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My sister was sectioned last night...what happens next?

(15 Posts)
woodychip Sat 22-Nov-14 08:57:50

She has been increasingly paranoid about her neighbour, who presumably has not been spying on her as she claims. Yesterday she threw a bowl of water over him and then flipped her lid for want of a better term and was screaming and shouting out the windows and then locked her self in a room in her house. She had a knife which her husband took off her and she packed a suitcase and said she was going to live on the streets and was completely out of reality. My mum phoned the doctor and then he came and then the police broke the door down and presumably a social worker? Sectioned her. She had to be forced into the ambulance and the police forced and strapped her down. They took her to a hospital, a mental health ward? I don't know.

Amazingly about four hours later she was completely lucid, rang my mum and was so sorry and upset but back to normal. She said she was sectioned for 28 days but I can't believe this is true, isn't it just 72 hours while they assess her? She said she had spoken to "a man" , a psychiatrist? And then she cried and felt a bit better.

Can anyone tell me what happens next? Do they try and diagnose her? Will they send her home with no help? She has slight learning difficulties but went to mainstream school, you wouldn't know to talk to her, she just can't remember things sometimes and gets very anxious and never leaves her house, so has no distraction from being paranoid about things. She gets a fixation on some things, like her neighbour. She recently turned vegetarian and has started shouting out the windows about not eating meat so obviously something is wrong with her. It's very upsetting.

fluffydressinggown Sat 22-Nov-14 09:09:52

I am sorry this has happened, it sounds very stressful.

It sounds like your sister is on a Section 2, it is for up to 28 days so they can take her off it before then, equally they can change it to a Section 3 which is a treatment order for up to 6 months. Like I say both these are for up to - so she could be taken off it at any time if they feel it is appropriate. They may diagnose her and offer medication or therapy (therapy would be done once she is discharged), it is very personal.

Because it is the weekend she probably won't speak to the ward's psychiatrist until Monday and you might know more then, if you can or want you or a family member can go to these meetings. Your sister can also get an advocate which might be useful - ask the ward staff about this. She can also appeal her section.

The MIND website has lots of helpful information.

Hope this helps.

woodychip Sat 22-Nov-14 09:25:37

Thank you for replying. I don't live near her but my mum does so is taking some things in for her today. They initially said no visitors today, but then they said my parents and her husband could maybe come as she has settled down now. I presume it is in her best interests to stay in so they can help her or diagnose why this has happened. It's the first time so presumably they will find out what is wrong? Or do they just chuck her out when she feels better as they need the bed, who knows?

I will look at MIND, thank you.

fluffydressinggown Sat 22-Nov-14 15:01:21

They will discharge her when they feel she is ready, they may take her off the section and ask her to stay 'informally' which means she is an inpatient but of her own will. They will have a discharge meeting before she is discharged.

If you can send a package to her I am sure it would be appreciated smile

woodychip Sat 22-Nov-14 16:26:09

I have bought some nice nice fluffy pjs for her and will send them for my mum to take in. Will we know in advance how long they will keep her in for or is it decided on a day by day basis?

fluffydressinggown Sat 22-Nov-14 17:43:57

It is decided week by week I would say, they usually plan discharge in advance so they will plan to discharge on x date but obviously they need to feel she is well enough before they decide to plan to discharge her.

woodychip Sat 22-Nov-14 18:42:59

Ok, thanks. This is all new to me but I am so sad at the thought of my five foot nothing sister being handcuffed and pinned down by big policeman and being so distressed. It's all so terrible for her and she must be so distressed and alone.

fluffydressinggown Sat 22-Nov-14 19:18:31

It sounds very difficult sad You also sound like a fantastic sister and I hope she recovers very soon, please do keep us updated x

Tiredemma Sat 22-Nov-14 19:21:30

Has she displayed any similar signs before?

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sat 22-Nov-14 20:20:44

Sorry things have got so difficult for your sister, she is very lucky to have what sounds like a supportive family around her.

The NHS mental health services a pushed to the absolute limits at the moment so rest assured that they won't be keeping her locked up for longer than necessary just for the sake of it, she'll be on constant monitoring and re-assessment to see how she is doing with any medication changes or just with time away from her stressors.

It does sound like she was in a very bad place - locking herself in a room with knives, threatening neighbour, planning to leave the house in an obviously poor mental state. It is a good thing that she is getting the help and hopefully it will be a positive step towards her being able live an easier life at home.

I've had a couple of psychiatric admissions, I've never been sectioned as have "admitted myself" before that point, but once you are in the system it is pretty much the same I thinkz

woodychip Sat 22-Nov-14 21:03:55

She had a bad night as they kept turning on the lights every hour to check everyone was breathing, apparently so she didn't get much sleep. My parents visited her today (I live four hours away and am home alone with dc so can't visit) and she just cried and cried. Her eyes are swollen and her nose is bleeding from so much crying.

She hasn't been this bad before. I think her husband has tried to cope with everything on his own and hasn't wanted to call the doctor but I spoke to him today and he said she has been getting bad for weeks . He was relieved when the doctor arrived after my mum called.

I don't really know what else to do. My mum took some stuff in for her today so she has her phone now and I have texted her, I can't call, I would just start crying and it might upset her. Apparently she asked my mum to tell me and her other brothers and sister that she is sorry... My heart bleeds for her...as if she has anything to be sorry for. She feels she has embarrassed us.

Butterflywings168 Sat 22-Nov-14 23:51:57

Your poor sister. And poor you. You sound very supportive of her so she is lucky in that smile. Am sure PJs and texting are appreciated, keep doing that. I speak from experience - there is so little to do in hospital, so little that is pleasant or enjoyable, it meant a lot when people contacted me in any way.
Just wanted to add that.
Pp is right, it depends which section she is on, 2 or 3, how long she could be in, but it's always 'up to' ie they can remove it at any time if they feel she is better.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sat 22-Nov-14 23:56:40

We had a reading room which nobody else ever went in, so I spent weeks sat in my own private library reading all kinds of things which was almost enjoyable (I said almost) - see if you can send her some lightweight magazines or easy reading books to escape into.

Jigsaws also good way to pass the time and decks of cards if the staff let her keep them.

Butterflywings168 Sun 23-Nov-14 00:16:55

^^ Yy. Lovely friend bringing me silly magazines and chocolate was the highlight of my stay, still remembered years later.
Sadly best novels I ever found were terrible cheap crime novels!

woodychip Sun 23-Nov-14 08:10:25

I will do those things...thanks for the tips everyone.

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