Ever wonder what it’s like being inside a psychiatric hospital? I knew I had previously wondered what it would be like.
This is my second visit, both voluntary admissions. Means I’m here of my own accord, however that doesn’t mean you can leave when you want to. Once your in and your ‘state’ has been assessed the nurses and doctors can then decide if they don’t wish you to leave, you try and leave but they can have you brought back. So a voluntary admission requires some careful thought but it’s unlikely if your in any kind of distress that your up to making any informed decisions at that point.
Firstly you have your room, it’s bare and austere. You have your bed, a bedside table and the doorless cupboard, incase you so have the desire to hide, you won’t be doing it in there. There’s probably a more logical reason to it but I’m not entirely sure. Keep in mind the place is suppose to be a safe and secure environment. What else is there, oh yes, one plastic red chair, don’t sit in it too long or your bottom will hurt, definitely an uncomfortable piece of furniture. It is however bright red, the only colour to invade the dullness of the insipid room.
Also you have an ensuite bathroom that you cannot lock, just a sliding door, this probably causes many some uneasiness with some patients I can imagine. Consists of a shower, a basin and a toilet with sensors instead of taps or levers. There is a shower curtain and shower rail… but no cupboard doors, my mind fails me. As you can see I can be a bit sarcastic. There’s also a bit on top of the cupboard to stop you climbing on it, like you would but I suppose every danger has to be assessed and seen to, to me though theres much more hazardous things to be found.
When you first come your taken to your bedroom, the lifeless dorm, and asked lots of questions by the nurses and doctors and your vitals are taken. Blood pressure etc. Your belongings are then searched, valuables have to be accounted for, and objects such as tweezers and shaving razors have to be taken to be out in a cupboard in the office. Same for medication or any kinds of pills like paracetamol. Here comes some sarcasm again…. I can’t have my tweezers, however!, I have my straighteners which has a four metre cable…. and the potential to burn oneself, I have however no desire to but I have seen the wounds inflicted by others facing many different troubles to themselves, so this itself is a hazard I would have thought. I forgot my own razor anyway so I asked the nurse if I could buy some at the shop and if and how I was allowed to use them. She said she could let me have one but when I was finished with imthe razor it was to be given back for them to put in the cupboard. That was last night, yes I still have it. Again no desire to use it in anyway to harm myself but I’m sure someone would see it as an opportunity.
I guess you may be wondering about other patients, I don’t like to judge. But of course there’s troubled souls here. You hear the shouting and protests from the patients I guess are either bored and agitated or simply just drugged up on their medication. There’s one guy who loves to strum away endlessly with his fender guitar and sing loudly at stupid times of the night, which is yes, is very frustrating, but I admit when they told him to keep it down and he said ‘Why what you going to do?’ and proceeded to strum away and laugh insanely I was a bit worried. He was a harmless gent, an interesting fellow, he just didn’t like to do as he was told, his facetious manner was at times quite amusing but I felt for the nurses perpetually contending with him.
Suppose you may be wondering about myself? Why was I here? After all being in a psychiatric ward means I’m facing some kind of infirm state. I suffer major recurring depression and anxiety, previously treated for PTSD back in my rebellious adolescence. This time though the depression was irrepressible, it’s consumed me completely and I just could not function. My body had given up,shut down, it was in complete anguish and the tears where endless beads of the pain I felt flowing out of eyes but as they left they built up again inside leaving me angry and frustrated at my suffering. How had I let it get to this? The CPN suggested hospital, so I guess on his professional advice I decided it was for the best. I didn’t want to go but I felt that for the sake of my family and friends around me anxiously watching the intense pain I was feeling, it was something I had to do, for my sake and for theirs. The scared tears in my mothers eyes as I left for hospital, always comes back to mind and I use that memory to remind myself why I’m here and why I need to be better. They can’t suffer the anguish I’m suffering too, I had to fix it, with help from professionals. This couldn’t go on.
So I continue to stay here as I ponder over what could possibly change and I’m very unsure, but I’ll keep writing nonetheless. At least it seems it’s something I’m still capable of. A kind of outlet.
The night will consist of hourly checks till morning, the jaggling of keys heard every hour, the occasion cry or scream from a distressed patient, or some guitar playing from a fellow amusing patient. Music usually blares from one adjacent rooms at different times, footsteps up and down the dark green carpeted corridors and the murmurs of some confused patients.
It’s a rather distressing place to be in my opinion for someone in a depressed state, lots of anxiety inducing scenarios and long isolated days. To be at home with my family would be marvellous right now, but I need to be well, to renew my outlook on life. Only time will tell.