I have been in the A & E 3 times this couple of months – I am presenting as suicidal. I gave my story again and again – endless waiting in the lounge – together with my mother – who is and feels as lost as I am. Finally a mental health nurse or psychiatrist calls me in. I enter this tiny, bare room- a chair and an examining bed. I am asked about my symptoms. My despair is named ‘Symptoms’, nobody asks about my life, what may have happened to me – all very cold and clinical. One nurse says ‘Prozac makes people suicidal – go home and keep taking the tablets!’, he said, ‘it is normal to feel suicidal with some drugs’. I wanted to be asked about my suffering, what brought me there, what it feels like to want to take your life, but no- symptoms and tablets and dosage. I decided I would not go to A & E again – not over my dead body!
Creative writing and drawing , ‘In My Shoes’, START (arts-based mental health project) in Manchester, 2010