Psychiatric care. 

In my eyes I lay here as a burden. My mother and stepfather defeatedly trying to lure me out of my safety net of their spare room, from under the sheets that are keeping me ‘safe’ from the world I am trying to avoid, not wanting to venture out in trepidation.

The psychiatric nurse suggests the safety of the formidable psychiatric hospital, 154 miles away. I have been there before and let me tell you, for a depressive it’s the most harrowing experience.

You have a bare room which consists of a bed, a cupboard with no doors, one plastic chair and en suite bathroom you cannot lock, just a sliding door. In the bathroom there’s no taps nor a lever to flush the toilet. Just sensors, same with the shower. What made me laugh slightly though was there was a shower pole and curtain, much more hazardous than a tap or a door on your cupboard. Even the windows where locked. Surprisingly you could lock your bedroom door although the nurses had keys obviously. Regularly throughout the day they look in to see your still there, like you’d be able to get anywhere else, maybe hide in the doorless cupboard. Worst still though was the nightly hourly checks, ever hour throughout the night the jangle of keys can be heard as they check your in your room. Like being in a prison cell. Don’t get me wrong you can leave the recluse of your bare room to explore the rather worrisome ward. People wonder around looking lost and despondent, the odd person mummers something to the passing nurse ‘why are you talking about me’ that’s met by a stern ‘we are not’ from the nurse as she ushers me forward to show me the facilities. There’s a television area with some seats, some chairs and tables which I’m told is where we are to eat our meals, this induces great anxiety on my part, there’s also a communal kitchen. I forgot to mention when you first arrive in your rather perturbed state, shown to your ‘cell’ as I call it, yourself and the contents of your bad is searched for potentially dangerous objects that could cause harm to yourself or others. Anything sharp, any medications or painkillers, tweezers, razors etc.

This brings me back to the communal kitchen, free to come and go into as you please with a drawer full of knives, forks and the usual utensils. Coffee, tea making facilities, a toaster and a microwave. Now correct me if I’m wrong but you could easily steal a knife from the drawer undetected, I didn’t plan this myself but I didn’t see the logic, given other patients where suppose to be protected from harming themselves.

I was just depressed, needing some help, some therapy something to make me feel alive. This place was just like hell in my eyes. I tried to engage, although severely social anxious, with people around me. There was however a lovely old lady who was there voluntarily who was happy to recall stories of her late husband who she missed painfully. She wore his jacket around her shoulders and she told me how not a day went by she didn’t miss him dreadfully. She seemed perfectly sane, just a little lost. The woman however that sat next to me was recalling how the voices in her head where telling her to do stuff she shouldn’t, I wanted to take that pain away from her, offer some words of support but I didn’t know what to say, I was also slightly anxious and worried for myself which made me feel guilty. She was human after all but a prime example of what the ward was for, I wished silently for her to get better although I knew that she would probably be unwell and here for some time.

To pass some time I reluctantly made toast after some encouragement from the nurse that I should eat some thing. However I found myself making tea and toast for everyone else, because I’m to nice, but their verbal capabilities seemed very restricted, was this medication doing this? They wanted to see who I was, with being in the ward possibly some time you’d want to check out your potential new person sharing the ward. All I could do was smile and try to show I was no threat, that I was friendly and hoped that I wasn’t upsetting any of their routine.

It’s safe to say I stayed mainly in the recluse of my room, counting the hours after every check was made by the porters, meals where called and I remained vigilant to stay where I was, the thought of being out on the ward terrified me after having previously gave it a go. I would stare blankly ahead wondering how on earth I managed to get to this point. If anything was rock bottom, this was it.

Now back in a gloomy place of despair, laying in my mothers spare room, the thought of being back there filled me with fear. Yet I was completely functionless.

Was it the best place to be, or was hospital? I am so unsure…

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