Psychiatric Hospitals~How Patients Are Treated!


So, I came home from watching the fireworks tonight, which by the way were great :0) and I thought as I was packing my pills for the week (I have bipolar for 19 years now), I remembered a hospital stay where the nurse/worker on the way out said to me, "You won't need to come back if you take your meds..........."

Let me tell you: after 19 years.....and being a person with alot of attention to detail ....I've never made a mistake nor not taken my meds...EVER! (except a few times but rarely.) What a "jerk" !!! (Telling me if I took my pills..yeah right!) So here I'm going to tell you what hospitals are like and maybe it will help improve things? And for those of you, who are afraid of hospitals...who need to go...don't be...it's important to help YOU and these are just some minor things...as long as you're a good patient you don't need to worry.

My first stay 19 years ago, I felt paranoid and stressed going in and it was sorta foggy but I was transferred to a kid hopsital I think it was, and I liked it cause they gave us lots of ice cream and we had a dance contest and I had a nice roommate, a girl who I don't remember her name, and we had nice talks. This first stay was when I was put on meds for the first time. You can't really avoid the hospital to get put on meds because they need to monitor you to make sure they give you the right kind and the right dose. (Today is July 3, 2011 and I want to note that recently Catherine Zeta Jones went into the hospital for 5 days.....it happens to all races, all types of people, bipolar is brought on by extreme stress...Millions of Americans have bipolar.)

Okay, next time was 5 years later and a 5 day stay. Not bad.

3rd time was a year ago, I wanted readjustment with some meds and it didn't even happen.

Fourth time was the worst. 3 1/2 weeks (because they promised me housing which did NOT happen). It was a SMALL all woman's unit. I had a roommate who stunk to high heaven...but at least she was nice...This was the place where the nurse on the way out said "If you took your meds.." blah. This place was annoying because they wouldn't let you hold like anything in your room, not shampoo, not a brush, and you had to ask everytime you even wanted to write with a pen.

Being on a small unit, for 3 1/2 weeks is not what I call fun. We had smoke breaks and after 2 weeks I gave in and starting smoking out of pure boredom. I like my doctor, he seemed adequate, and some of the staff were nice but never the night staff they just find it annoying if you wake up for whatever reason. I guess most of the day staff, mainly women were nice, I guess, and the groups they had were good.

I remember reading to an old lady who had no glasses and it made me feel good to help her. One lady was there for shock treatments. Other people had anger issues, med issues, or other things like self harm.

But the worst part was having to ask all the time for anything and everything. Many other hospitals let you keep toothpaste, toothbrush, a comb, deoderant, soap etc. As you know, I write alot, so I had to ask for pens...By the time I left I had filled an entire black composition notebook and started on a new one.

Discharge

The last few days sucked and I knew they weren't going to actually get me the housing I wanted (which is nothing new, they pretend you things in alot of these places) so I signed myself out to make sure I was leaving. Signing yourself out means they have to let you leave in 3 business days unless a court orders you to stay for good reason (rare). Well I was planned for discharge that day anyways (I just wanted to be sure) and my (supposedly nice) doctor said so in an unfriendly way, "Well you were leaving anyways."

As I was actually being discharged........all of a sudden the "nice" nurses/workers were in a huge hurry and totally business like, like hurry up, grab this, get your meds, let's sign you out, sign here, hurry, hurry, and they forgot something as USUAL, that was to refer me to a day treatment and they called me on my way home and wanted me to come back, yeah right, not going back there. Then they just left me in the reception area, (I had barely time to grab my things)..until my ride came.

Why would someone willingly go to a (psych) hospital?

The main reason is the willingness to get help for themselves. Another reason to keep themselves safe, if they are feeling suicidal or not well. Periodically people with mental illness need a change in their meds, or like I mentioned above, a man's son committed suicide and he was devastated and felt unsafe himself, there are lots of reasons and it's damn smart too because "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

This hub by lambservant is a very accurate and detailed account of what a hospital stay would be like. Please click here.

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Comments 11 comments

bbnix profile image

bbnix 5 years ago from Southern California

A beautiful write sweetie... Very informative...and helpful...

It takes a lot to write like this, about your struggles...congrats..on this and your continuing success..

You're way cool, blondey...and I'm happy to be your friend...

Still working on a piece on me...hah trying to catch up..

Keep writing luv...

bb


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi bb! Nice to see you...Yeah I've been looking at your page to find new hubs..lol...I haven't had much passion lately for poetry on my blondey acct.

Thanks dude, I miss our chats/talks/banters ttys


bbnix profile image

bbnix 5 years ago from Southern California

I'm here even when we're not talking directly...you know that... hang in there..I know you get a little stronger every day..I can see it ...Godspeed, my dear friend...


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

Thankyou! :)


lambservant 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your experiences SGFR. I have been a frequent flyer in mental health units. I have been to 4 different places and was treated well at every place. There were some minor annoyances, but all in all, I had very positive experiences. The thing about objects is is that they have learned by experience that not all patients are stable enough or trustworthy enough to be in possesion of such objects as pens and such. It is very inconvenient and makes some feel demeanded etc. But it is absolutely neccessary to protect the patients at all costs. Throwing a pen is not really a big deal on the surface, but the thing is, the staff has no way of knowing whether this person's anger and lack of control is going to snowball and increase, or what. A thrown pen can poke someones eye. These are seasoned professionals who run these units and they have seen it all. It frustrating no doubt, but it's neccessary for all involved because some people are just not in control. Things can escalate very quickly.

About a year ago I was sent to a facility for a 24 hour stay. It was not strictly a mental health unit, but most of the "guests" were mental health patients. Since it was not an inpatient or treatment facility, but rather just a place to get stable to avoid hospitalization, it was a very scary place. There was a gentlman (and I just that term very very loosely) that was very hostile and beligerent with me. He was yelling and every other word was the F-bomb. I was very frightened because he seemed to escalate as the minutes ticked on. This was in the common area and there were hords of staff right across the hall (less than 12 feet) who heard what was going on. There was on staff in the room. He didn't even look up from what he was doing. I asked him if he would intervene and he just ignored me. So I stepped across the hall and asked for help because I was so afraid. The staff member said,"you have to take into consideration his needs to. He is here with illness too." I said that they are there to provide a safe environment and I did not feel safe. she was imposed upon and sent ME to my room. I stayed there for a short time but my roommate was snoring like a buzz saw and there was nothing in the room but two recliners (which we used as beds). I finally went back out and he was gone for a short time. When he came back he sat at the table and chatted with the staff for about an hour and about the last 20 minutes he started getting angry about something in his life and began to threaten and berate the staff as he had done to me. They tried to give him an emergency tranquilizerm the only medication they had on the premisis and of course he refused and kicked him out. What a double standard. There were some very ill persons in there who were unmedicated and untended and were very sick. It broke my heart. When I got out I reported them in several ways and the director contacted me several months later, took my statement, sent me paperwork to file a complaint and said there was a meeting scheduled to discuss my complaints and some changes were going to happen. I don't know if they did. The point is, mental patients can be very unpredictable, unstable, and it is for our protection that they make certain rules in the wards. I for one am grateful for it, despite the inconvenience.

You are a good patient by making sure you are getting the right meds. I do the same. I have found that the doctors are not always the top quality we would like. The place I go to most often I have always requested the best dr. He knows me well and always agrees to take me on. Many mental health patients are in crisis when they come in and don't know that they have a voice. As long as you are respectful and firm and reasonable, you should be able to meet staffing or ward challenges that come along.

You posed a question about why would someone want to go to a psych ward? Your response was right on. The stigma attached to being on a psych ward is so terrible that it is considered shameful, and it makes it hard for many to go the first time. At this point, I never want to have to go, but I have gone on my own because it is, as you say, a place of safety. It is a place to process with professionals what your immediate crisis is and be safe. It gives you a chance to take a break from the crisis to get stable enough to go home and deal with it. You get lots of resournces too. You are very courageous schoolgirl for sharing your experience. There are good places and bad places. I have been fortunate to be in good places. Love you sweet pea. Take care.


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi lambservant, thankyou for commenting! Boy do we have alot in common:)

Yes, I understand they do it for everyone's safety as some are not as safe as others, but different hospitals do it different ways. I do understand, guess I was venting a bit!

That's awful that you had that experience with that guy who scared you. I would hate to be in a place with someone like that. That alone could make someone afraid to go to these places, but in mine, and I'm sure in your experience, it's rare, and yes it's wise to ask for the same doctor and try and go to the same place...I try to do that also...if that place is available.

I basically had only been in the hospital twice until a year ago for trying to get help with anxiety and twice this year due to personal issues. I pride myself on holding on with as many coping skills as possible, and for being smart enough to watch the medications I'm given. Yes if people benefit then great. Thankyou for commenting. It helped me to vent and I'm not ashamed of talking about it because this is a very common "disease" that many people have including celebs, and so "screw the stigma"....Take care yourself :) ;)


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Rose, very well written hub, glad you are doing better now!


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Kashmir, I am doing well :)


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

lambservant,

I just edited this hub, so the part about throwing a pencil, is gone. Thanks though! Felt this needed a little editing!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I just wrote a hub on this subject. http://lambservant.hubpages.com/hub/What-to-Expect...


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA Author

Thankyou, lambservant! You did an INCREDIBLE JOB!

I put your link at the bottom of my hub above. I couldn't have explained it better! Anyone who needs to know more about what the hospital stay is like in a psych unit, read her hub :)

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