This is like having to choose between a rock and a hard place. The only scenario I would imagine myself in either place is participating in some kind of outreach. But to be stuck there? That would surely be the longest fourteen days of my life!
First of all, unlike the western movies which portray some level of ‘sanity’ and sanitation in their psych hospitals and prisons, these two places are the worst places one can find himself in Ghana. I wonder if people get rehabilitated and reformed after staying there for a while. In a country where nurses have to go on strike because drugs are not available for the patients who live there in deplorable conditions just like those in the prisons where inmates are packed like sardines, it would be a total horror to be stuck in either place for even a day.
So let me imagine myself in an ‘ideal’ setting of a psych hospital and prison. Which would be less traumatizing?
Seeing myself in the ‘Prison Break’ kind of prison, being told when to sleep and wake up, eating what is given you (must initially be tasteless butt would get used to it after a while) when to wash down and hang around the court, wearing the orange jumpsuit…kind of feels like typical boarding school to me. And since I’m already the indoor-kind of person, I think I can psyche myself to adapt for the 2-week period. Easier said than done, I know.
But a psych hospital? Even in a western movie, a scene there doesn’t look pretty. Patients walking around, each one talking to and screaming and laughing at himself or herself is potent enough to drive a sane person nuts. And besides, it’s said that we are all abnormal in some sorts, right? What if the staff force me to take some of their psychotic drugs and I find myself hallucinating and acting crazy too?
I’m sure by the time my people discover I’ve been stuck at the psych hospital for two weeks and decide to come for me, I would be diagnosed as having gone mental and thus recommended to be left there. Nope…just thinking of it gives me the chills.
Prison is horrible but at least the people there have the mental faculties screwed on right. So I stand the chance of not getting hurt ‘accidentally’ by a mental person (unless I happen to make enemies at the yard). But come to think of it, hanging around people with criminal tendencies doesn’t sound safe at all!
It’s a tough one, I’d admit. But a psych hospital is a Not Not for me.
What do you think? Which place is the lesser of two evils for you and why? I would love to read your thoughts!
© Josephine Amoako 2016