Tag Archives: Force

I – #AtoZChallenge on Mental Health

Welcome to the letter I post of my #AtoZChallenge on mental health. This was a hard letter again, but I stil have a few words for you. Here goes.

Intramuscular Injections

Antipsychotics can be taken by mouth, but many can also be injected in a patient’s muscle. That way, they need to be administered only once every week or two rather than taken daily, because in a muscle, they’re absorbed slowly and steadily. Intramuscular injections, also caled “depot medication”, are often used on patients who refuse oral medication.

Involuntary commitment

Like I said in my letter D post when discussing danger, patients who are a danger to themselves or others can be committed to a psychiatric hopsital involuntarily. In the Netherlands, there are several ways a patient can be committed involuntarily. In acute situations when a patient is a grave danger to themselves or others, they can be taken into care with the mayor’s approva. Usually, this takes the form of a simple phone call by a psychiatrist to the mayor (or their substitute), who will almost automatically give the go-ahead. A judge will see the patient committed this way within a few days and approve or deny the involuntary commitment. An acute section lasts three weeks and can be prolonged with another three weeks once.

If a situation is less of an acute problem or after at most six weeks on an acute section, a patient can be brought to a judge for a longer section. A patient does not need to be an immediate and grave danger to themselves or others; merely being a danger suffices.

There are two newer forms of commitment too. First, there’s the observation section, which lasts three weeks and is meant for people who haven’t yet been diagnosed with a mental illness and aren’t a grave, acute danger either. A patient on an observation section can’t be subjected to force. A patient who realizes they might become a danger at some point, can file for self-commitment, indicating they will be admitted to a hospital and treated if certain criteria have been met, whether they want to at this time or not.

A patient can’t at this point be forced into outpatient treatment unless through a provesional section, threatening involuntary inpatient treatment if they don’t comply with their treatment plan while in the community. The government is trying to change the law so that patients can in fact be forced into any form of mental health treatment.

Advertisements

F – #AtoZChallenge on Mental Health

Welcome to my letter F poost in the #AtoZChallenge on mental health. I hope you are enjoying and learning from the challenge so far. For this post, I have a few new words for you.

Food

No, I don’t mean to discuss how mental illness impacts one’s relationship with food, though it can often change ot “It’s complicated”. I want to discuss institution food. Yes, it is as bad as you thought it’d be. We used to be able to pick something that wasn’t too bad off the menu, but now that we get the food in bulk, the nurses decide what everyone will eat. It’s so bad that if you’re a vegetarian new to the unit, you may need to wait a week or two before you get your veggie burger. I don’t know whether the same is true if you have a food intolerance.

Force

I’ve discussed words that relate to this one, such as control and dependence. Force can only be used on people who are invooluntarily committed to the hospital or in emergency situations. For example, if someone is attacking a nurse, they don’t need to wait to get the patient sectioned before using solitary confinement or rapid tranquilization. Though force cannot be used unless a patient has been involuntarily committed or there’s an emergency, coercion can be used pretty much whenever the staff see fit. In 2008, when I was on the locked unit, I was threatened with a section or forced discharge if I didn’t consent to solitary confinement.

Forensic Unit

Until the early 1990s, the only forensic psychiatric units that existed in the Netherladns were either state hospitals or specific prison units. A person can’t be sent to a state hospital on a forensic section unless they’ve committed a violent or sexual crime. In fact, until a few years ago, people who had merely threatened violence could only be sent to a state hospital for four years at most.

Now, many regular mental institutions have forensic units. These are used as a step down from a state hospital for people who are ready for resocialization or for people convicted of less serious crimes. Forensic psychiatric units also serve people who are at risk of coming into contact with the criminal justice system.