My Experience with being in a Mental Hospital

Everything started when I told my mom about my hallucinations on a Saturday night. This lead me to have a severe panic attack. I was hyperventilating and throwing up so my parents took me to a near by behavioral health hospital. At this point I was catatonic and don’t remember much of what happened. I vaguely remember getting put into an ambulance and being brought to the closest emergency room. I came to very early in the morning on Sunday. I had a “sitter” who had to keep watch over me there because of my suicidal thoughts. I waited there for about 12 hours until they found a mental hospital that could take me. Once they found one, I was put into another ambulance and taken there. It was a strange experience riding in the back of an ambulance. I was admitted into the mental hospital by 5 pm that Sunday evening.

The first few hours were overwhelming. I was examined and talked to the nurse. I then had another panic attack, this one was the worse I had ever had. I was then given Ativan and sleeping medicine to help me calm down. I fell asleep fast and only woke up for meals the next day. On Tuesday I was still feeling a little out of it. By Wednesday I started coming out of my room more and into the common room. The common room had tables and chairs, a little kitchen area, and a TV. This is where we ate all of our meals. We had three meals a day and an evening snack before bed time. There was another room across from this one where we had psychotherapy groups and got our blood pressure and temperature checked every morning. They would also come into my room very early in the morning to get blood samples.

On Wednesday I started interacting more with my fellow inpatients. They all seemed nice and each had their own story of how they ended up in the hospital. From what I could tell I was in with other people who had psychosis symptoms as well, from schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression. We played cards, read books, colored, and watched TV most of the time. We also each got our own rooms with a bathroom.

The staff there was really nice and treated us well. We had groups every morning and evening led by the counselors to go over which patients had which nurses and the guidelines of the hospital. We also had grooming times where we would take a shower, brush our teeth, brush our hair, and do other things that needed to be done. We had optional groups everyday that varied from Movement therapy to Spirituality to Symptom Management. During the day we had what was called reflection time where we had to be in our rooms for an hour everyday. We also had visiting hours where our family and friends could visit four times a week. We saw our nurses multiple times a day to receive our medications and we saw our doctors every couple of days. The doctors would test our memory and ask about our symptoms. I was in the hospital for about 8 days total. I left the following Monday evening.

*Images Courtesy of Pixabay

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