getting sectioned IN the rubber room?

phil_34

Senior Member
This sentene is my own. I know that the phrase 'to be sectioned/get sectioned' exists. I wonder if one can specify which mental institution one is sectioned/sent to. This is present tense narrative.

'And so it happens that his nightmare of getting sectioned in the rubber room 1 comes true.'
 
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    Are you using sectioned used to mean "placed in a section" or "sent to," Phil? If so, I've never heard that before. I'm not saying it doesn't exist - just because I haven't heard of it doesn't mean nobody has - but I don't think it's common, at least not in AmE.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Sectioned' is BrE; it presumably comes from being detained under Section [some number] of [some Act relating to mental health], so it would be specific to this country. I've never heard of anyone being sectioned to somewhere. Nor of rubber rooms being numbered. :)
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    None of us has a problem with rubber room - that's a well-known idiom used in both AmE and BE. It's your use of sectioned that has us AmE speakers puzzled, and it sounds as though Entangled isn't completely familiar with it either, at least not in how you're using it.
     

    Étoile du Nord

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Maybe this will help...

    http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/beingsectionedengland.aspx

    'Being sectioned means being admitted to hospital whether or not you agree to it. The legal authority for your admission to hospital comes from the Mental Health Act rather than from your consent. This is usually because you are unable or unwilling to consent.

    The term ‘sectioned’ just means using a ‘section’ or paragraph from the Mental Health Act as the authority for your detention. A better word is 'detained'. You are detained under the Mental Health Act. The paragraph or ‘section’ number is often used so a patient may be told they are on a section 2 or section 3.'

    It crosses with what Entangledbank was saying.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Rubber room' is used in casually funny or cruel remarks such as 'He belongs in a rubber room!' Talk of a numbered Rubber Room 1 suggests an institution whose official name is the Smallville Municipal Loony Bin - a severe contradiction between official style and joking slang.

    'Sectioned' is more neutral and might be used by mental health professionals. (It refers to the Mental Health Act 1959, I find, which was then replaced by the Mental Health Act 1983.)
     

    phil_34

    Senior Member
    None of us has a problem with rubber room - that's a well-known idiom used in both AmE and BE. It's your use of sectioned that has us AmE speakers puzzled, and it sounds as though Entangled isn't completely familiar with it either, at least not in how you're using it.
    Yes, that's why I've given another possibility. E.g. 'getting sectioned and ending up in the rubber room 1.' What about this?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Americans should be familiar with Section 8 (mentally unfit for military service) from the TV show MASH - Klinger dressed as a woman hoping to be discharged on a Section 8. I don't think it was used as a verb.
    Thesauruses show words that are related in meaning - not exact synonyms. The rubber room is a facility within the asylum. I wouldn't refer to the entire facility that way. Only a few patients need that level of care.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Because I'm familiar with "Section 8" in U.S. military jargon, I can guess your meaning of "sectioned," but as with the other AE speakers above, I've not heard it in the context you provide.

    Getting back to the original question:

    ...getting sectioned and ending up in the rubber room 1.'
    "In the rubber room 1" doesn't make sense. What is the '1' doing here? :confused:

    I presume you understand that you're dancing around the edges of the language here, i.e. indulging in colloquial and regional expressions.

    From Wiki:

    The term Section 8 refers to a former category of discharge from the United States military, that of a member judged mentally unfit for service. It also came to mean any service member given such a discharge or behaving as if deserving such a discharge, as in the expression, "he's a Section 8". The term comes from Section VIII of the World War I-era United States Army Regulation 615-360, which provided for the discharge of those deemed unfit for military service.[1]
     

    phil_34

    Senior Member
    'Rubber room' is used in casually funny or cruel remarks such as 'He belongs in a rubber room!' Talk of a numbered Rubber Room 1 suggests an institution whose official name is the Smallville Municipal Loony Bin - a severe contradiction between official style and joking slang.

    'Sectioned' is more neutral and might be used by mental health professionals. (It refers to the Mental Health Act 1959, I find, which was then replaced by the Mental Health Act 1983.)
    Yes, that's what I intend, to suggest an institution with another name. But instead of always calling them 'mental hospital' or 'mental institution', there are plenty of other names for the nuthouse. I hope it's not too much of a problem to use joking slang as a substitute name for a mental institution. In my book it's pedestrian to always say 'he stayed for 5 days in the mental institution 1' etc.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I hope it's not too much of a problem to use joking slang as a substitute name for a mental institution.
    That all depends upon where you use it. It would get you fired if you were a reporter, public employee or a health professional in the United States.
     

    phil_34

    Senior Member
    Because I'm familiar with "Section 8" in U.S. military jargon, I can guess your meaning of "sectioned," but as with the other AE speakers above, I've not heard it in the context you provide.

    Getting back to the original question:



    "In the rubber room 1" doesn't make sense. What is the '1' doing here? :confused:

    I presume you understand that you're dancing around the edges of the language here, i.e. indulging in colloquial and regional expressions.

    With '1' I mean the first mental institution (there are more than one mental institution I'm talking about, so I number them. I mean, I don't want to be sued by the guys who run the mental institutions so I can't write the real names).

    I'm not aware that I'm 'dancing around the edges of the language' :D. Does that mean the sentence getting sectioned and ending up in the rubber room 1
    would make sense, but mixing 'sectioned' with 'rubber room' is unusual?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    For a short time in the 1960s, one of my jobs was to section people (as Entangledbank describes) if I recall correctly, it was section 25 and section 26 of the Mental Health Act 1959. "I sectioned him to <name of psychiatric hospital> for <insert length of time.>" was used but that was somewhat informal and used when the audience was likely to understand the meaning of "to section".

    The fuller version[1] was, "X was dealt with under [fell within the terms of] section 25 [or 26] of the Mental Health Act and [with the concurrence of Drs X and Y was] admitted to <name of psychiatric hospital>"

    I had never heard "rubber room" but understood it immediately.

    [1] if memory serves.
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    This sentene is my own. I know that the phrase 'to be sectioned/get sectioned' exists. I wonder if one can specify which mental institution one is sectioned/sent to. This is present tense narrative.

    'And so it happens that his nightmare of getting sectioned in the rubber room 1 comes true.'
    The problem with this is that nobody gets "sectioned in the rubber room". They get sectioned in their home, in a police cell, in a non-psychiatric hospital or, occasionally, in a psychiatric hospital. I have a list of relevant anecdotes as long as my arm, but given the nature of medical humour, I'll spare you the details.

    A patient gets sectioned and subsequently becomes detained in a psychiatric unit as an involuntary patient. The verb "to section" refers only to the act of completing the administrative action required by the legislation. It does not act as a verb of motion, so cannot be combined with the destination - the place of detention.

    There's also a linguistic problem. "To section" is a BE verb. "The rubber room" is not a BE noun. Like suzi br, I've never heard the term "rubber room" before seeing this thread, and I have been involved on several occasions in either escorting the patient to the psychiatric unit (in my student days) or assisting the mental health social worker by providing the required signature under the Act.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Andygc said:
    There's also a linguistic problem. "To section" is a BE verb. "The rubber room" is not a BE noun. Like suzi br, I've never heard the term "rubber room" before seeing this thread, and I have been involved on several occasions in either escorting the patient to the psychiatric unit (in my student days) or assisting the mental health social worker by providing the required signature under the Act.
    The other problem with rubber room is that while it sort of refers to the mental institution, what it also refers to is the mental state. If you say somebody went to the rubber room, he didn't just go to the psychiatric hospital - he was crazy enough, or at least perceived as crazy enough, that he was sent to the high-security part of the mental institution. (Myridon also mentions this in post #11.) Rubber room isn't just about the room - it's about what being confined in that room signifies. So I also wouldn't use it to refer to the mental institution as a whole. There are better slangy or colloquial terms if that's what you want to talk about.
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    As Myridon and JustKate have pointed out, "rubber room" is not a general colloquial reference to mental hospitals in general, regardless of what the above-linked site might suggest.

    Padded rooms are, of course, found in psychiatric hospitals. The rooms are built to contain patients likely to do damage to themselves, others or their surroundings.

    The padding prevents patients from harming themselves by beating their heads against the walls (such as some of us here on the forum often feel like doing when we're unable to get some of the finer points of our cherished English language across. :rolleyes:)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I realised what "rubber room" meant. My objection was to the creation of a mid-Atlantic sentence, equally meaningless to both shores.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I realised what "rubber room" meant. My objection was to the creation of a mid-Atlantic sentence, equally meaningless to both shores.
    I agree. That's why I referred to "the other problem" with rubber room. You suggested one problem, and a pretty big one at that, but some of the AmE speakers in the thread are suggesting that there is a second problem.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    phil_34

    Perhaps I can summarise this thread as I have just read it.

    1. You are combining slang terms from different countries. This means that no-one is likely to understand the full phrase wherever they come from.

    2., You are using the terms incorrectly.

    3. Your attempt to avoid actual names makes things even more confusing.

    You say you are writing a book. Please can you say in which country the action takes place. Is it in America, England or somewhere else?

    Instead of saying "Rubber Room 1", or" mental institution 1", couldn't you invent some real-sounding names such as Philville Psychiatric Hospital, Bloggstown. That way you can avoid getting sued but we can see what you mean.


    At the moment I must confess, if I read your book I would have no idea what you were talking about. :)

    ________________________________________
    I'm still not sure what a rubber room is. Is it a hospital or a room in a hospital? :confused:


    (cross-posted)
     
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    phil_34

    Senior Member
    Thanks Andygc for your explanation. I'll use 'sectioned' and 'rubber room' now in the context below. Think/hope that will work. (present tense narrative)

    1) Sarah is sure the doctor thought she was going to be sectioned. In his opinion, the nuthouse is where she belongs.
    2) And so it happens that her nightmare of being institutionalised and ending up in the rubber room 1 comes true. (No. 1 so as not to reveal the name of the mental institution)
     
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    phil_34

    Senior Member
    phil_34

    Perhaps I can summarise this thread as I have just read it.

    1. You are combining slang terms from different countries. This means that no-one is likely to understand the full phrase wherever they come from.

    2., You are using the terms incorrectly.

    3. Your attempt to avoid actual names makes things even more confusing.

    You say you are writing a book. Please can you say in which country the action takes place. Is it in America, England or somewhere else?

    Instead of saying "Rubber Room 1", or" mental institution 1", couldn't you invent some real-sounding names such as Philville Psychiatric Hospital, Bloggstown. That way you can avoid getting sued but we can see what you mean.


    At the moment I must confess, if I read your book I would have no idea what you were talking about. :)


    And what if I write in the preface: 'In order not to be sued, I didn’t reveal the names of any psychiatric hospitals and numbered them instead. E.g. psycho ward 1, loony bin 2, laughing academy 3 etc. So don’t be confused if I talk about ‘the nuthouse 1’.'

    As for mixing words from different countries, please read post 26. I've changed it. The story happened in Switzerland, but I'm trying to use many different ways of expressing the same meaning. E.g. not always 'institutionalised' but also 'sectioned' (I only want to use 'section' in the sentence in post 26).

    Okay as for padded cell and rubber room, I get the meaning. I'll only use it where appropriate (the patient in a safe room so he can't kill himself).
     
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    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    So if I understand correctly, you are only using these terms to avoid using the actual names of hospitals? If that's the case, I urge you to reconsider Biffo's suggestion to use made-up names instead. Using "nuthouse" or "happy home" or whatever in that circumstance, without clear comedic intent, could be quite offensive to patients and their families.
     

    phil_34

    Senior Member
    So if I understand correctly, you are only using these terms to avoid using the actual names of hospitals? If that's the case, I urge you to reconsider Biffo's suggestion to use made-up names instead. Using "nuthouse" or "happy home" or whatever in that circumstance, without clear comedic intent, could be quite offensive to patients and their families.
    I intend to use irreverent terms and poke fun at the institutions. If a patient or one of his family members happened to read my book, I hope they'd take it with a pinch of salt.

    I've changed the sentence above to 'psycho ward 1' instead of rubber room 1. Rubber room I'll only use in contexts where a patient is in a confined space, in a literally padded cell or rubber room.

    If I invent names for the institutions it's going to be a lot of work because those names appear throughout the book (I'm only amending a few details, I've actually finished writing it) and I'm too lazy for that. Also, if I do that I can't call them 'Philville psycho ward' 'Philville funny farm' etc. I intend to use comedic names.

    I hope the explanation in the preface (post 27) is sufficient to understand what I'm talking about.
     
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    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    And in hindsight, I intend to use irreverent terms and poke fun of them because the conditions in there are catastrophic.
    Good luck. If done well, I think this could be quite effective. If not . . . well, I'm sure you'll do it well. You are braver than I would be!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    This sentene is my own. I know that the phrase 'to be sectioned/get sectioned' exists. I wonder if one can specify which mental institution one is sectioned/sent to. This is present tense narrative.

    'And so it happens that his nightmare of getting sectioned in the rubber room 1 comes true.'
    The short answer is no, you cannot do this!
    Even though I never heard it before, I would think rubber room has to equate to padded cell or specific place in the institution, not the whole institution.

    We do not get sectioned IN a padded cell, as Andy points out.

    "His nightmare of getting sectioned to NutHouse Park"would work, since Nuthouse Park sounds more like the name of a real mental hospital. Albeit not a name the health authority would use in real life.
     

    phil_34

    Senior Member
    The short answer is no, you cannot do this!
    Even though I never heard it before, I would think rubber room has to equate to padded cell or specific place in the institution, not the whole institution.

    We do not get sectioned IN a padded cell, as Andy points out.

    "His nightmare of getting sectioned to NutHouse Park"would work, since Nuthouse Park sounds more like the name of a real mental hospital. Albeit not a name the health authority would use in real life.
    Thanks Suzi, I now understand the exact meaning of rubber room and padded cell (it is literally a rubber room/padded cell so the guy in it can't kill himself). I've changed the sentences:

    1) Sarah is sure the doctor thought she was going to be sectioned. In his opinion, the nuthouse is where she belongs.
    2) And so it happens that her nightmare of being institutionalised and ending up in the psycho ward 1 comes true. (No. 1 so as not to reveal the name of the mental institution)

    And in the preface I'll write: 'In order not to be sued, I didn’t reveal the names of any psychiatric hospitals and numbered them instead. E.g. psycho ward 1, loony bin 2, laughing academy 3 etc. So don’t be confused if I talk about ‘the nuthouse 1’.'

    In my opinion, this should avoid confusion.
     
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    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's good that you've given up on "rubber room" to mean a psychiatric hospital, but "ward" is as inappropriate to this use. A ward is a section of a hospital. A hospital might have a psychiatric ward.
     
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