First of all I can’t stress enough that if your in crisis these types of places are useful. My experience wasn’t so nice and I firmly believe that the mental health system needs to be looked at.
Why I was There
I have struggled with suicidal thoughts for a few years now, I have even had a few attempts in the past. This was the first time I was put into a acute psychiatric ward and there was a lot of good things come out of it, there was also some very frustrating things happen. I was in there for about 12 days but right in the middle of them 12 days I was discharged for about 72 hours. I got out after about 7 days and tried killing myself and landed myself back in there for another 5 days.
The ward was nice enough for a hospital ward. There were 2 sets of locked double doors to get into the ward, as you walked in you came across the nurses station.
If you turned left at the nurses station you would go up a corridor with about 10 bedrooms some single some double. In that corridor was also a door that lead out to one of the courtyards and what they called an interview room, it was a place that the doctors spoke to you. The courtyard that this corridor lead to was locked most of the time but that courtyard had a ping pong table an area where you could bounce a ball as well as some seating it was nice I just wish it was open more of the time. The bedrooms were standard if you were in a single room it had a bed, 2 desks, wardrobe type thing and a bathroom if you were sharing it had a bed, desk, wardrobe per person and you shared the bathroom.
If you went the other way at the nurses station you came to a lounge/ dining area with a tv, lounges, tables and chairs, and a pool table. The lounge/ dining area also lead to a kitchen as well as the another corridor with more bedrooms and the other courtyard. I spent most of my time in this courtyard it had an undercover area with a bench and seats around the outside of the courtyard.
There was also another area of this ward called High Dependency Unit otherwise know as the HDU. A lot of people that went through this ward started off in the HDU and got moved out to the normal ward, I however did not so I never got to see inside the HDU.
People I met In there! The good and the Bad
Names have been changed in this section to protect everyone privacy.
I will start off with the Doctors or the people who had no idea what they were doing which is funny because didn’t they study to do this job? I don’t know in my opinion I think they might need to go back to high school. In all fairness to one Doctor I am going to call her Dr young, she was extremely nice and if she had of had more input into my care I believe that she would have done a good job. The other doctor who I am going to call Dr Asshole definitely lived up to his name. He didn’t think that I had big enough problems to be in there mind you I did try to take my own life. Dr Asshole, in his so called medical opinion believe all I struggled with was low self esteem, now mind you he wasn’t wrong I do struggle with low self esteem I have since I was a kid, but I have also be diagnosed with Depression and high Anxiety as well. He decided that I didn’t struggle with these things and took me off all medication and basically told me to get out.
Next I will talk about the nurses, one nurse in particular I am going to call her Ann. Most of the nurses were super nice and knew how do there job pretty well. There were particular nurses that you’d get that had no business being in mental health ward. The nurse I am going to be talking about Ann was my favourite just thinking about her makes me smile. She was the nurse that did my admission the first time, I was terrified going into that ward and she was the best thing that I could have ever asked for. She quickly figured out that I was shy and very scared and she wasn’t going to get much out of me by pushing and had to let me come to her when I was ready. Which I did we spoke for about an hour the first night and then did the same on the second night I was there. Sadly that was the last time she was on my care for my first admission. I did however get to speak to her just before I went home for the 72 hours and say what at the time I thought was goodbye. Then I landed myself back in there the second afternoon she came into work to find me sitting in my room and asked me what I was doing back there, I told her what I had done and we spoke for a little while. She was on my care one more time before I got discharged again and I thanked her for everything.
Now I will talk about the other patients that I met there, I think out everyone these were the people that got me through the hospital stay and the people I relied on the most. There was 4 people in there that I became pretty close to the first one I got to know is going to be called Lorelei she was quite a few years older than me but we got along really well, she was only in there for just over a week though. The next person I had actually already met she was my age and I am going to call her Holly, I think by the end of it she was the one I spoke to the most. Then there was the mother of the ward, I am going to call her Katherine, she was the one who taught me how to make coffee and got me hooked on drinking it. The last person I am going to write about is going to be called Steve, he was a character and always was willing to talk to me.
The last person I am going to talk about was the occupational therapist, I am going to call her Delilah. I only really spoke with her the second time I was in there, she was really nice and sat and helped me with different things that could help when I was stressed out and wanting to hurt myself. She also ran a lot of the groups.
Regular Day at the Ward
I would usually wake up at 6.30 get dressed and go out to common area and wait for breakfast, while I was waiting I would usually get my allocated nurse come and give me some medication. Breakfast came at 7.30 and if you slept in you missed out. After breakfast most people were up and Holly, Katherine and I would go out to the courtyard. Between breakfast and lunch time which was 12.30 you would get the doctors coming out to get people to see them. Then you had to go to the dinning room to get lunch, after lunch I would either go back to my room for a little bit or go out to the courtyard. At 1.00 I almost always went to relaxation group, most days they had other group on but they never really interested me. The time between 1.00 and 5.00 which was dinner it was pretty boring I would usually spend my time out in the courtyard or in my room. We would have dinner at 5.00pm and then I would go back out to the courtyard until the nurses came out around 8pm and give me my medication and then I would go to bed.
It was pretty boring to be honesty because you weren’t allowed phone or computers, secretly a lot of us sneaked our phones, but you had the option of drawing, colouring, reading, sleeping or socialising with the other people there, if you had leave you could go out for a little bit but that was about it.
My time in the ward was okay, there are always going to be things that are bad but the people that helped me I could never thank enough and to the people that weren’t so nice I need to forget about them. Hope you enjoyed I will talk to you next time. 🙂