I’ve mentioned in previous posts that some of my “temporary friends” have now been discharged. The beds they vacated have off course been immediately filled. But I’m starting to realise there is a real problem in the system as many of the new ladies are familiar faces to each other or the staff from previous admissions to various hospitals. They seem to wear these episodes like badges of honour. I listen to them bragging to each other about what they did and how they got sectioned for the 4th time. I spoke about this very topic with my friend yesterday. She works in mental health as a solicitor, and agreed with me that the system is broken. There are truly tragic stories of genuinely ill patients that end up dead due to a lack of resources in and overstretched system.
I hate to say this because it sounds cruel but some patients are here for the attention. That does not in anyway make you less in need of treatment, I would argue that itself is an illness but it puts a huge strain on the system. It also worries me that everyone I’ve chatted with has been in somewhere before. Is that going to be my future? Surely there could be better community support? I wonder if we had to pay for our NHS care (even small amounts) would there be less Munchausen’s syndrome type behaviours in the mental health system.
I’m ashamed of being in here. I shouldn’t be. I know that mental illness is as real as anything physical, but still my up bringing, and family perceptions of mental ill health leaves me with a sense of shame.
Once I’m out, I never intend to come back.