Thursday, August 23, 2012


So, say you're a person who's name shall remain anonymous (but between you and I, it's me), and you've just attempted suicide but have been saved and taken to a hospital. What's next?

First off, you are guarded. I was flanked by two security guards and told to remain sitting. I also had been searched, and was behind a locked door.

Then comes a parade of staff. First, it's a receptionist, who wants my Care Card number and puts an ID wristband on me. Next it's a triage nurse, who takes down some basic information and checks my vitals. Then, in no particular order, come an ER physician; a social worker; and a couple of psych residents. A psychiatrist comes last.

The ER physician checks me for physical damage and is angry because I tried to kill myself (he saves lives, you see - I'm working against him); The social worker checks to ensure that me and my family have support; and the residents take my history to save the psychiatrist time.

The psychiatrist finally shows up with the residents in tow, and asks me for the pieces of history that they forgot. At that point, he determines that I am a danger to myself, and will be held involuntarily until I am deemed safe.

So, I was stripped of most of my civil rights and certified. I remember how surreal it all felt. And despite being in absolute pain and despair, thinking that how once I was decertified, I would be one of the only people I knew to have official, government proof of my sanity.

Which probably means that I can never work in government. ;)

Mental note: The Canadian Bar Association has a great explanation about what rights you DO have when you are involuntarily hospitalized here.

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