We often get suicidal and mentally distressed people. Sometimes they’re people who’ve stopped their medication, other times it their partner calling because they’re the ones being put at risk from spouse abuse or issues with not being able to cope.
Alzheimers/dementia is the main cause and often the patient is barely aware of themselves being abusive. They will often forget they had tried to kill themselves or that they’ve lashed out at people. Once I got a call from an elderly wife whose husband had attempted suicide by hanging, had survived and then from the shock to his system couldn’t figure out why he was so distressed and upset… on being told he’d just tried to kill himself he instantly relapsed and again became suicidal.
Other’s have had grown men call me up worried because their wives are hitting them. Dear god you wouldn’t believe how true to life those case studies can be with these things. It’s like they’ve taken a few examples from life and now it’s replaying carbon copy in front of me. Bipolar and all sorts. Too many examples to list but across the board from kids to elderly have been safeguarded due to family members under distress.
The single worst experience which I try not to remember at all or dwell on but I will put here so that it is somewhere people can read without having to ask me ever again, is Steve. Now Steve was a schizophrenic who was VERY depressed but as reality happens sometimes he hadn’t got his meds in time. He had a history with the service, we knew about his call as soon as the number popped up so even before he’d said anything I was looking at a break down of his case history and realised what was going on… (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS the reason I have found for people relapsing is coming off their meds. You think a person coming off a recreational drug is suffering try something that’s stopping you see people that aren’t there.) Steve wasn’t giving me his location the most I could get out of him was the hospital name the fact he was currently in the middle of killing himself.
He wanted me to know what was happening so someone would be able to take care of his cat of all things. After 10 minutes of me trying pathetically to convince him not to do anything (he was already past his point of reasoning) all I heard was a loud THUNK and the phone smashing into the ground before it going 100% dead)
*no-ones going to find me i’ve made sure of it……CLANK….CRASH….*CLICK*…..’
what hospital was he at? (already up on Google), 999? fuck off pathways he’s at a hospital you can’t dispatch an ambulance where it’s already at!
what’s the switchboard number! (shit!…bing is a piece of shit!……goto google…. fuck why is the server lagging?!…. )
fuck the time limits here what’s the number… ok …. 9…01737…. ok done.
Next I have to get the operator to connect me with security which is taking an age because this poor chump is only there to take calls from concerned patients not me. 5 minutes later I get through to the on call security.
*yeah I know Steve, he was in A&E earlier and waving a knife around so I took it off him and said he can wait for the doctor*
sound a bit bizarre? Well yes but not unusual.. If people are waving a knife around but you can calm them down you’re not going to refuse treatment if they’re now no longer a threat to the staff. As always they are more a threat to themselves due to desperation.
Reality here being it’s 2am and A&E is not packed but there is bugger all doctors on site to deal with every person coming in on a Monday night. So where were we? Yes it’s now left to the security guard to find him. Guard knew he was around A&E only a few minutes before and everywhere was locked up. He had to be SOMEWHERE nearby. It’s still a busy hospital even at night
Not something I want to ever listen to again. Knowing he was probably dead. Came in next shift 3pm and Steve had called in at 6am for his meds. He was alive?! Lucky bastard!, though no idea his physical state. One might laugh at the comical nature of the setup, being it so predictable, but you’d be somewhat correct if you were to assume it as some kind of twisted black comedy. Fuck overtime shifts on a late night.