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State Run Psychiatric Hospitals

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#1
A good few years back my brother, I'll call him Cain, had a mental breakdown and spiralled into a very dark place. He sold his house, send my dad, my sisters and me a bunch a letters telling to us what disgusting pieces of scum we were and disappeared down south of the country somewhere. After about 5 years I get this phone call from him. I don't really know what prompted him to reach out, but I suspect some of the rage had burned out of him and he just needed to make contact with someone. Maybe his survival instinct kicked in and decided he'd try get some help. Why he reached out to me, I'm not entirely sure but probably because he knew I was a head case too and might at least understand where he was at. My father of course wanted no part of it so I took a day off work and drove down to his almost middle-of-nowhere house. I remember it was a Tuesday at the tail end of winter and it pissed rain the whole day.

When I arrived and he opened the door, he looked like a shell of his former self. Painfully thin, unkempt and even his lips were deeply stained with nicotine. More noticeable was the frailty in his personality. Yet, part of the person I once knew was there somewhere. One of the first things he said to be was that he liked the smell of my perfume. He always had that complementary way about him, even when his own head was a battlefield. He showed me all his writings too. pages & pages & pages of himself poured out in ink.

Anyway, he had an appointment with a psychiatrist that day and I went in with him. Cain of course played down his despair, not because he was trying to fool anyone, but more because he didn't want to be a "bother". When he said he wasn't feeling too bad I said yeah right, you were just asking me on the way over here what was the most effective method of taking one's life, and you were very earnest about it too. I had to seriously hammer Cain's state of mind into this shrinks head to get him to refer him to a hospital as an inpatient. He was in desperate need of proper care. Otherwise that shrink would have just ticked off some boxes, gave him some pills and sent him on his way. People say I have as much empathy as a snake but this guy was worse: a bureaucrat.

So we get to this hospital and we're grilled together, then grilled separately, then waiting around for some or other assessment until finally he gets a bed. Now I get that public mental hospitals are generally hell holes, but you still can't help being appalled. They gave him these pyjamas, way too big, he was swimming in them and I'm sure they did it on purpose & had a right old giggle about it. I couldn't help giving one of those apes an earful: "Are you having a laugh?? The f**king pants won't even stay up. Find him a pair that fits you lazy bastard", or something to that effect. Of course he didn't like that but I remember there was this guy sitting in the corner with hair like Henry Spencer from the film 'Eraserhead' who kept hooting and clapping, kinda funny. Anyway he got a pair of pyjamas that fit properly in the end. But they'd come out with all this other snide shit too, like Cain had crippling anxiety & found it very hard to sleep and occasionally he'd ask for a sedative and they'd say shit like "oh, you need your fix, right?" or "happy now your fix has kicked in?" Cain is quite sensitive so it got to the point where he didn't even bother asking anymore. I ended up bringing some into him to hide.

He pointed out the ones that used to drop those shitty comments and on the day he was being discharged, about 6 weeks later. They were 'supervising' some patients in the day room, about 10 of them were there I think. I paid them a little visit and said goodbye, wished them well and said by the way, I heard a rumour you might be interested to know about; Those employees over there all pee in your tea & coffee before they serve it to you.

The good news is he's doing a lot better these days. He still struggles of course. But it's a long way from that abyss he fell into all those years ago.

And I will one other thing: Yes, he had a breakdown in that he couldn't function properly anymore and stopped taking care of himself. But there was also
something else: a breakthrough. Cain was, is, a good guy. He was the friend everyone went to when they needed cigarettes or money. If someone needed a ride somewhere, he would always offer. He never held grudges, always gave second & third chances. I was horrid to him as a child but he always remembered my birthday. I really have no idea why he reached out to me the way he did. In the beginning stages of his decline, his thoughts were actually incredibly clear. He seen things for what that are. He seen people for what they are. There were no muddled sentences or breaks in logic. He often hit on certain truths, well-formed & well articulated, that stopped me in my tracks. I'm reminded of that scene in the Matrix when Neo is fighting the agents, really seeing all their movements for the first time. And without battling an eye he just effortlessly deflects them away. He seen the true nature of everything and it horrified him. I think it cracked his mind.
 

1964dodge

Has a frog in the family
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#2
i'm glad that your brother is better. some mental health hospitals are really bad. in our state we had a really bad one that abuse was rampant. eventually they shut it down. it was so bad they couldn't save it. the good news is these days these places are much better and the paients are treated with respect. not everywhere but most places...mike...*hug*shake
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#3
i'm glad that your brother is better. some mental health hospitals are really bad. in our state we had a really bad one that abuse was rampant. eventually they shut it down. it was so bad they couldn't save it. the good news is these days these places are much better and the paients are treated with respect. not everywhere but most places...mike...*hug*shake
Thanks man, & good to hear the concept of respecting patients is trickling in from somewhere
 

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