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This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Long Weekend on a Psychiatric Ward: which left me feeling over-medicated.

Hello - I am back and blogging!

Nicola Edwards
As you may have seen on FYM's previous post I (Nicola E.) was sectioned, again, for the 6th time.

I have been sectioned once previously since launching this blog; but, I have not spoken about my experiences of that time.

My reason for this is that although I do have something to say based on my experiences during that time, I am still working on how it would be best to express my opinions.

This most recent sectioning, however, was the shortest amount of time I have stayed under a section whilst on a psychiatric ward.

It was a long weekend, but one which left me feeling over-medicated.

I wrote notes in a diary during that weekend about the treatment I was receiving on the ward.

The following is an account of the weekend; edited and compiled using notes from that diary.

I remained on the ward and, on a Section 2, from the 3rd-November-2011, to the 7th-November-2011

Quote from diary:
This (long) weekend has felt like a (cliched) POV rave scene from a drug movie... [sic]
[one in which] the protagonist is [stumbling] around being offered all kinds of illicit substances; but, instead of dealers around every corner, [instead] there were nurses with pills and injections. [sic]

Thursday; 3-Nov.-2011.
I was given two (2) Lorazepam almost immediately after my arrival to the psychiatric ward - which the staff on the ward felt I needed.

I asked for a "sleeping aid" that same evening, and I received two (2) Promethazine and one (1) Zopiclone.

I feel asleep that night, but did not wake up until late the following evening.

Friday; 4-Nov-2011.
Shortly after waking - and once having eaten a couple of slices of toast - I requested the same medication they had administered the night before in order to help with my sleep.

Saturday; 5-Nov.-2011.
For reasons, which I honestly cannot remember (although it is possible that I could have been ranting and raving; in other words, shouting and making a lot of noise ), I was forcibly medicated that same Saturday evening.

Quote From Diary:

My head was held back, and both pills [2 Lorazepam] and water were forced down my throat...
...which I did swallow - although I did feel reluctant in doing so.
After swallowing ALL of the tablets I had been given. The restraining nurses falsely accused me of not taking [the] medication; they, therefore, held me down for an injection (its is unknown to me what medication they had administered with the syringe). [sic]

I was asleep/unconscious/knocked out after receiving the injection.

I will be frank with you; my recollections/memories of the events during this period are "fuzzy" and disjointed.

Sunday; 6-Nov.-2011
I woke up shortly before midday on Sunday.

Not long after midday, however, I fell into an argument with a fellow patient, whom I believed, judging from from her behaviour, was prepared to say anything to try and push my buttons,

I took myself away from this patient, in order to avoid a fight; so I moved myself into the hospital ward's "courtyard" to smoke a cigarette.

Unfortunately, I was still full of anger; which was probably due to myself becoming oversensitive with her words, and then found myself dwelling too much on the (offensive) things that had been said to myself.

So, I inevitably got wound up and was no longer able to keep my cool; and, I ended up releasing my anger onto a couple of wall flower baskets, by kicking them both and then watching each basket fall to the floor.

Following the above incident, I was administered two Lorazepam.

Later on that day, in the mid-afternoon, I was admittedly rather bored; so, as a way of cheering myself up and to alleviate my boredom

Quote from Diary

...with Magic FM loudly playing on the psychiatric ward's radio - I jumped up onto the table to sing,
"I want to break free!"
It was spontaneous of me, but it [worked] as a release; and soon after I'd sung along to those five words to the song being played, I leaped down off of that coffee table. [sic]

Upon leaping from the table, I was approached by a nurse, who told me she felt that I needed PRN - I was given two more Lorazepam.

Monday; 7-Nov.-2011.
I'd not long been dressed and out of bed on that Monday morning; but, as I was walking from one part of the ward to another, I was stopped by a nurse who was stood inside the clinical room with its hatch open. The nurse offered me two Promethazine - which I initially (kindly) declined, as .I felt that I did not need the medication at that moment in time.

But the Clinical Nurse insisted I needed the medication to calm me down. However, I was calm (wasn't shouting or being aggressive) and, it was for this reason that I decided to comply with the medication which was currently on offer.

Later on, that same day; I attended a "ward round" meeting, with the ward Psychiatrist. It was at this meeting I was taken  off a Section and informally discharged.

It took a couple of days after returning home to overcome my fuzzy-medication-head and stop feeling so spaced-out.

I find it hard to believe that all of the medication I received over the "long weekend" were in-fact necessary. I genuinely felt like I was over-medicated.

"Part Two" of this post can be found here - Part 2 is an explanation of why I feel angry at the way I felt I was 'over-medicated'. ~ 03/12/2011.


  1. its interesting as what I am reading,
    Sounds like any outburst, or any form of expression was followed by a dose of medication.
    it also sounds as if they use it as a form of punishment and control, is this how you felt?

    this is a really insightful blog and if you have any other diary recordings of other incidents it would be good to read as a comparison to this experience.

    best of wishes
    and love
    Ken doll x

  2. Hi Ken.
    I have posted a follow-up to the above blog post.


    Thank you for taking the time to read the blog!
    Take care,
    Nicola E. from FYM.

    1. Hi, BPD is possibly the most stigmatised label you can be given within a mental health setting. BPD is such a deep and complicated disorder, that it is necessary to receive appropriate treatment. Drugs can sometimes take the edge away in the short term, but in the long term it requires specialised psychotherapy within an appropriate setting. You are very brave to speak so openly about your own experience.

    2. Hello.

      I agree with everything you say.

      I believe BPD is highly misunderstood; and, I have noticed, that those of us with that diagnosis are often labelled as "trouble-makers" - which, in most cases, could not be further from the truth.

      I have recently started working with a new mental health team, whom it seems are taking on board my ideas and opinions on what treatment I receive - they too were talking about psychotherapy, and I will be meeting the psychotherapist in their team very soon.

      Thank you for reading and replying. Your comment is more than appreciated.

      Take care,
      Nicola E.