Post # 1
So I’ve posted before about being depressed, having some marital issues and having some in-law issues. Then I lost my job last week. I went from feeling like maybe I was getting back on track to more depressed, isolated, and hopeless than I have ever been. Honestly, my son is the only reason I’m still alive right now – things have really felt that bad this week. I pretty much have accepted that I need to be in the hospital and my parents, husband and in-laws know. I was supposed to work through Monday and go Monday night or Tuesday. I finished at work last night and this morning because I couldn’t face going back and was feeling pretty anxious about potentially not getting my last months pay if I didnt wrap everything up.
So I am pretty sure I am going this afternoon or tomorrow. But the closer I get to it, the more freaked out I am. Even though I know I have to go, right now it is still my choice and I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need to go. I want to go of my own will, not against it. Mainly because if I end up having my doctor force me to go, I will go to the local hospital, which is a potential future employer. So I want to make the choice and go to the hospital that is about 35 minutes away.
Has anyone been? Any encouragement or experiences to share? I’m just really scared.
Post # 3
i was, when i was 17. it was only for 36 hours though, and it wasn’t voluntary (i was sent after a suicide attempt). sparing you any details, it was hell. but, i didn’t choose it, and i was on a floor with people who had substance problems, not a psych floor like i needed to be. the joys of the health care system failing people who truly need help.
i know that most hospitals are not like that. if you can choose the hospital, i’d say go with the one you want. you obviously know that you need help, so i think you should go get it. i’m sure that you’ll get the help you need, and you’ll be a better, happier person when you get the help you need. is it scary? yes. is it worth it? yes.
Post # 4
I have a friend who was hospitalized for a month after a suicide attempt. She credits them with saving her life, because she got intensive 24/7 support and monitoring until her moods were stabilized. I would just say be sure you’re going to a reputable place that specializes in treating mood disorders, not substance abuse.
Post # 5
One of my good high school friends had multiple inpatient stays at “the loony bin” (her affectionate term for it) to treat her depression. She never had anything terrible to say about it and the experiences definitely helped her.
Post # 6
I went in high school and it was awful. I saw a dr once and he prescribed me medicine that I wasn’t even allowed to take until after I got out. There was no one to talk to nothing. I sat in an empty room all day.
Post # 7
I haven’t had personal experience, but I did do a clinical rotation in a children’s psychiatric facility. There is a lot of structure, and it will take some adjustment. I’ve found that people tend to have a love/hate relationship in these facilities- they acknowledge that they are doing good things, but tend to rebel against some of the structure. You won’t like some aspects of it, but you will come out the other side feeling better.
What kind of stay you have will depend on your acuity and the type of hospital you’re going to….most of the ones I’ve seen have a “therapeutic mileu” environment, where your relationship with your environment/other patients is all supposed to be therapeutic, contributing to your developing coping strategies, etc. You will see a therapist, and your meals, etc, will be monitored. There are usually activities (art, music, etc) that encourage self expression. You will also be medicated, but be aware that it may take some time to find the medication regimen that is right for you.
It’s important that you get the most out of your stay, especially since you are going of your own choice, not a doctor’s order. Follow the rules, open up to your therapist, take your meds. It must be terrifying, not knowing what to expect- but they will walk you through it all.
*Hugs* …I’ll be sending all my positive energies your way. You’re doing the right thing! 🙂
Post # 8
This is why I’m so scared. I know there are good and not-as-good places, but I don’t really know which is which. And if I get there and they don’t have a bed, I will either have to sit in the Emergency Room until a bed opens up, or I have to get sent somewhere that has a bed. I don’t know exactly how that part works. I don’t know if they will let me leave to go to a different hospital if they don’t have a bed when I get there.
I also don’t want to be “stuck” somewhere for a month. If it’s really helpful and that is what I need, then okay, but if I’m just sitting there, I am going to go nuts. I mean granted I don’t have a job anymore, but I’ve either got to get help or not. I have had enough problems with outpatient providers that I am scared to just get the luck of the draw when I get there.
Post # 9
I haven’t, but my sister, mother and a close friend all have. My sister was at Loma Linda, which is a VERY nice facility. My mom and friend were both at county hospitals, which were more run down and just felt sketchier. It was still a very positive experience for my friend. My mom called several hours into her stay and told my dad she wanted to check out because she didn’t feel she was “that bad off”, I guess as compared to others there.
I think taking time for yourself, with focused attention, is a good thing. It’s such a positive step to just be willing to seek this help for yourself! You are doing the right thing for yourself and your family. I hope you get everything you need to help you through this time!
Post # 10
I was hopitalised for 3 days a few years ago after having a full-out mental breakdown. The worst part was being there involuntarily – I felt like I was in prison. The key to help me deal with it was my friend who acted as if it was just an ordinary visit to the hospital. Don’t think about it as going to a psych ward, just think about it as a regular trip to the doctor when you’re unwell. People tend to think that mental issues are more serious than physical ones, but it’s only that way if you want it to be. In reality, it’s just like breaking an arm: it’s painful at first, then the doctor treats you, maybe you take some medication, and after a few weeks/months, the problem is gone!
Good luck 🙂
Post # 11
I wasn’t personally but I had a friend who went (after a suicide attempt, I was the one who actually got him sent, he called me I called the authorities, they took him in) when I went and saw him the experience made me really depressed because the place was so scary and depressing to me. But, it really helped him get his medications right and he was released a few months later.
Post # 12
@wabisabi: Treat it like you would treat a rehab facility, or the hospital you’re scheduling an elective surgery at. You can call them, ask about the facility, and get a tour. You can find reviews of the doctors/facility online. This is their job- they want patients. They will be accomodating!
If you are comfortable with the facility, call them and make an appointment to check in. You don’t want to wait in the emergency area for hours- that will just increase your anxiety level, and you don’t need that.
You don’t have to go in there blind!
Post # 13
@Dialysate: It seems like every place near me makes you get evaluated through the ER. Even if you have a doctor or psychiatrist call ahead. That’s one part I’m really anxious about. Although I have not slept in several nights, so maybe I can just sleep through that part.
Post # 14
I really appreciate the responses – I feel a bit better. I’m just really alone in this right now. As in I’m driving myself to the ER/hospital. I was alone all night last night which was pretty scary for me. I drove around a lot, hung out at Target until they closed, then Walmart. So I know I need to go tonight. I have a couple of books and my ipod. I’m really hoping they might let me keep the ipod for music since it’s really helpful to me. I should ask when I call again.
Post # 15
I’m so glad that you’ve made the responsible decision of admitting yourself. That is SO smart of you.
While I have not been to the “looney bin”, my sister has a few times. She’s gone to the ER suicidal, and they’ve told her that “they’re sorry, but there are no beds open” so they expect her to go home and “get better.” It’s quite sad, when you think about what…if a person is seriously suicidal and there are “no beds open” how does that make them feel? Horrible and unwanted, I’d imagine.
When she finally did get to go, she stayed for a week and they had group activities (that she hated). I think she finally opened up towards the end of her stay, but it was not something that helped her. She said it felt like jail, because they were only allowed to do certain things at certain times and otherwise had to be in their rooms with no access to TV or something.
I know that you will have a much different experience, being in a different hospital in a different location. I wish you well!
Post # 16
@wabisabi: I work in the mental health field and have worked in inpatient facilities. It will be kind of shocking at first, because you will need to ask to go pretty much anywhere, including the bathroom normally (everything is locked). They residential counselors should be able to help support you with what you are dealing with, and will try to help you learn coping skills. Also, they want you to be able to be comfortable, and music/reading is pretty normal to be allowed on the units 🙂
If you have any other questions let me know!