this has been done.
There are several ways to get admitted –
- Do something “insane”
- SAY something “insane”
- Admit to thinking something “insane”
- Tell someone you’re “insane”
- Ask/demand to be admitted
If/when you’re admitted it will be under one of two premises. Either informal or under a Section.
The reason for this piece’s title is that on all three of my stays on mental wards I was “informal”. Here’s a transcript of the conversation I had with my Primary Nurse (PN) upon my last visit as I was aware of the differences.
Me: So am I informal or am I being sectioned?
PN: You’re here voluntarily so you’re informal.
Me: Brilliant. So I can leave (the building) anytime I want?
PN: Absolutely, but we’d prefer that you didn’t.
Me: Fair enough, but it’s alright if I pop out for a quick fag? I’m gasping.
PN: No, if you try to leave we’ll have to bring you back and section you.
Me: But you just said I was informal and can leave any time I want!?!
PN: That’s right. You can go anytime but if you do try to leave we’ll have you brought back and placed under section.
Me: Nuh Huh.
PN: We can give/offer nicotine replacement products (Inhaler, spray, gum etc.) but they have to be prescribed first.
Me: OK. When can I see the doctor?
PN: I’ll check. (Looks at papers) – Monday on Ward Round.
Me: It’s fucking Tuesday!! (Makes break for door – it’s locked – bounces off…)
PN: Don’t worry – you’re “informal”………..