Democrats and Mental Health

Democrats and Mental Health

I didn’t mean to kill myself. Or maybe I did. But it has to count for something that I walked myself down to the local hospital just before 5 a.m. and asked to voluntarily commit myself.

I was lucky. Despite vomiting blood, I had no major internal organ damage and I failed to cut deeply in my attempts to slit my wrists or my throat. They even managed to find me a bed in the psych ward after only 18 hours in the ER. That’s unusual—often times people stay in emergency departments for days before a bed opens up. Or they get shuffled around to different psychiatric units, sometimes out of state.

It was past midnight by the time I finally was cleared by the night-shift psychiatrist and given a bed. The first person to talk to me was a boy who helped me get acclimated to the ward. He told me a bit about himself, how he dropped out of high school and couldn’t keep a job due to his illness. On his 21st birthday, which was my second day in the ward, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He said that all he wanted was to go out to dinner with his mom and four brothers. Later in the week, I learned he was committed for attempting to murder his entire family.

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