Isolated in a Side Room at the Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen

On 30th November 2021 I came to in a side room of what I later found out was Fyvie ward, which was for young people. They put me there because there was nowhere in a more appropriate ward. I was completely disoriented because I didn't know where I was or how I got there, but I had a feeling that I didn’t belong there (which was not completely irrational). I was hallucinating while alone in the side room and fantasised about being a stowaway on a ship. Now that I am beginning to recall more of that time I realise that fantasising doesn't adequately describe my experience. It was like an extended dream. The ship was my drugged reality, for I don't know how long, but certainly several days. There was an outer deck with tables and chairs and a glass partition, a corridor lined with dark panelling, with the place where we went to eat on the right-hand side towards the end. On the left-hand side I found a door that took me down to a space in the bowels of the ship where I went to sleep. I can still picture it - it had a light high up, some safety notices on the wall and stairs with a metal handrail leading down to it. One night the heating went off and I thought that I was in danger of freezing to death, but then someone must have realised that I was there and it became warm again. As I think about that time more fragments about being on the ship emerge from my memory.

Far from helping me, entering hospital had made me a lot lot worse. I was diagnosed as having psychotic depression and was beginning further drug treatment after the Olanzapine, Sertraline, Diazepam and Zopiclone I had been given during less than three days in the Gilbert Bain, the Lorenzepam they had used to knock me out for the plane flight, and shortly after being given an injection to stop my body producing testosterone. It is difficult to distinguish between the underlying depression, the side effects of the injection, the result of my body getting used to the powerful psychiatric drugs, and the despair of suddenly being confined on my own against my will in an alien environment far from home and any friends, with a terminal cancer diagnosis and no contact with anyone in the outside world. I wasn't psychotic before I entered hospital in Lerwick. After reading about their effects it seems to me that suddenly being given the powerful drugs was the main cause of my problems. I was unshaven, hadn’t had a haircut or a shower for a long time, and only had the work clothes that I had on when I was admitted in Shetland plus the few unsuitable things that my cousin had dropped off in Lerwick. I was extremely constipated and laxatives didn't seem to be having any effect. I didn't know that it was possible to go for weeks without having a shit. Instead of taking my concerns seriously and giving me suppositories or an enema, as happened much later, the consultant psychiatrist, Dr Jane Murdoch, stated in her submission to the Tribunal considering a Compulsory Treatment Order that I wished to commit unconscious suicide by filling up with faeces and dying as a result (!) I wasn't constipated while staying with my cousin in Shetland, and my notes from the Gilbert Bain Hospital suggest that I was eating normally there. If my appetite was not good when I was in Fyvie it is not surprising. I have since read that constipation is a side effect of all three of the drugs that I was being given.

Shortly after I arrived the nurses came to believe that I was suicidal. I was never going to do anything to kill myself - I had thought that my life was over because I had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and now I was totally isolated and confined against my will in a strange city with no reassurance about my prognosis. Nevertheless, they came into the room and took the laces out of my boots, a phone charger cord and my belt. They then sat on chairs at the doorway in relays, watching me. They seemed to be pissed off about having to do this. I can’t remember how long this went on for, but they eventually stopped doing it. This certainly didn't improve my mental state.