My Real Personal Experience Of Being In A Mental Hosp./psych Ward!So this is my REAL experience of being in the psych ward/ mental institution five times in my 18th year of life. I have quite a few issues, and as my username states, I have indeed unfortunately missed out on my teenage Golden Years.
A tiny bit of backstory: Okay so my First time started when I had a complete nervous breakdown, I literally could not look at myself in the mirror without crying, I hated my appearance so much that I insisted I wanted to kill myself and rip off my face ( literally). This probably started because of some intense bullying in my first two years of highschool. I also have EXTREME agoraphobia, ritualistic OCD, anxiety, and suicidal ideations.
So anyways let's skip ahead to when my parents took me to a hospital a few towns away from where we lived so noone we knew would see me there, yea later I found out this is typical of people to do. So I get to the ER, and by now my eyes are out of tears so they are asking me what's wrong but I really can't tell them, so I start to panic and hyperventilate. They decide I need to be "evaluated". In order to do this you must agree to go through these doors to a back area, and once you let them take you through those doors, there is NO backing out. Thats literally all the ER people could tell me. I was scared and had many questions about what would happen once I went through those doors, " Are my parents allowed in?, How long will I be in their for? Where will they send me? What will they do with me? Can I keep my personal possessions with me?". They couldn't, rather would Not, answer me any of my questions. And no one from behind those doors would come out to talk to me and explain. I had to go to them. So I decided I had no other choice, I had to go through those god damn doors.
So I decide to go through, and the place behind the doors literally looks like a concrete ba
After this, they take you to a " room" which is really just a small space with two walls on each side and a curtain in front, with a wall and a "ba
I remember one old guy in particular who kept falling asleep on the ground and crawling around, he was also tending to his chair as if it were a living thing. It's hard to feel sorry for these people when you feel so miserable yourself, mostly I was just intrigued by them. I almost wished I was them, so that I couldnt comprehend my own terrible thoughts. My mind was what was killing me and I wanted it gone, gone like the wind, so I could be free, even if it meant turning into a "real" nutcase.
So my dad is finally allowed in( my mom had kind of had it with me, she didn't really like dealing with me at all) He had to explain what was going on to the evaluating nurse because I was so out of it, I couldn't even speak without balling my eyes out. She came over to me and told me she didn't see what I was seeing, ofcourse I didn't believe her for one second, but what are you guna do? Ya know.
So she asks me a few questions, the main one being do I want to harm myself, which I reluctantly nodded to, she wrote a few things down and then came out with it. She wanted me to "voluntarily" sign myself into the mental institution across the street. So what this really means is if I don't " voluntarily" sign myself in, I will be "involuntarily" put in the psych ward/ mental institution and that's worse so I agreed to voluntarily sign myself in. I had to sign a paper, they then gave me info pamphlets of the institution across the street, it had stuff about visiting hours,patient rights, etc, not much to go on.
I then had to wait another 2 hours before someone came with a wheelchair to take me across the way. My dad was not allowed to come with me. So one guy wheels me out through the double doors while another dude Carries my brown paper bags. They take me to a shuttle bus type thing, wheel me in, and off I go. In a few minutes we arrive at the "ward". I am taken up an elevator to one of the adult floors which I later learn was the floor for the. "least crazy" people and had the most liked staff according to the other patients there.
So anyways we get to The floor and they ring a buzzer to unlock the door, I am then Wheeled in to my new home for a week. It definitely had a hospital look to it. Right when you go in, there's the nurses desk and to the left there is the patient area with a tv surrounded by many many chairs and love seats, also Near this area is one table cornered by shelves of arts, crafts, and games. There's also a book shelf near the tv, that had some books and old VHS tapes.
So they take me past that area, to the nurses station, where they sit me down and take my blood pressure and nurses take my paper bags behind the desk into an office where they go through them. While they are busy combing through my possessions, I am taken by a nurse and a doctor to an exam room to the right of the nurses station in one of the two hallways.
This is where they really check you out to see if youve got any goods on you. I had to go in and remove my robe, pull my bra from my chest to shake it out, and do the same with my underwear. Luckily the nurse and doctor are both female, but still one of them sees how humiliated I am and as I remember says " god, I hate this, it's not like we are in a prison" and yes it was exactly like how they ***** you down before you to your jail cell.
After that, they took me to my room which is the plainest most bland place In the whole ward.there are two beds. They are so close to the ground that they look like someone laid out a couple of air mattresses. The walls are a dark blue and bare except for a single paged white calendar on each side of the , there are also two desks and two chairs, one for each side, followed by one large window on the far end of the room that looks out onto the some pretty scummy streets, the window is also impossible to open, obviously considering we are pretty high off the ground. There is also one bathroom with a shower, which wasnt bad for a psych ward.
They then brought me my paper bags which were quite reduced in weight, this made me pretty pissed off, my dad had brought all my toiletry items from a big bag of stuff in my bedroom so i wasnt sure what was there in the first placd until they told me the next day when they showed me the stuff in a locked closet, this stuff can only be used under supervision , they took away things such as my hair clips that had metAl on them, my compact mirror, dental floss( hmm, i wonder if theyve ever actually had a case of dental floss being used to self strangle) they took anything with metal or sharp edges, they also took things that i
Couldn't for the life of me think why! Also any electronics like cell phones, iPods are taken away, no plastic bags, no pens, no razors, alcohol ba
And after this i went straight to bed cuz I was so tired. The next day was Saturday, and they wake you up at like 7 in the morning. Let me tell you, I wa in NO mood. I moaned and said no but they are so tough on you, they take the blankets away and say you HAVE to eat breakfast, you HAVE to come get your blood pressure done, and since it was my first day I had to go see the "Phlebotomist"( the word scared me enough but when I found out what it meant, It was my worst nightmare because I have a Deathly fear of needles, I can't even get my finger pricked for a physical without being held down even at the age of eighteen) so yes, you guessed it, a phlebotomist is someone who draws blood.
They took me to her first, I sat on the chair and she put the blue tunicate thing on me which i equally hate and she says " okay mama, here we go" i was scared as **** but I had worse things to deal with, so I sat through it. I am not queasy at the sight of blood, I am just scared out of my mind to watch a needle go into my vein, but as soon as it was over and I got up and this weird feeling came over me. I felt a cool rush to my head down to my toes, then It turned warm and I couldn't hear or speak. I fainted. I heard people rush towards me and they lightly smacked me on the face and were saying oh god, wake up, is she faint at the sight of blood? I could barely hear but I mumbled that no I wasn't faint at the sight of blood. I think it was just all the stress of being in an unfamiliar place with Aton of people when I hadn't left my house or associated with anyone for almost 3 years, But yea they didn't really care what I said, they just lifted me up and got a wheel chair and took me back to bed.
They put a green band that stood for "fall risk" on me along with my identification band. I wasn't allowed to get upwithout asking. My blood pressure was dangerously low and I was white as a ghost, almost green looking but never once did they decide to get actual medical attention or send me back to the actual hospital. I always found this strange, what if something was seriously wrong? Weird huh? The doctors have to be called up, which they never did, the psych ward only has very inexperienced nurses on weekends. And nurses and psych teams during the week.
This was my next dilemma, I had arrived on a weekend, the worst time to arrive to the psych ward because you are left to your own doing, no psych people, psychologists, Psychiatrists, etc. Well once i learned this, I again had a nervous breakdown, no one was helping me. You do not leave a mentally ill individual by them selves on their first new day at the psych ward. big mistake.
By that night, I was in the hallway crying and screaming, going nuts, saying I wanted OUT. I wanted my mommy, Seriously, I was pretty pathetic, but don't knock me. It's a hard first day, and when your in that kind of situation you literally revert to being child-like. Temper tantrums and all. One of the male nurses sat down next to me on the hallway where I started to have "ticks" almost like someone with Tourette's( this can happen to a normal person under extreme duress) he told me if I didn't stop scream-crying that they would have to sedate me and put me in restraints.
Restraints, that started to shut me up. But I was still angry and upset and asked why the hell cant I cry if I'm not hurting anyone, you don't understand, you don't understand me.( and even though they have had their share of crazies, I came to learn I was pretty much their first case of my particular condition and they really Did Not understand what was going on in my head).
Finally it was late night visiting hours and my parents (who are divorced) got buzzed in, I ran to them like a baby and hugged my mom and I started balling and saying I wants to leave. Now. I was right by the patient area and let me tell you, I was quite the nights entertainment. In a negative way.
From afar I probably looked like a spoiled crybaby but I am far far from it. I was taken into the dining area/room where visitors go, and they explained to my parents the weekend situation and that I wasn't going anywhere. Soon they had to leave, and as soon as they did I went nuts again. Crying myself to my room, where I threw myself into sleep. On Sunday I pretty much kept to myself, I had zilch confidence to go interact with the other patients, I realY don't remember sunday that much, it's kind of a blur. Sorry.
Anyways Monday, I am let to sleep late, thank you thank you. But by ten or eleven, I am woken and it's time for yet another evaluation, for my psych team has arrived. I am taken into a conference room, where I hide behind my hair(the only thing I can stand about myself) so there's this one Indian lady, she's the one in charge, and then there this Hispanic/white lady, who I immediately disliked. She had one of those calm voices that try's to lull you into asking questions, but really it's more annoying than anything, she was also quite the pretty, she had a cute face and a sparkle to her eyes, I immediately knew she would never understand my situation or suffering no matter how hard she tried.
At first the two were easy with me, but when I refused to speak or show my face, they became a little tougher and agitated, pretty soon I told them what we going on, that I thought I looked like a monster, that I was weird and ugly looking, a tad deformed. They were very confused by what I was saying, at first they thought I was literally seeing a monster in the mirror ( like a green big hairy monster) no, sorry psych team, I'm not THAT insane). Once they got the point they decided to put me on Zoloft for the morning, risperidone at night, and adderhall when I needed it.
After this, I was kind of emotionally scarred from spilling my guts, and I went to my room, ( forgot to mention I was so crazy and disturbed when I arrived that they decided to give me the room that didn't have a roommate....yet). I don't remember if it was the same day or the next but I finally said **** it and went to the patient area, people were staring, yea cuz I was the new crazy, but I tried to ignore them. I was looking at a chess board and checker board when I looked over at the craft table to see this middle aged bLack man looking at me. He smiled and motioned " do you want to play".
I immediately knew I was guna like him. He was very kind and taught me to play chess, he was very patient with me and went through every move with me, making sure he let me win :). After this I taught HIM how to play checkers, haha, who knew I'd ever meet someone who didn't know how to play checkers? I did Not let him win, I am a beast at checkers. Love that game. This guy was my first new friend at the psych ward, things were looking up.
My next new friend was a black woman with crazy hair and an even crazier personality, she literally "made my life" while I was stuck in this place. She was funny as hell and later on in the week while I was having a small breakdown in my room, she tried to escape! Haha. Truth, I was so pissed that I missed it. It was the talk of the ward. Supposedly she hid behind a crevice near the buzzing locked door and when A visitor left, she followed right behind them. ( thats one crazy cookie!) She got all the way outside and ran across the lawn, patients saw her out the window And I guess nurses realized what as going on, my new friend was so close to escaping but she went the wrong way! And she couldn't hop the concrete fence! Eventually she was caught by some big strong men, not sure what type of personnel they were, but she was taken into this special room where she got the life knocked out of her with drugs.
The next time I saw her, she was a MESS. Could barely walk, but she got better soon and confirmed her escape story, we had a damn good laugh about it. She even asked me to escape with her the next day, I agreed( haha but we never went through with it) as the psych team was building up my esteem by shutting down my bad thoughts, I started to make friends, not to mention the drugs were starting to kick in and as another one of my crazy buds in the ward said it " ahh, I can feel that good seritonin comin on" good seritonin indeed.
My next friend was a good match. She was around 21 I believe but looked about 16, I remember seeing her first when she was at the med window, getting her first pills ( you pop them, take a swig of water, and I can't even remember if they make you stick out your tongue) she was being bothered by that crazy seritonin bud I was talking about earlier, he had some anger issues and some strong opinions that he thought everyone should hear ( later he got into an argument with the staff and got taken away for a bit, I also learned why he was there, he tried to commit suicide by cutting and drinking bleach)
so I walked right up to her and laughed, asked her her name( which I complimented because it was pretty) and I offered her some of my candy that my parents had brought in. She accepted ( now I want to make something clear, my new found confidance is what I now like to refer to as Psych ward euphoria, led on by an incredible bed side manor by the psych teAm, and unfortunately it really is only temporary) so we got to be good friends really quick, I told her stuff I never told anyone before and she confided in me as well , I learned she had kids and why she was there, (suicidal tendencies like most of us and she carved a phrase into her arm that I can't quite recall).
I think me and her, although very troubled, we're the most sane of all the people there plus we were young so we got along great. I remember when she first called me pretty, I didn't believe it but was none the less pleased ESP considering no one really wears makeup or does their hair in the psych ward( which was huge for someone with my problems) we got so close so fast that I even coughed up the courage to ask one of the nurses if she could be my roommate, they said no, we were disappointed to say the least( her roommate was a bulimic and had to be locked out of their room after meals and I didn't have a roommate so it would have worked out great but I guess they thought we were up to no good)
anyways, before she left we exchanged numbers( which is NOT allowed and she came into my room which is also Not allowed and gave me a gift to remember her by, I also scraped something up for her) soon it was the day she had to leave and I got up early as i Promised I would so I could say goodbye, it was sad, but we would talk again soon, we said that we'd miss each other and we hugged( I hadn't hugged someone in a LONG LONG time so it felt good ( oh did I mention hugging between patients is also Not allowed, whatever)
so now I was left with other three buddies, Chessman, Crazy cookie, and anger issues buddy, we spent our last days playing UNO, talking to eachother about why we were there and sharing snacks from home (sharing food is also Not allowed haha, but even the nurses couldn't resist our roasted peanuts)
I also forgot to mention that my crazy cookie escape artist friend saw me brushing my hair in my room and said I looked like a regualr rupunzel lol, she followed that by telling me I was very pretty and to watch out for those boys ( whoa compliment overload! Felt damn good! Just adding to the psych ward euphoria!) chessman also asked me why I was there ( I told everyone the usual..suicidal idiations) and he said he couldn't figure out why a sweet girl like me would be in a place like this, that made me feel a bit more normal, all good things..builiding me up.
This brings to another fact Bout the psych ward, everyone there wants to leave, that is their only goal, some, like chessman, refused their medication because they didn't think they needed it and didnt think they were crazy, others like my good young friend, told the nurses what they wanted to hear to get out nice and quick, and some screwed themselves over by trying to escape lmao, but me, I never felt so good In My entire life, I had friends, I had confidence, I wanted to stay forever, so I would tell the nurses and psych team that I was still suicidal, but they weren't buying it, they wanted me out, and so did my insurance company.
This is what most psych wards are like, they can't keep you for very long, because insurance won't pay for it, so even if you truly are still ripe and ready to end your life, they will let you go, or rather make you leave . That is the sad truth and I think something should be done about it. Anyways it was time for me to leave.
It was nice while it lasted, we had a family meeting and got presc
Don't get me wrong, my first time at the psych ward turned out to be great, and I don't regret it, for most people I think it's a big help but for my specific situation, I couldn't be helped permanently. I began looking in mirrors again and went into shock, I even began to self harm which led me to visit the psych ward four more times,
twice with the same doctors( during these times I yelled at a nurse at the ER and she got so mad at me that she lied to other staff members and said I was throwing myself against the wall and being destructive, what a ***** ha, they ended up forcefully sedating me with a needle in my backside and some haldol, also I was again forcefully sedated at the ward when I had the worst break down of my life, I had to be held down, this time nurses were trying to console me and the patients were tellIng me to shut the hell up needless to say I didn't make much friends that time), once on a different floor( where they changed my meds and I went through withdrawal from my antidepressant, which let me tell you is the WORST feeling in the world, I was so restless, I was having spasms, I could not sleep no matter what drugs they gave me yet I was tired as hell, I couldn't even get up and walk to the bathroom or wash my face because
I was SO UNBELIEVABLY EXHAUSTED and at the same time restless, I felt like death, and the staff on this new floor were not sympathetic nor understanding what so ever! Although the patients were still kind as ever, one even drew a picture for me to get well and I didn't even know her) my last experience at a psych ward was at a completely different hospital, where they kept me in a room the size of a closet with no windows and one guy would sit in The doorway watching me, I was not allowed to leave, I also again fainted at this place and was taken to the regular pArt of the hospital because I was so I'll. They wouldn't even let me shower, so I started t break out, adding to my specific issue.
Finally two doctors cleared me to leave and five min before my mom was to pick me up, another nurse who I had come to strongly dislike came in with her buddy and told me I wasn't going anywhere, well I said too bad, I've already been cleared for discharge, I am 18 and I am allowed to leave, even against medical advise. They told me I had to sign a paper to leave against medical advise but when I demanded the papers, they refused them to me, so I took my stuff up and walked out the door to the elevator, a code was called and many nUrses and two burly men came and grabbed me by my arms and legs out of the elevator,i kicked and faught because I do NOT enjoy people man handling me, ESP men. ( turns out you can kick and thrash as much as you wAnt, even if you catch them in the face, but if you try to bite, that is a big no no, I guess you can get into some real trouble for that, weird huh? Maybe they're worried about diseases..hate to break it to you guys but you work at a HOSPITAL...so yea lmao)
well this ended up in the staff getting scolded because they were infact in the wrong to deny my discharge papers, so I did end up leaving that day. All of this **** landed me where I am now, in the worst place a person could be, making a plan to end their life. I Have already written letters to my loved ones, and told them why as may ways as I could. This is the first time I actually have a plan to end my life, it feels real, and Im freaking myself out because I'm no longer afraid of death, which wasn't the case my whole life( I was scared out of my mind to die) I guess now I'm just waiting for some miracle to happen, otherwise soon, I won't be here anymore, so please pray for me will you guys? Even if you don't believe in god, send some hope my way, I really need it.
Anyways, SOme other things you might want to know about the psych ward, when you are in your rooms, they check you every 15min, even when you are sleeping and are in the shower, also the food doesn't suck, you might actually gain weight and you can get food brought in by visitors as long as the staff check it first, there is a set bedtime which was around 11 or midnight, each trip to the psych ward is different sometimes you get lucky sometimes you get really unlucky, you CAN wear regular clothes but hosp. Clothes and robes are also available, don't bother with makeup no one cares about how you look in there they have their own problems and will likely see you for WHO you are rather than what you look like, psych ward is a safe environment where people don't judge you It is a far cry from the real world so don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to go back to this safe haven It's a normal reaction, there is an outdoor small area that you can go out into on days that the nurses feel like bringing you there We called ours The Cage because it literally was, even if you Just turned 18 you should expect to be put in the adult floor where you will be treated and expected to act like an adult, there is not a "padded room" but rather a safe room on the floor where a very insane person is put, they are watched constantly through a glass wall and handed food through an opening (I know this because I was across the hall from this room once and it was a Pretty demeaning sight to see this girl being treated like a specimen), the beds are NOT comfortable, the longest they can keep you there is 21 days but most stay for a week or less, you Can refuse meds but if you do you should expect to stay for those 21 days, if you don't make friends you will lose your mind with boredom Remember there s only ONE tv, That's all I can think of for now, if you have any questions or want to talk, email me at SkippingTheGoldenYears@yahoo.com.
Thank you for taking time out of your lives to read my experience, it means a lot, ESP. Since I wrote a freaking novel! With terrible grammar and spacing!
SkippingTheGoldenYears 18-21, F 31 Responses 11 Mar 8, 2012