Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Gail Porter: 'I saw a man slash his wrists in psychiatric unit'

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Gail Porter has revealed she still has nightmares about her recent stay in a psychiatric unit.

The TV presenter was sectioned earlier this year after an emotional phone call to her boyfriend prompted him to call the police.

Gail, who has suffered from depression since the age of 19, told Metro that she was having a bad day when she made the call.

"I tried to tell my partner how I was feeling on the phone and it came across badly and I sounded suicidal, which I wasn't, and he phoned the police," she explained.

"The authorities got involved, it got out of my control and I got sectioned... Within 24 hours I'd gone from getting up at home to being in a psychiatric unit being given drugs."
The experience left Porter frightened and disturbed by what she had seen.

"I still have nightmares about it," she went on. "I have no idea why they put me in there other than that they didn't know what else to do with me.

"Some people in there were really intelligent, had good jobs, but every few months they'd be crippled by depression and end up in a psychiatric unit.

"Then there were other people who were absolutely barking. The woman in the next room spent the nights talking to God through her toilet and a man cut his wrists in front of me."

Gail was detained for a total of 17 days but was released "wanting to take sleeping tablets every night" and with only a helpline number to aid her recovery.

"One in four people suffer from depression in Britain," she added. "So many people are on waiting lists. It feels like we've gone back 100 years. It's a genuine illness."

What do you think - will Gail's story help raise awareness of depression, its effects and treatment? Leave a comment below...

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