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Your experiences of a psychiatric ward

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sluisga

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
5
Location
London
Just wanted to know other people's experiences of a psychiatric ward.

From the day I was amitted, I wasn't given a 'welcome pack' or what ever you're supposed to be give which other patients received.
I didn't know about it until an expatient that was visiting the ward asked me why I was washing my own clothes. I didn't know what she meant. I'd been doing it for days. Turns out the staff were meant to do it for you.

Also I was told the visiting hours and had to ask for paper to write it down so I could tell my family and friends. I had no mobile phone on me at the time, so had to really on a communal payphone and LOTS of 20 pence pieces.

The safety locker in my room was not working and as we were not encouraged to get the staff to lock our rooms, my personal cd player was stolen. Another friendly patient had £10 stolen from her bed as the it was placed in a 'mixed' section/communal part of the ward - anyone could go in.

I eventualy saw a patient had my cd player under their slightly transparent jacket and felt like a school kid having to tell the nurses he had it. I gave a detailed description of the underside of it and was returned it immediately. Later on I'd leave it in the office for safe keeping as I realised my room (and other patients' rooms) had other patients going in them unnecessarily and was not safe for valuables. One of the senior staff there then walked past me commenting that the cd player had been in her office "all along"! this set my blood boiling and annoyed me immensely as I felt she was trying to wash her hands clean of any responsability the ward and staff had had. :mad:

One day when queing up for my medication, I approached the 'drugs door' and spoke to the nurse to confirm my name and was given something that looked different to the olanzapine I was used to. I said out loud "oh this looks different..." and then put swallowed it. A few seconds later they realised they'd given me another patient's antidepressant drugs and sleeping sedatives. I can't remember if they gave me my actual medication as well (I wasn't on sleeping sedatives as I never have any trouble sleeping) but I imagine it's all in my notes.:oops:
I just hope they filled in an incident form...

Some other things happened like pistachio shells blocking the washing machine's waste pipe due to other patients leaving them in their pockets! :D

Also, as a result of the washing machine being blocked, one of the patients that was rude and racist to staff had her only bra stuck in the washing machine on a 90 degree cycle and was left stuck in there ruined. This probably had something due to 'user intervention'. :evil:

Also I must say the food was very good, but there were never enough clean tea cups or hot water available. :(

Any other stories good or bad?
 
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madsheep

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
607
Location
Bedfordshire
I have had two seperate experiences.
The first one was a fairly good one. I was admitted at 4 in the morning so the first night wastn that great. But when I was woken up at 8am I expected the worst. Instead I was greeted by a friendly student nurse, who took me under her wing. She let me sleep in a bit longer, then arranged for me to have some breakfast later in the morning. She showed me round, gave me some info on the ward introduced me to a few other patients.
I struggled on the ward. Was in there for a total of 9 and a half weeks:)scared:). In that time I 'escaped' from the ward 3 times, got into a fight (completely not my fault! :( ) and witnessed some pretty horrific stuff. But the staff were pleasant. The patients moods varied so the staff were either not available when i needed them or there in great numbers, which was rather comforting.
I often refused meds, as I felt they were unnecessary and although they tried to convince me to take them, didnt force them on me. So on the whole was an almost positive experience.
HOWEVER. The second one I went to. I was escorted there by the police. Taken onto a ward where there only seemed to be men. I was then showed to my room without being shown where anything else was. My room was tiny, had no window or much ventilation of any kind really. The sheets and blanket had someone elses hairs all over them and looked filthy. So i stripped the bed and had to go and ASK for clean sheets and a pillow case.
When my fiance left to go home, I collapsed into histerics, crying for a total of 3 hours, and even though I had to have 24 hour 'supervision' not one nurse asked if I was ok.
Needless to say, I got rather angry rather quickly and when I started demanding things, things were done. I was out of there in a matter of days (had my section lifted as such).

Sometimes, when I am really low, I long to go back to the first place. It was a sort of sanctuary to me when I needed it the most. But I rang up once to speak to one of the nurses. They said I could ring if I ever needed someone to chat to. I got a horrid Dr on the phone who told me that since i was no longer a patient, that I was not allowed to speak to the staff and that I should refrain from calling again. So put me off completely.:unsure::cry:

(sorry for the long post lol)
 
Wendy

Wendy

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
267
Location
South/East
Hi there,I've been in a mh several times.
I'll tell you about the first time.
The first time I was admitted I knew nothing about mental health the only experience was one flew over the cukoos nest film.
I remeber the nurses booking me in and going through my suitcase,then being shown the tv room to me full of mad people who were going to start throwing stuff around! I was terrified.
I remeber trying to run away,didn't get far staff came after me.
Later on I got sectioned I remeber screaming you can't do this to someone,I'm not a criminal help! they had me pretty drugged up for a while so most of that time was a blur.But little did I know that I wouldn't leave that hospital for 2 years.will try to write a bit more later
wendy x
 
R

raverminx

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2009
Messages
45
Location
portsmouth, uk
ive been hospitlized twice within 6 weeks, infact ive only been out for a week now, strange being back in normal life.

my first hospital was great, it was very moden, and fresh. the rooms were en-suite and loads of room. the tv room was cosy and had comfy sofas and chairs and hd tv with freeview.
there was the activity room with an xbox, wii fit and playstaton, plus loads of bean bags, board games etc.
the garden was massive and landscaped, really lush. there was also lots of group sessions which really helped me.

the staff were nice, the other 'inmates' were great too, made a few friends. was always someone to have a natter with. was there for 3 weeks and really didnt want to leave, i still wish i was there actually.

i was discharged on a friday then admitted again on the monday but this time to a dif hospital as no beds at any others.
this time it was horrible, i had a make shift bed, staff were too busy and even tho i wasnt sectioned they made me feel like i was.
food terrible and the inmates were mad, really scary and intimidating. no entertament other than a tv and smelly sofa. hated every min of it. spent 3 weeks in there and couldnt wait to leave.

the hospitals were woodhaven (new forsest way) and malbury lodge in winchester
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Having been in the psychiatric system for many years on and off I have experience of a fair few.

Largely they were poorly run, poorly funded poorly decorated and miserable places.

Apart from a few rare exceptions the staff were poorly trained and many were in it for what I saw as the wrong reasons, and lacked interest in their job.

I believe that hospitals compounded my issues rather than solving them. My last experience was for six weeks and in that time I managed to fill a seven paged letter of complaint. Some of my family wrote to the MP and other bodies and made several complaints with regards to the cleanliness, abusive manners, lack of basic care...oh I could go on and on. One clinician refused to give me water when I had had none by that afternoon as I was being denied it as some form of punishment or coersion as I saw it. It wasn't until I challenged the ward manager and threatened to tell the papers that they were refusing me water which even PRISONERS are allowed to have that they relented. It disgusts me to be honest.

It's not just hospitals where I have experienced it I have also experienced it in several other MH services I was under at the time....the list goes on and on.

I'm sorry I haven't got anything more positive to say apart from the fact that the service I am under now although it has its faults is far better than any other service I have been under, so lets hope it is a sign that standards of treatment and THERAPEUTIC care are getting better.
 
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mad as a hatter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,167
Location
scotland
i agree with sapphire on this i,ve also had terrible times in the wards and also with staff that have got no intrest in the patients either didn,t know there people taking drugs and drinkin it distgusted me that the real ill patients where just gettin ignored and it also just made me a lot worse in the long run and i have no wish 2 go bk 2 be treated in that manner the whole system needs a complte over haul in some way
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
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M

mizunderstood

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
50
Location
In my own head
Sectioned in France

In 2004 I had an acute psychotic episode and when I first got sectioned I was in France so I couldn't understand what anyone said. I felt like an alien. I woke up strapped to a bed after being in an enduced coma for a week. I pulled the drip from my arm and wondered out of the room only to be man handled and injected with furthermore sedatives. (no explaination as to why I was strapped to the fuckin bed) While I was there I tried to escape several times but would be punished by being injected with sedatives. The same occured if I showed any signs of being distressed. Along with this I was forced into a red hot bath by 2 MALE nurses, which shoud not have been allowed and wouldn't have happened if I were in the UK. They kept me looked in my room unnecessarily and did not once attempt to tell me what or why I was in there. Upon leaving the unit the French speaking staff all of a sudden decided they could actually speak English and informed me that he thought my cousin was fit. I went 2 weeks and not once did the staff speak English to me, until the day I left! What a fuckin Joke. It was the most traumatic experience of my life and I was glad to get out! The "Inmates" were certainly a lot nicer that the staff and I bet they don't treat people like dogs and take the piss like they did. I left not knowing a thing apart from the fact that I was on tablets. I suposse some of it comes down to the Language barrier, but as I said the English only kicked in when I was about to leave and that was to tell me something trivial. Then I had no follow up or support back in the UK. The psychiatrist here could not translate the report from France, so they didn't know what had happened, what treatment I had had etc. so I discharged myself and decided to go it alone with the help of my Family. I have slipped the net so to speak, but I know one thing, I'll do my best to avaoid any further rondezvous with Mental Health Professionals (especially French Ones.lol)
 
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mizunderstood

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
50
Location
In my own head
Just to top it off

My cousin who was scizophrenic was on suicide watch at my Local hospital and managed to hang himself!! Neglegence or what?? If your relatives are in hospital on suicide watch you persume they are in the best place. They are on suicide watch for a reason. If the hospital did their job properly it would have never happened and his lofe could have been saved. NHS=SHITE!
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Oh mizunderstood I am so sorry for your experience, that must have been truly frightening and horrifying. :(
 
jax

jax

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
868
Location
Belfast, N.Ireland
I've been hospitalized 7 times in the States and about 20 times in the UK. My first admission was in the states. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Nurses were fantastic. There were loads of groups and activities. Food was fantastic. Got to see our pdocs each day and one that was on duty sat and Sunday. It was a very pleasant experience.

Now - the admissions in the UK - far cry from the States. There were no groups. The nurses were busy writing notes - so since I was usually on special (24 obs) it meant that I had to generally stay by my bed. At times not even being able to go to shower or even phone if someone called as there wasn't enough staff. I am lucky if I see my Pdoc once a week and that is in a conference with about 8-10 other people. He is too busy to see us individually.

I'd take the States over N.Ireland anyday!
 
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Kate31

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
40
Hospitals...

I've been in Priory 4x and that was fine - ensuite lovely room eating disorder unit was just females, daily groups, walks, trips out, weekend leaves, lounge, gymn, saw pdoc 2-3x a week.

but got a huge shock when ended up on a local psych ward ...
it was mixed so felt very frightened, food inedible (not helpful for recovery from anorexia!), no therapy, no care worker, had to pay for drinks, staff opened bathroom door for checks so was terrified to go to loo/shower, got mobile taken off me, threatened with a section when wanted to go out for a bit to see my husband, i hid in my wardrobe for an hour just to see if i was on obs and no-one checked!!! It was my shortest admission in fri out mon as it did me no good whatsoever.

I honestly would rather die than ever have to go to that hell-hole again :scared::mad::eek::cry:
 
D

Devon

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
148
Location
Devon
Just be thankful that you dont go to Torbay Hospital mental health unit.

Their care is minimal, the nurses cluster in the office smoking fags (before it was illegal) and chatting over coffee.

Unqualified nursing attendants were left to supervise a ward room.

When the staff were notified that I had been physically assaulted they couldn't even be bothered to make notes or log it.

They have changed the ward name a couple of times to avoid bad press after a OT was murdered there.

They should put up a sign saying "Abandon all hope or ye who enter here." :mad:
 
T

Twylight

Guest
It's all ok in Psychiatric wards, providing everyone who smokes has tobacco

If not, they start Kicking off ...
 
T

TOONAFISH

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
2,686
Location
Bonnie Scotland
i have only been in 4 times. 3 times to sunnyside - thats a joke of a name. nurses all to busy, no groups, no walks, nothing to do, except some old books (couldnt concentrate on reading), no therapy, snoring in ward!!!, mixed ward so felt a bit self concious in my jammies.

the last time i was in last feb was totally diff. nurses were lovely, tv room with loads of couches, activity room with pool table, nintendo, playstation, games, there was a garden with ducks and a wee pool, there were daily activities, movie nite on saturdays, trips out for coffee and shops.

totally diff experience and i think it helped my recovery.

still i feel better that i have been in now, so not so worried about having to go back if i need too.
 
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