Tag Archives: Psychiatric Hospitals

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS~ HOW MUCH HAVE THEY REALLY CHANGED?

 

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If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that I had been having a hard time with the death of my Dad and my siblings. My Dad didn’t leave a Will and it was and still is causing a lot of problems.

I have a twin sister and a half brother who is 7 years older than we are. I believed he had been squatting on the property and breaking into the basement with his new girlfriend. My twin believed I was hallucinating and having a Psychotic break. No matter what I said or did she refused to believe me.

My sister wanted me to get away from the house for awhile to see if I was still “hearing things” and suggested an Extended Stay Hotel for 30 days. I really didn’t want to but I was exhausted, recovering from surgery, and tired of arguing with her.

The Hotel parking lot was filled with drunk people, one of them was passed out in his car where I had to park. It was going to cost me $1,450 to stay there for 30 days. The room was filthy, my poor dog was scared to death and I kept worrying he was making too much noise. I didn’t sleep at all and had started bleeding from my surgery. My sister came the next day and even she was disgusted. I was stuttering and shaking because I was upset. She said I needed to do an inpatient treatment program at the local Psychiatric Hospital or she wouldn’t have anything to do with me any longer. I had ruined her life and now her marriage was suffering because of me.

She knows I’m terrified of hospitalization and haven’t been hospitalized since I had one round of ECT in 2012. This was my twin saying these things to me, I had no one else to talk to, the one person I had that accepted me and loved me unconditionally had just died. I agreed to go to the hospital. She agreed to watch my dog and dropped me off at the door.

As soon as I entered the building my legs buckled. I couldn’t speak or write. The staff was nice enough to help me to a chair and wait until I calmed down enough to speak. I didn’t know my sister had called ahead and told them that I was “hearing voices”. This meant I would automatically go to the highest security level unit. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

The were only a few changes since 2012, they no longer mixed the detoxing patients with the mental health patients. They also had more restrictions on what you could have with you. 1 pair of pants, 1 shirt, 2 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of pajamas, 1 pair of glasses, 1 set of contact lenses (no solution), and that’s pretty much it. Needless to say some people didn’t always smell that great. The bathroom doors had no locks (which I understand) and no way of telling if it was occupied. Every single time I went to use the toilet my roommate walked in on me. We talked to her about it and 5 minutes later she did it again. She also snored louder than anyone I know and talked about personal trauma in her sleep that I was extremely uncomfortable hearing. Again, no sleep.

The second day there I called my sister to check on my dog. She told me she might have to “give him away because T (her husband) didn’t want him there”. This triggered my stuttering, tremors, crying, hiccups, and I had to hide in my room or I would’ve been given Haldol. The doctor in charge of the Unit was in charge of ECT and a big believer in Lithium, Haldol, and Depakote. He was an older man and not up to date on newer medications/treatments. He was also against Adderall, Xanax, and Klonopin. I’ve been taking 30mg of Adderall for years it helps with word finding, my speech, and cognitive issues. He took it away cold turkey, cut my antidepressant in half, and cut the Klonopin in half. He then told me I shouldn’t have any withdrawal or problems with the changes. I’ve been on the same meds and dosages for years.

He didn’t even question the new medication that had been added, Risperidone, which I was having horrible side effects from and felt worse since taking it. Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. He couldn’t even get my name right for the 5 minutes I met with him every other day.

I didn’t receive any kind of therapy, we did a lot of adult coloring and watched TV. Some of the patients were violent which was hard for me to be around. The men and women are kept together, there were a few physical fights that happened next to me and I froze, hands cold and tingling, blood rushing through my ears, I didn’t even hear them yelling at me that it was a lockdown and I needed to go to my room. I finally had to speak up and tell them about my PTSD and Conversion Disorder diagnosis.

The one positive thing to come out of all this is that I learned I have to speak up for myself. I can’t ask or let other people do it for me anymore.

There are things I need to work on and one on one Psychotherapy is my first step. It’s been difficult finding someone who takes Medicare but I’m still looking. My meds are almost back to where they were. I was in the hospital for a little over a week. I’m not sure if I can ever truly have a relationship with my twin sister. I’ll be civil but I won’t call her for support or tell her anything personal.

I’ve been walking my dog and getting more fresh air, I’ve also been looking into what I need to do to move to Florida once my Dad’s estate is settled.

The Extended Stay charged me $1,450 for being there less than 24 hours. Hopefully that will get resolved. Supposedly my sister handled it and told them I was going into the hospital. I wasn’t there so I don’t know and my sister is on vacation so I can’t ask her.

My hospital stay was scary and not much has changed but the staff was kind and I received 1 marriage proposal and 3 phone numbers (from patients) when I left. I’ll never let anyone talk me into or make me feel like I have to do it again. I didn’t hear my brother’s voice or anyone else’s the entire time I was there.

Thanks Everyone!


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