My experience in the psych ward

My experience in the psych ward

Two months ago, I was admitted into my local hospital. I was suicidal at the time, severly depressed, and my family forced me to voluntarily admit myself into the psych ward. Okay, okay, The Mental Health Inpatient Unit.. Saying I spent 10 days in the psych ward sounds cooler.

How it started:

I wrote a suicide note, not intending to take my life that night, but I wrote one up for the future. My boyfriend at the time, found the suicide note while we were cleaning my bedroom together. He didn't tell me he found it, I guess he just stuffed it in his pocket and brought it home. Anyhow, a few days after he found the note, his mother showed up at my doorstep, note in hand. She showed my parents, and left. My dad broke down and thought it was his fault because he's been a negligent father over the years. My mother cried until she looked numb in the face. The next morning, I was brought to the hospital and from then, my journey really began.

What it was like:

The first full day I spent in the mental health inpatient unit was the worst day of my life. Before I was admitted, a doctor told me that I would only have to stay overnight until the morning when I would talk to a psychiatrist, and get options for treatment/diagnosis and then I'd go home, because I admitted myself voluntary.

Well, that's not what happened. After being in a gross, uncomfortable hospital gown all night, and all day until 5PM, without talking to a psychiatrist, my dad got upset with the nurses and staff there. He was scared for my safety because I told him how I was scared to sleep with the aggressive people, and also not to mention that an old man spilled coffee on my bed in the middle of the night. My dad informed the nurses that he wanted to sign me out of the hospital, and legally, he could--because I was a voluntary patient. However, the nurses sprung into action, called the psychiatrist into the hospital, and without even talking to me, the psychiatrist put me under a Form 3. That meant I couldn't leave for two weeks.

I was 17 years old in the psych ward with about 10 other patients, ages ranging from 25-80. There was an elderly man with alzheimer's disease, and he walked around without talking, and he always had his hands down his pants. There was an elderly woman who cussed at everyone and threatened to "knock everybody the fuck out" (I wish I was kidding, but I'm not). But there were a few really sweet people that I met in there!

Anyhow, an average day went like this:

  • 8am - Wake up. A nurse would do your vitals (blood pressure, body temperature, etc.) Breakfast. Medication.
  • 10am - Group therapy.
  • 12pm - Lunch.
  • 2pm - Visitation until 4pm.
  • 5pm - Dinner.
  • 6pm - Visitation until 8pm.
  • 11pm - Bedtime.

    Annnnnnd repeat.
    You didn't have anything to do in your spare time, other than look out a window, or read a book. You could try to make friends, but a lot of the patients didn't have any interest in socializing.

The friend I met:

I met a seemingly nice boy, he was 19 years old. He was admitted into the hospital and brought in by police about three days after I was admitted. He told me that he has two different personalities, and that he is a very manipulative person, and that he is addicted to sex. He ate all of his meals with me, and we spent a lot of time playing guitar and telling eachother stories until bedtime. Before he was admitted, I didn't speak to any of the other patients. He was a very oddly outgoing person who sparked up a conversation with anybody that he saw. He had a way with people. He sang and played guitar to the elderly patients, and he was very sweet. He was discharged from the hospital three days after he was admitted, and he told me it was because he told the psychiatrist everything he wanted to hear. He lied and told the doctor that the reason he did the things he did was because he was on drugs that night. They let him leave. What a sneaky bastard he is. Him and I didn't stay friends long, but that's a story for another time.

The unprofessional, rude psychiatrist I was assigned to:

I was assigned to a foreign doctor, who had a very thick accent. I thought he seemed nice at first, until he started asking me about my problems... This doctor asked me about things that made me anxious and depressed, and when I told him, he scoffed and snickered. He told me that my problems didn't matter, that they are no reason to send me into a breakdown. He told me that I was silly, that I was just a child, and that I don't know what "real problems" are yet. My parents never believed me when I told them about the poor treatment I got from this doctor, until I got home and read his online reviews to them. Literally every single review said the same things that I just did. Every. Single. One.

In conclusion:

I had some pretty awful times in the psych ward, but I've also had many laughs in there. Especially when the elderly woman tried to fight the other patients every single day, and every single day, she was sent to seclusion. I think that this experience has made me a stronger, more level-headed person. I was diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder, and a severe depressive disorder. I was prescribed an anti-depressent and since the two months I've been discharged, I definitely feel like my old self again. I'm no longer nervous in crowds, I can public speak, I can be honest and truthful, I don't hate myself. I wish some things about the experience were different, like maybe some more comfortable showers, and beds. And maybe locks on the doors so old men don't walk into your room at night and spill coffee over your sleeping body... But, I wouldn't change it. If it hadn't have been for this experience, I most likely wouldn't be writing this today. Life is precious, don't take it for granted.

If you have any more questions about my experience, or need any advice, feel free to comment or inbox me! <3


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What Guys Said 7

  • Wow... what an experience... just from the outset, I was thinking, modern-day take on One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
    It really makes you think about what you say or do in a moment of despair/regret/sadness/anger and how other people might perceive that.
    Well written Take and very honest in your experience... I enjoyed reading this and it amazes me still how a Mental Health institution like that (and others I have visited over the years) seem to propagate the problem.

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  • That's an unpleasant situation I can sort of understand how horrible that must have felt I remember my girl Hannah spending 5 weeks in a mental health unit in the uk after she cut herself to punish herself as she blamed herself for her mums death , the first day for me knowing they would not let me see Hannah was horrible and I cried when Hannah phoned me and told me she was really scared , i remember her describing it like being in a open prison less restrictions and she cried every time I left her but where Hannah was quite nice though as it was spilt into 2 different facilities low security and higher security Hannah was low and she had a little TV to watch but she rather read and thankfully her original very nice therapist Amy still keeps in touch with Hannah.

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  • This kind of makes me wanna spend some time in there to just analyze how people in those psych wards act. Very interesting.

    So, why did you wanna commit suicide in the first place?

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    • Yeah, people in there are quite interesting. Basically, I was having family troubles, thought they didn't love me, blah blah blah, didn't have any friends, thought life was useless, hated myself, etc. I think it was mostly a chemical imbalance, because my medication has worked wonders.

    • Interesting.

  • I have worked in psych wards for those in for criminal activities like assault and murder as a medical student. This opened my eyes to the human psyche whilst I was there I remember some of them as charming others didn`t know the gravity of their actions.
    there were also funny incidents and some sad stories that I heard.

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  • Quite an interesting and scary experience I'd say :/

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  • That's nothing...

    I've seen people cut themselves down to the bone with paperclips to try to avoid going to prison...

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    • Okay, thanks for sharing! This was just meant to share MY experience, not try to compete with others. Have a great day xx

    • Show All
    • I'll say what I want

  • I've had people in the psych hospital, and, to be honest, they needed it. It's like vegetables; you don't like it, but you have to eat it. Most come out a little better than when they came in, and some don't.

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What Girls Said 6

  • I've always been super fascinated by psych wards, I don't even know why. This may sound crazy, but I've actually always wanted to experience what it's like being in one, just for the sake of it.
    Anyways, this was very interesting to read, thanks a lot for sharing! ☺

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    • Haha, I've always had the same fascination, so I guess the weird side of me was pleased with this experience too lol. You're welcome. Thanks for reading!!

  • Well in my life I have been twice to sucide ward... Its was fun I might go again... I feel like sucidal at time and the only thing keep me alive at the moment are the people on gag so thank you... I would share but its such a long story... I am still depressed... This encourage thou.

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  • Maybe I'm just paranoid but I've always hated shrinks and physc wards. I feel like they are dehumanising and I always think of the movie the bird flew over the cookies nest

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  • Whenever I read stories like this, someone sharing their truth, it makes me really appreciate the power of the internet to connect us. I think in times of trouble we all feel like we're the only one bad things are happening to, but to open up, and let people in, even if they are total strangers, you find often, that you are not alone, that people have been through similar things or can relate to something in your story. As a teen, I wrote 2 suicide notes, and came close once, but I sat outside "on my last day" and I told the universe that I was going to call my friend to just come meet me, and if he showed up, I was meant to stay here on this earth. I kid you not, some 5 minutes later, faster then he'd ever come to meet me ever, he showed up. It was a really powerful moment for me, so I can absolutely say, life is precious and I would have missed out on so much had I gone through with suicide. I think more people suffering from depression need to talk about it and not be treated as if they just need to get over it. I hope things for you are improving.

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  • Thank you for sharing your experience and I hope things are better ♥️✌️

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  • This is very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

    I had a similar experience (kind of?), but I was only there for half a night, thank god.

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