Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Re: Has anyone voluntarily checked into a psychiatric hospital?
I have been to psych wards a couple of times. I was in psych wards continuously for 2 and a half years and after that twice for three weeks each time.
My experience is both good and bad. Of course I live in Iceland so maybe they are completely different but I really don´t think so though.
Many things good and bad happened to me there. Poor doctors, one kept me on drugs that nearly killed me and didn´t listen to what I said every day. Most doctors where good though. The staff can be bad and good. The patients can be tough to be around and great and you might make friends there like I did but I don´t have them today. I was attacked by staff physically and mentally, mentally a number of times. You might not be listened to or believed. Most of the time I felt good enough but I also worked hard myself and wanted to get better, exercise is very helpful, meditation, spiritual music. Where I was I was ignored most of the day, usually but it differs from which ward you are in, and I mean by the staff, I might have been sitting in the hall and they would walk past me all day without saying a word to me.
So in my experience, being in a ward, can feel good and bad, the staff can be good and bad. It´s usually not easy to be in a ward and it can feel like prison, sometimes it is.
And yes, there´s nothing to do all day, it´s not just boring, it´s painful to spend all day every day in a hospital room in a strange bed and with maybe another patient you know nothing about or two of them. There are certain times for tv and you sometimes don´t get to choose what to watch.
I´ve had things stolen from me, two cellphones. It´s rather common that things can just disappear.
You get orders. You are ordered to make your bed, you are ordered to take showers, ordered maybe to wash the floor in your room. It´s like you´re a kid again, told when to go to sleep, at ten all lights are out. You can only stay out so long, have to come early each evening.
You are woken up each morning with lights being turned on and yelled at. There are interviews you have with your doc, sometimes there´s a clinic and that means the room is full with nurses, students, doctors, other staff and you have to talk about your most personal things. There are group meetings each morning where you have to talk.
The food can hardly be eaten. I often had to skip eating because the food was so disgusting.
It´s a risk to get admitted into a ward, wards can be so different, bad and good.
One rather funny thing that happened, I had this crazy nurse, I went in to the dininghall to eat, just me there and I had my cap on because I didn´t want to show my hair, so I´m the only one there and she becomes furious and runs to me and yells in my face, take the cap off, take it off now!! I said no, she grabbed my plate and she threatened to call security hehe, that means a group of musclemen so I had to take the cap off. I know she would have kept her word. There are good odds that a crazy staffmember like that is in the ward you´re in, at least almost everywhere I was.
There´s alot more but I have to stop here.
You shouldn´t go into a ward unless you really really have to.