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I checked myself into a hospital 3 years ago. I was living alone and after an exhausting, social weekend I just couldn't do it anymore. They gave me Ambien and kept me in the ER for a night and then released me with plans for outpatient treatment. I went to a few hours of the program the next day and couldn't do it. I was back into the ER that night.
I stayed for a week. I loved it. It feels wrong to say that, but for once I felt validated and safe. Not that the staff was on the same page as me as far as how treatment should go, but I finally felt like everyone around me believed me. And I knew I couldn't hurt myself, which was a huge relief.
I was 20. There was only one other young person in there. There were a handful of fairly stable people; most of the other patients were in touch with reality and sometimes not. And one woman was regularly put in a straight jacket and had been there for months and everyone knew she should have been in a different ward/situation. ***TW*** She would come into rooms and scream that people were going to rape us. It was absolutely terrifying and the only thing that made me feel really unsafe. I still remember feeling my stomach drop out of me when she would do that. I think it was totally irresponsible of the staff to have her in there. She needed a different situation. It was sad and triggering.
As far as meds, they gave me more than I had ever been on and that was a relief. I have always been good at "functioning" and so shrinks have never been willing to give me very much. It turns out I was on lower than the recommended starting dose of Zoloft when I went in. They increased that a bunch and they gave me my first fast-acting med, Klonopin, which absolutely changed my life for the better.
The staff also totally believed me about chronic pain and were good about getting me aspirin when I needed it. And the sleep meds they gave me - my first - gave me such amazing rest. It had been months since I'd slept like that.
-I was in a week and only got one group therapy which was just not enough to feel anything other than triggered
-The art therapy was really, really, really fantastic
-None of the shrinks looked me in the eye! I checked with other patients and it was the same story.
-The one session I had with a counselor in there was *amazing*. I would have loved to keep seeing him. He was the best T I've ever had. I guess that's not saying much because I have come to realize all my previous Ts were not qualified for my situation but still. He said some things that are still inspiring to me today. He listened to me about how long I wanted to stay in and we agreed on a release date that felt good to me.
Whew. I think that's it. It's been three years but it was a big turning point in my life.
Source: DISCUSSION TOPIC: Your experiences with inpatient psychiatric care
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