My daughter went into hospital (Section 3) after trying to commit suicide. She had borderline personality disorder and couldn't cope with things, it all became too much. She has a husband and 2 wonderful children and we think it could be postnatal depression that may have started this. The hospital she is in is not in our area and she is approximately an hours drive from us and her family. She has now been in a secure unit for over 2 years.
We have been trying to fight the system and get more help for her for 2 years. I have been writing constant letters of concern to the hospitals and even to members of parliament, but no one cares. Until meeting her solicitor 4 weeks ago I thought we were the only ones who thought it wasn't right the way she was being treated, and then an incident happened...
She was stripped naked in a search for her bra. She was covered with a sheet, in the room were 3 females and 2 males assisting with removing her clothes, all while she was being held down. She was humiliated and is frightened of what will happen next. Since the incident she has tried to overdose and is continually saying she wants to kill herself and can't cope in there. She is trying any and everything to end her life at the moment, it is becoming an everyday occurance. She is now on a one to one watch and has to have someone with her when she goes to the toilet, which I understand, but 2 weeks ago my daughter was full of life, unbelievably positive.
When we visited her she made clear that the reasons that she is willing to take her own life is the fact she is locked up. She continues to self harm (nothing too serious), because she knows she should not be in there. The hospital says she self harms because she gets upset when she sees her family. We suggested letting her see her children every week but they said this would put her at more risk to self harm. It is tearing my daughter apart to the extremes not seeing them once a week, but still the hospital denies her this. In our opinion, she self harms because she knows she has to wait 2 weeks to see her children but they cannot see this and are constantly blaming us. We are a loving family and I often wonder if they are not used to dealing with a family such as ours.
She cannot leave unless we go to court to have her released, which we are in the process of. The incident is now being investigated. We are waiting to see their reply and then will make a formal complaint and go to court if neccessary. I have considered going to the media and would have access to a journalist if necessary but I can't put my daughter through more trauma and the stigma attached to this.
We thought as many others, no doubt, that what the doctors were saying was correct, but then you begin to wonder, maybe not, and then you begin to wonder what if you are wrong? Surely they can't treat people like this! Surely she should be getting more help! But then it hits you, an overwhelming sense of failure for your child... why did we let her be taken? We thought it was right. We thought she would get help. The rest is history.
I find it hard to believe that all these people are suffering in silence, and more so their relatives. Why is it not more in the public eye? It's obviously still a taboo subject. I just hope that the people making my daughters life a misery at the moment never find themselves in the same situation. Is there any justice in the world? They will say they were stopping her from harming herself but she is not violent, she felt alone. How does she get out of this? Apart from her solicitor, no one seems to care.
That mum is currently working with a solicitor to prepare an appeal before the tribunal. What she may benefit most from at this time are the insights of others who have done the same and hopefully, been successful in presenting their case.
If you are a solicitor, advocate, parent of a child who has been sectioned, or a mental health consumer who was sectioned and released under the UK Mental Health Act, and you have some insights to share please do so in the comments section of this post. Alternatively, there is an email address listed on my profile page. I will gather up any words of wisdom and pass them on to that mum.