Published: 20-09-2023 13:30 | Updated: 21-09-2023 07:59

The care helped Sten after the arson

Sten Lundin set his apartment on fire and was convicted of arson. It turned out that he had bipolar disorder and the care he got helped him on feet again. "Life can sometimes turn around. I want everyone to know that", says Sten Lundin.

Sten Lundin Photo: Linnea Bengtsson

Text: Annika Lund, for the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap nr 3 2023 / Spotlight on forensic psychiatric care

When Sten Lundin was a kid he sometimes got intensely interested in different stuff and rubbed teachers the wrong way during fiery discussions. Later in life he ended up in the same role in his professional life - he would be at odds with his bosses when he became too intense and had strong opinions.

"This took a toll on my self-esteem. I stayed in workplaces where I wasn't really happy, felt worse as time went on and despised myself. In my eyes I was almost an evil person who constantly hurt other people a lot", says Sten Lundin.

He started to have suicidal thoughts more and more and they became increasingly concrete. Finally he decided to set his apartment on fire. He thought that he would die from the smoke, but that the fire department would get there before someone else got hurt. 

"But deep down I think I still wanted to live. I left the front door unlocked. In a chaos of exploding windows and melting furniture, I was picked up by a fire-fighter. While I was in my hospital bed I was served with suspicion of arson. My lawyer was a very good person who got me through the court proceedings, where I was sentenced to forensic psychiatric care without a discharge review", says Sten Lundin. 

His care lasted three years. Not a lot happened during the first year, but then in his second year things began to happen and in the third year things progressed rapidly. It turned out that he had bipolar disorder and it is now well treated. That explained a lot to Sten Lundin - he was able to understand all of the times when he had been far too intense earlier in life and ended up at odds with people. 

"In the forensic psychiatric clinic I regained the old abilities that I had lost, such as being nice to other people. Old friends got in touch, my mother and my sister began to recognize me again" he says. 

Sten Lundins psychiatric care sentence ended in 2014. Now he has a life that functions and that he is happy with. 

"Life can sometimes turn around. I want everyone to know that", says Sten Lundin.


Sten Lundin

Age: 57 

Active in: Giving lectures on forensic psychiatry care from a patient perspective. Leader of group counsellor with forensic psychiatric patients at Löwenströmska hospital. Is a trained caretaker in psychiatry, studied the economy programme in high school.