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Posts Tagged ‘police’

PTSD, Police and Dissociation

12 Nov

**TW – TALK OF SUICIDE METHOD**

And so it happened again. On Tuesday I started to believe that I had to go to a parallel universe, one where my trauma didn’t happen. I cancelled my therapy appointment for the next day and also my prescriptions, as in my head, I didn’t need these things where I was going. It was a call to my doctors that sparked off the concern though and a GP from the surgery called me to ask why I’d cancelled the prescriptions. When I believe that I have to go to another universe, I can’t understand why others don’t see it and am very open about my thoughts. I told the GP about them and she rang the community mental health team (cmht). My care coordinator was off on holiday so it went to a duty worker who then called me. The same conversation ensued that I’d had with the GP and when I put the phone down, I thought that was it. 

It wasn’t. My mum called me a few minutes later, the duty worker at cmht had breached confidentiality (even though I’ve specifically said in the past never to contact my mum), and called her and told her about my parallel universe thoughts and what that meant. I was so angry! I felt betrayed and hurt by everyone, my mum included, and told her I didn’t want to speak to her and to leave me alone. This pushed me even further in to knowing I had to leave this universe to get away from all the crap that was going on. 

I waited until about 10.30pm as I wanted the roads to be quiet and I planned to jump from a motorway bridge. When I got there, I just stood watching, mesmerised by the headlights going by, but by actually not being able to do anything other than that. It was raining and I was getting cold and wet and so I decided to get back in my car and call a crisis line. I still don’t know why I did this. In my mind I was adamant all I had to do was die and I’d be in the parallel universe. So why would I want help to stay alive at this point? I have since been told it was my subconscious mechanism kicking in and I was looking for help. Anyway, over a period of about 90 mins I kept trying this number but there was no one free, I tried 14 times in all. To me, that was just an extra sign then to go ahead with what I needed to do and so I went back on to the bridge (I’d been in my car calling the crisis line). 

The next thing I knew (I’m not sure how long I’d been there for), two policemen were running towards me and grabbed an arm each and twisted them. I was on the correct side of the bridge still with a railing in between me and the ledge. I asked them to let me go as they were hurting me and one said no, not until you’re in the van and proceeded to frogmarch me to the back of a police van and put me in there (in the cage bit). They shut the door on me and locked me in. The next thing I knew they’d started the engine and began to move off. I shouted through asking where we were going and he said the hospital. I said I didn’t want to go there and this was against my will. He said “I’m not standing around in the pissing rain talking about it. If you don’t want to go I’ll section you and make you go”. I felt so helpless and all of this triggered offa flashback  whilst I was in the back and the next thing I knew, the door was being opened again at hospital. 

We were met by a further two police officers, one female, and once they booked me in to a&e, took me to a room to search me. I was totally overwhelmed by everything that had happened and then the female officer started to search me with the other 3 male officers stood watching. I felt so violated and uneasy I couldn’t stop shaking. This was all too close to my original trauma. I was in a total mess. They obviously found nothing and the two that had met us there left. 

Next I was called in to triage and I felt like a criminal being escorted everywhere by two police officers. I could see the looks from other patients, I was so embarrassed. I still didn’t understand why I was at a&e, to me the logic was there and why was no one else seeing it? The triage nurse said if I tried to leave she would be calling the police again, but the original two officers weren’t going anywhere. 

I was moved to the mental health room (soft chairs and a panic button), and sat with the officers for a while whilst waiting to be seen by the psychiatric liaison nurse. I took the opportunity to explain my situation to the police and to tell them how their handling of the situation had provoked a flashback for me and how I felt it had all been dealt with really badly. They seemed to understand and apologised. It just showed me though how far there is to go so that public services understand more about mental health. I know the police shouldn’t be the front line of mental health services but whilst they are, more awareness needs to exist. 

When I was seen by the psychiatric nurse, he was extremely concerned and said I had ticked a lot of tick boxes that made someone high risk. He said he’d put the facts to the on call consultant psychiatrist and see what they said. It came back that he wanted me in hospital, either informally or he’d instigate a mental health act assessment and have me sectioned. The nurse said he recommended just going informal as then I had the upper hand – they had to prove I was a risk to keep me as opposed to having sectioned me and able to keep me for 28 days and everything moving a lot slower. I know this particular nurse and had some trust with him and so agreed to go in as long as I was reviewed later that day. 

The next problem was of course the fact there was no beds. I ended up in the female lounge on two chairs pushed together. Needless to say, zero sleep was had that night. I was also still soaking wet and was extremely uncomfortable in wet jeans but no one was bothered about this. 

My experience on the ward is another post in itself but I needed to write down what had happened as ever since I’ve been unable to stop thinking about it. The way the police handled me has been whirring around my brain and so it’s obvious to me I’ve not processed it properly. I’m hoping by writing this out, it might help me do exactly that. 

I also don’t know the answer to what happens when I dissociate like this. It’s actually scaring me quite a lot right now. 

 
 

Dissociation and PTSD 

02 Sep

The past few days have been very strange and I’m not too sure what to make of them yet and to be honest, they have been extremely worrying. 
It started with a call from duty at my community mental health team (cmht). My therapist had been in touch and had been worried about me in the session. That would be fine but I have no recollection of being at therapy, getting there or coming home. 

Then things become a bit more blurred. Somewhere over the next day, I’d decided that 2 universes existed, the one we are in and another one that for me would be a better place where no trauma had occurred. Cmht called me again yesterday to follow up after the therapy incident and the two universes was brought up in conversation as I felt I’d had an epiphany of sorts. 

In my head, I had to get over to this other universe and then everything would be ok. But that could only happen if I was unconscious in this world. Duty asked me to let them know when I would try to do this crossover and when I asked why, was told so they could make it safer. This all made sense in my head, that I would call and tell someone, I’d make myself unconscious and then be in the other universe – straight forward right??

Well, I’d been thinking it was very simple and had such clarity about what had to happen. What I didn’t envision was 4 policemen and 2 paramedics arriving at my door and looking at me very strangely when I tried to tell them this. I explained I was ok and there was nothing for them to be concerned about but they called the psychiatric liaison team at my local hospital who wanted me to come in and be seen by them. 

After talking to the team at the hospital for well over an hour, they both agreed that I wasn’t safe to go home but if I’d agree to go in to hospital until later that day (it was now 3am), then I could see my psychiatrist and sort it from there. I declined and they said there would have to be a mental health act assessment done then as they didn’t think I was ok. I was adamant that everything was fine and they actually said my matter of factness is what was one of the most worrying signs. I then agreed as I didn’t want an assessment and if I went in on my own, it was literally for a few hours. I got to the ward, took some chlorpromazine and got my head down. 

When I woke up a few hours later, I felt like everything had been a dream and if it wasn’t for the fact I wasn’t in my own bed, I would have assumed it had been. I started to think that maybe I couldn’t cross over to the other universe as I initially thought I could and that maybe there was something not quite right with my thinking. I saw my psychiatrist who said she believes I was in a dissociative state and that something must have triggered it off earlier in the week, but I have no recollection of that period of time so I’ve no idea. She said that my thinking had become a bit ‘off’ but part of me must have known that as I told people about it. 

I’ll be honest, it’s really scared me. I was willing to stop living in this world, thinking there was another one to go to. What if I hadn’t told anyone? What if it happens again and I actually do something to myself believing it to be the answer? I’m having trouble digesting this latest thing, was it really a dissociative state? Will I be ok? 

 
 

The Police

06 May

You may, or may not, have noticed that I deleted my last post. The one that said PTSD has won and I give up. I’ll explain the reason I’ve deleted it in a minute, but the content is still relevant. I do feel very low, I do feel that the PTSD has won, that I will always have it hanging around my neck and that I don’t know what purpose I have in this world right now.

BUT what that doesn’t mean is that I am going to kill myself or that I am using this blog as a platform to announce that! I have NEVER and never will put something like that out if I was planning something. Go back over my past attempts, I’ve never told anyone through this of any specific time or plan before I’ve done it. I’ve told my care co-ordinator and psychiatrist of deadlines I’ve given myself and that’s the times I’ve ended up in hospital and in hindsight I’ve told them because I’ve needed the help.

I’ve a very honest relationship with my cc and if I’ve wanted help, I’ve managed to, in someway, ask for it. Whether that’s going to a&e, calling out of hours, a duty worker or my care coordinator.

I used this blog as a place I could write my true emotions, things I’ve not always felt able to share in the short term with any of my support team. I’ll admit, it’s been an emotional crutch for me and it’s even on my list of distractions – write a blog about how I’m feeling. It was extremely important to me.

Now, back to Saturday after I wrote the last post (that’s been deleted). I wrote it at 4.30am after yet another sleepless night due to me being terrified of dropping off in case I have a nightmare. As I’ve already stated, it feels like the PTSD has won and that’s exactly what I wrote as well as what I feel it’s taken from my life – my relationships, my business and my freedom. I was/am down about it all and I’m grateful for the many people on twitter who seemed to care about me enough to get in touch and ask if I was ok. I didn’t disappear offline, I didn’t ignore those asking me how I was. In fact I was online all morning, again trying to distract myself and I was talking to many people.

Imagine my surprise then when I got a knock at my door to find two police officers standing there. My first initial thought was something had happened to a loved one. They asked to come in and if I knew what this was about. I said I didn’t have a clue and then one of them asked if I wrote a blog.

I was dismayed, someone had called the police based on one post and with no attempt to speak to me? Yes, I get it, I should be glad that someone cared enough about me to go to that trouble. But surely, it would have made more sense to speak to me directly as others had done? I am always around, via twitter, DM, email and comments on this blog. As already mentioned, it wasn’t like I wrote that PTSD had won and then disappeared. In all honesty, I felt betrayed. If someone knew my rough location, it meant that they know me quite well as it’s something I keep very quiet. I also give my nearest town as my location, as it’s more well known than where I actually live. So it’s apparent to me it’s someone I supposedly trusted as it was that same location they gave the police. As it turns out, I live on the border of two different counties, with the town I mention being in the one I don’t live in. So the police that attended were actually out of area which is why I know it was someone I’ve trusted.

There were two police officers, a female and a male. The female was lovely. She had read my blog and knew a lot about me. This made me feel extremely vulnerable. I’d only ever been able to tell my cc some of the things I’d written because of the shame and guilt and so to have someone I didn’t know or trust, in front of me knowing my innermost thoughts was horrible. The male pc wasn’t very nice. I felt like I was being interrogated, like I’d done something wrong. I was tearful throughout, as I had been anyway, and his style wasn’t helping. They left once they understood my meaning behind the post and whilst they didn’t ask me to remove it, I did anyway.

As I’ve already said, I felt betrayed and in all honesty angry. Like I said, I understand someone must have cared and thought they were doing the right thing for me at the time and for that I should feel grateful – but I just can’t.

So what now?

I write this blog not just for my benefit, but as a place where others can read what this journey is like. I get at least one email a week where someone tells me how grateful they are for it as well as others telling me, as the first person they’ve ever told, about their own traumas. That it has given them the courage to ask for help.

In all honesty, this blog is sometimes incredibly difficult for me to write. It can be very raw and at times when I’ve not wanted to carry on with it, I have – purely because of those emails.

But now, I’m not so sure. I feel like I have to edit my feelings and that was never the point of this. And so this could be my last post, I’ve yet to make my mind up. But I didn’t realise someone who I’ve never met could have the ability to hurt and betray me so much. As always, I’m just being honest!! Let me re-iterate though, I would NEVER put it in the public domain that I was going to kill myself!

**update** The person who called the police has emailed me and explained their thinking. I feel better knowing who it was and the intention behind it so I’d like to put it behind me now and try and move on. Thanks for everyone’s support through this x

 
 

Police, A&E, Triage Nurse, Crisis Team & Own Team

20 Mar

This post is purely about facts – were things handled correctly, should any thing have been done differently?

I was suicidal, so I took some sleeping tablets and I was driving to the place I was going to do it so when I saw a motorway bridge and decided that’d be a good place to jump. It was midnight & so the motorway was quiet enough to have long stretches with no traffic so noone else would be involved.

I stood there, I have no idea how long for, just staring over the bridge, knowing this was it.

Then a police van turned up, asked me why I was there. I couldn’t answer through the tears and cold. They asked me if I’d be willing to sit in the van to warm up a little as I was shaking. I agreed.

They asked for my details, I gave them – no reason not to and asked if I’d been drinking – I said no. After doing a check on me and my vehicle, it was decided that it’d be best for me to go to hospital. I went in the police van and one of the policemen drove my car. Whilst he was driving, I took the rest of the tablets but he heard the packet, stopped the van and asked what I was doing – I told him they were anti-anxiety tablets and he got back in the van & continued to hospital.

When I arrived at hospital they walked me in and then left me there.

The triage nurse called me in and was lovely. She asked if I’d been drinking, I said no. She asked if I’d taken any drugs and so I showed her the packets and said whatever was missing, I had taken.

She told me the psych liaison team were in the department and she’d she if they were available. I was put in a small room and left for half an hour whilst they got ready to see me. It was the usual crisis team questions; tell me what happened in the lead up to you being here, how are you feeling now etc. I asked to go home, they accepted it and off I went.

Today I had a voicemail from my cc saying she’d seen I’d been at a&e and if I wanted to speak to her then call or speak to duty. I called her pretty much straight back (around 2.30pm) but she was busy and duty wouldn’t speak to me whilst my own cc was in the office. I left my name and number and asked for a call back, but nothing.

All in all, do you think this has all been handled correctly, anything wrong, right etc?

** UPDATE** When I originally wrote this, I wanted to see what people thought others roles were in the events that took place. Some people have asked for their response to be private so I won’t be giving specifics. But I also wanted to write it without emotion and then add this bit on to say how I felt I was handled. To say I have tweeted both the hospital and police department to say thankyou for how they helped me that night pretty much explains my point of view. The police did exactly what they needed to and never once made me feel stupid or a waste of time. The same can be said about the triage nurse and the liaison team (2 of them).

I guess the problem came with me answering their questions, they can only go on what I said and I knew the questions well enough to know what answers to give to get out of there as quickly as possible!

My cc called me back this morning and by 1pm, one of the home treatment team were here as a referral.