First ever admission to a psychiatric hospital in the late 90s

embleton

embleton

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Apr 13, 2018
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Plymouth
#1
I remember my first ever admission to a psychiatric hospital to this day when I had a psychotic manic episode. My thoughts were weird and that made me believe I had some special powers, when I believed I was in a race of multidimensional access entities, that I belonged to, that was in a war passing through space, time and dimensions in multiverses. Telepathy was another, of my so-called powers, and to this day I don't really understand what went through my mind completely.

I do remember the horrible psychiatric hospital that I was admitted to for a month whilst I recovered. I was scared to death that I'd receive electroconvulsive therapy, as it was inscribed on the wall of my room. People wondered aimlessly around the ward during the day smoking cigarette after cigarette, as there wasn't much else to do in those days in that environment. I remember the complete disrespect of the staff that just completely ignored everyone around them, except for the other staff members, endlessly talking among themselves.

The same routine was followed every day, breakfast at 7 am to 8 am, then medication rounds, then wandering around the ward until dinner time at 12:30 am, more medication... Weekly ward rounds when the staff would bundle into a room and overwhelm patients because it was 6-7 staff members against one patient in a room, and they'd talk endlessly among themselves without explaining anything about what was going on. No information was provided to patients about the medication that was forced onto them, often in injectable form, with absolutely no choice. People were pinned to the floor daily by staff forcibly, whilst they were injected with multiple injections for doing nothing more than refusing until told about their medication and asking what it did and what was its name. And that was the routine for a month...
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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#2
Dear embleton, I'm sorry you had to be incarcerated in a mental hospital. I've been there too. I use to joke that the only time the staff and patients ever got along was during Nicotine Bonding.

I wrote a little book about it. (See below)
 
embleton

embleton

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Apr 13, 2018
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Plymouth
#3
Interesting that you've written a book, that is nice and I'll see what the price is to buy it. But if I don't like it can I assume you'll provide a full refund, jokingly! I've enjoyed a few books on mental health, but it does seem that there seems to be plenty written here to digest and reply to which I cannot do with a book directly with the author usually.

Generally speaking, I'd rather write my stuff on the internet and offer it free of charge, with the understanding that it's copyrighted. I do have my own forum/blog which is slightly disorganised with random thoughts and reviews of technology. Do drop by it's my home page and completely run, setup, and most articles are written by me.
 
C

Candy19

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#4
Thanks for sharing your experience

Not much really is revealed about these places and I think it does need to be talked about more, I've never been to one, but I've known a friend who has and she was treated pretty badly too

You'd think with all the mental health awareness around now, people who work in them would treat their patients with a lot more respect.. unfortunately that still doesn't seem to be the case
 
Seachad

Seachad

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Central Florida
#5
The first time I was in a 'Psych ward' was in the late 'eighties. I was diagnosed over the telephone by a doctor who dictated my symptoms to me. When I insisted they weren't symptoms I was experiencing, I was told "Yes they are." and he continued to dictate them to me. I was told I was bipolar (which I'm not,) given tricyclic antidepressants, and told I'd have to be on them for the rest of my life. Treatment consisted of group therapy (which was basically a joke,) and being yelled at by the staff, because I was lethargic and disoriented from the new meds. The ward was mostly detoxing alcoholics and drug addicts, and the basic treatment plan was to yell and scream at them -- apparently to convince them to 'get better' and stop using. That carried over onto the psych patients as well. When I discharged myself, to attend my grandfather's funeral, the P-doc threw a tantrum and refused to release any records, or renew prescriptions. Went to another P-doc, who put me on Lithium and Prozac (Prozac was the new wonder-drug at the time,) but never did any blood work. Lithium went toxic on me, as I didn't need to be on it. The stuff dammed near killed me. Eventually, the third P-doc established I'd been misdiagnosed, and was merely depressed. We also determined that Prozac makes me dammed near homicidal. It was only the Lithium toxicity that kept me from hurting people because of it. A few months later, it came out that some people react poorly -- even violently, when taking Prozac. I'm one of them. Go figure....

A couple of decades later, I went into hospital again. Had a breakdown caused by a number of factors. Finances, job, stress, problems in the marriage, &c. The first place was the same thing: Mostly drug addicts and alcoholics. The staff was more professional, and treated me better. The strategy was, basically, pump-and-dump. They pumped me full of antidepressants, and dumped me back out into the same environment. A week later, I was back in. After a few days and an incident which got me 'retraumatized,' they sent me to another clinic, in the big city.

That was a remarkable place. It had been designed by psychiatrists and therapists. They didn't take any violent patients, and they didn't take any alcoholics nor addicts. It was non-violent psych patients only. Based upon the refuge model of treatment. It was...remarkable. CBT. DBT. Actual caring staff, and more information and more actual effective treatment than I've ever had in one place, ever. If only more places were like that place. Of course, they'll only take you if you have the right insurance....

I moved to Florida, after that. Things happened. I went inside again. That...was a freakin' horrorshow. When a nurse from Belize tells you "I'm from the Third World. So when I tell you that mental health care in Florida is very Third World, listen to me. Because I know what I'm talking about." Yeah. She does.

I was put into a room with a violent alcoholic, who was in for beating the hell out of his wife. He snored so loudly, I spent the night awake on a chair in the common room. There was no sleeping in there, with him. Figured I'd sleep during the day. Come the day, surprise! We were locked out of our rooms. Forced to spend the entire day sitting on hard plastic chairs in the common room, unable to walk around. All we could do was watch television (the TV was bolted to the ceiling, behind a sheet of thick, scarred plexiglass,) and tuned to whatever station the sole burly male attendant cared to watch. He watched us like a hawk, and continually lectured us as if we were criminals. Responsibility. Morality. How we shouldn't steal, nor lie, nor make trouble for the staff. Nearly everyone there was in on involuntary 72-hour police holds (who'd want to be there, if they could get out?) and he kept explaining how that worked to them. And how it could be extended, if a judge decided to do so, and how if they made trouble for him, he could recommend to the judge that their stay be extended. So it paid to be nice to him, and not make trouble.

If we needed to use the toilet, we had to beg him to unlock our rooms, so that we could get into them to use the washroom. He would then decide whether he wanted to do so. It was, apparently, a major inconvenience for him to walk to the door and turn the key. Come mealtime, we had to all assemble in a block, and we were marched through corridors to the dining area, where we were fed so little as possible (Breakfast: One small biscuit, cut in half, and "gravy," consisting of mostly flour roux. Watered-down coffee, or water (one Styrofoam cup, each. Lunch: Two pieces of cheap, white bread, one piece of cheap bologna, one Styrofoam cup of Kool-Aid, or water. You could have a single mustard packet for a condiment, if you wished. I don't know what dinner was. I managed to talk my way out, by then. I've never seen a place more like a low-security jail in my lifetime. Which is, of course, what it was.

Other than the television and the constantly admonishing attendant, the only other noise was the constant echoing sounds coming over from the kids' psych area, somewhere in the same building. It never ceased, except at nighttime.

Mental health care has a very, very low priority in the US. Unless you're rich, of course. In this country, we prefer to imprison our mentally ill, or simply let them become homeless. Unless they're rich, or have family who can afford to keep and treat them. Here in the South (although Southerners will assure you that Florida isn't the South, it's Florida, but this goes for the South, as well,) the reasoning goes along the lines of "Why aren't your family and your church taking care of you? And if you don't have family, and you don't belong to a church? Why are you here? And if you don't have family anywhere (that you can leave here and go to,) and you don't belong to a church, why, then, you're obviously trash (pronounced "tray-ush,") and don't deserve any help in the first place! "Get yose'f right with God, and come back and talk to us then. Now git outta ma face!"

No, mental health care is not a priority, in the US.