Trina, a college student, 21 years old
Fall quarter I called Suicide Prevention. I'd called them before and the people were nice, but this time the woman acted a little indignant. "Why the hell do you want to do something like that?" she asked. We talked until she said she had other phone calls. But she made me promise I wouldn't try it without calling back first. I had a bottle of Coricidin from a wisdom tooth operation. I'd been thinking about it for a month off and on. Much later that night I took ten Coricidin and went to bed. I woke up in the morning feeling really rotten -- weepy, groggy. I could hardly move I thought I was going to die any minute. My roommate came home and got a friend to drive me to the school infirmary, where they gave me something that made me sick to my stomach. The doctor who gave it to me calmed me down. She said it happens to a lot of people, the pills wouldn't hurt me. I felt tingly, like I might pass out any minute.
I was immediately taken in a wheelchair to the psychiatrist's office. I talked to him about five minutes. He kept yelling ta me about why did I take the pills, why didn't I do this or that. I remember thinking, boy this man is a real jerk. I told him I didn't want to see him any more. He said, "That's fine," and put me in a locked room with bars on the windows. I couldn't make phone calls. I felt humiliated, which made me angry. I'm not crazy. I'm not weird. I don't want people to look at me like I'm nuts. I'm not some nutty kid who tried to knock herself off. I was most angry at being stuck in that room. I expected to be put in a straitjacket any minute. I complained until they moved me a pretty room and let me make phone calls.
I was there about two weeks. My psychiatrist kept harping at me about school -- was I going to stay in or drop out? I saw him ten minutes a day. The other patients and one orderly helped me a lot more than he did. I just wanted to find a place where I could be alone and think about things. I left feeling like not much had been accomplished, except letting me know that I didn't want to attempt it again. No -- I feel like I've become a lot more sensitive to people. I don't look at their problems as trivial any more. I almost like it when my friends come to me with problems. I feel like I can help now. I still haven't told the two people I was most angry at -- my father and my boyfriend -- why I was in the hospital.