What It's Like to Stay in a Psychiatric Hospital
I have been hospitalized in two different psychiatric hospitals on six different occasions. Two were this year. All were short-term stays(two weeks or less). My first stay was seven years ago, and my last about three months ago.
There was a big difference between the two hospitals I stayed at. One felt safe, and the other didn't. At the safe hospital, there were always security guards around, and the other one, there was only one guard, and he was always in the nurses' station, and not out with the patients.
The first hospital was considered the best in the area. We had our own rooms with a bathroom. There were plenty of nurses and guards. There were security cameras everywhere. This made me feel safe. It was very well organized and professional. The few security issues that occurred were taken care of swiftly. The staff were friendly and helpful. The food was good the first couple of times I was there. We got to choose our meals every day. (The last couple times I was there the food wasn't as good, I'm not sure why, but it wasn't bad).
The classes were OK, but got repetitive in my longer stays. There were some helpful classes like goal setting and anxiety management. There were also art, horticulture, and yoga classes.
I got to keep my phone, there was wifi so I could go online, and there was a computer for patient's use.
Some things I didn't like about the first hospital: There was only one washer and dryer so it was hard to get clothes washed in a timely manner. No smoking. No going outside. No gym. It was hard to get appointment with the psychiatrist sometimes, especially on weekends.
What I liked about the second hospital: washers and dryers I could use any time. I could keep my light on all night. I could stay up at night and go in common room if I wanted. Daily appointment with psychiatrist. Easier to get anxiety and sleep meds.
What I didn't like about second hospital: No cell phones. Not enough security or nurses. People wandering around everywhere day and night. Loud. Some of the patients seemed dangerous. Shared rooms and bathrooms. Horrible food. No food choice.
All of my stays have been voluntary, and have been helpful, especially dealing with med changes.