HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me Here!

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Samara, Aug 23, 2012.

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  1. Samara

    Samara Account Closed

    I need to hear from anyone who has been involuntary or voluntarily committed into a mental institution before? I have a bunch of different questions for you, if you have been in one.

    I need to know quite a few things about your experience, from how you entered or how that process should work or can work (what conditions are necessary to even be taken in? etc...?)

    I also need to know what you brought with you, or what you are allowed to take into one? If anything at all?

    I also need to know how they take care of you hygienic wise when in one? I am uncertain about this, because when I was in a hospital (regular one), they didn't provide deodorant at all! So, I am afraid to be stuck in a very disgusting hygienic situation, that I can't get out of.

    What do you do all day/night? I mean, do you just sit in a room on a bed? Or are you put into classes all day long? How does this work? I don't want to go somewhere if I am just going to be laying around, or stuck alone in a room all day or most of the time either?

    How long can you stay if voluntary, and can they make you stay longer on purpose if you voluntarily go?

    What is it like inside of a institution, in terms of just the atmosphere, other people there etc etc etc... and the conditions upon which one would be required to live (eating, sleeping... what is the regime of all of this?)

    What did you do with all of your personal belongings when you went into one? What do you do if you come out of the hospital then (out-patient life)?

    I have no money right now, and if I leave where I am (I am getting evicted by my brother anyway), where would I go after this? Where would I stay?

    How does that work when you leave?

    If I were to go into such a place and then leave after some time, I'd still be in the same position I am in now... and worse then.

    I am trying to figure this out.
     
  2. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    I can answer some of your questions Samara, not all

    I was happy to be admitted because I could not function in the home environment. I had attempted and the authorities felt it was the best place for me. I just took a suitcase like you would going for a holiday - including all my washkit and personal items. I spent a lot of time curled up on my bed facing the wall trying to make sense of things but could go to the common room any time, (where I remember knitting my daughter a cardigan - and when she wore it later after I'd gotten well, I'd knitted one side about 3 inches longer than the other!) There was also some occupational therapy I could do by choice. I was happy to have the time to think though, to gather what thoughts/resolve I could.

    The doctors in charge of my case decided when they felt I could go back home - it wouldn't have done any good to protest I wanted to stay longer. The food was adequate, the staff were caring and positive, the other patients were OK but obviously concerned with their own thoughts. My suitcase stayed in the room with me. I had to report back every so often to the authorities for them to re-prescribe the meds I was on. Oh, and while I was in, I had ECT - and that did work for me. If I'd had no money, I believe the plan would have been a half-way house on a sickness benefit, but I was not in that position.

    For me, it was some "time out" and the ECT was a positive.

    Hope this is of some help to you :)
     
  3. Samara

    Samara Account Closed

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    Thankyou for responding, it has helped me to think some more about this.
     
  4. catecholamine

    catecholamine Well-Known Member

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    Okay. Well. Remember that each hospital can be a bit different on their policies. I have been to 3 different psych hospitals numerous times.
    2 did not allow:
    Any electronics, including hair dryers or anything like that
    Razors, while the 1 that did allow them only allowed you to use them while you were being watched. So if you have a thing for keeping your legs shaved or something...well...don't count on it. One place did allow electric razors, however, but only while supervised.
    Outside food or drink

    ONE did allow me to have a mp3 player, which they (like razors and such) would keep behind the desk till I asked for it, and it had to be used in the day room or where they could see me. They did not allow mp3 players with cameras. That hospital also allowed a hair dryer under their supervision. One the food, this better hospital was a tad more lax. Friends or family could come visit and bring food/candy/drinks but you were supposed to finish it while they were there. If it's something like individually wrapped candies, they didn't ride my hump about it. I went around giving staff and patients mini reeses cups and they didn't say anything about it. I don't think they would have let me have it had I tried to bring it in with my stuff when I came VS someone bringing it to me. It really depends on the hospital and staff.
    Don't try to bring any clothes with strings in them, including pj's. Avoid a bra with an underwire. Know that all your belongings will be searched, and you will most likely be strip searched to some degree to make sure you are not hiding weapons or drugs or anything. An odd thing, but I wouldn't pack a ton of socks - all the 3 hospitals I've been in had grippy socks you could ask for and have. Some places don't allow shoes (cause the strings) and your socks would get mighty dirty walking around on those floors all day, so I use their socks with rubber gripper things on the bottom. SOME places don't allow certain cosmetics with certain things in them, such as containing alcohol - a lot of lotions and such do. Check the ingredients of what you pack. And remember, hospitals have a lot of the basics (soap, shampoo, deodorant) in stock to give you if you need them. They're a crappy off-brand usually but they work.
    I would bring a book or two. Nothing too offensive or anything. I never had them look twice at a book I brought, but just in case....

    One thing you will have a lot of most likely is TIME. It's boring. Most hospitals have groups throughout the day in the day room. They will usually have a communal TV for everyone. Some places close the day room at 10:30pm or so, which sucks if you can't sleep. Some don't. It just depends. If you write in a journal, bring it, and use it. They won't read it without your permission, so don't worry. It gives you something to do. Books are a major help.
    There USUALLY is not individual therapy in most psych hospitals. The main thing they focus on is keeping you safe, working on your meds, and arranging aftercare (for when you're released).
    Most psych hospitals are short-term, anywhere from 3 days to a month. Most are in the 5-7 days range. Here's the deal with voluntary and involuntary:
    It's hard to go in voluntarily at first. And even if it is voluntary, a doc can, at any time, decide you're a threat to yourself or others and make you involuntary. It can depend on the state, but here in TN, they can hold you involuntary for 5 days then they can either 1) Ask you to sign in voluntarily and stay (if you refuse...well, read on) 2) Let you go or 3.) If you want to go and wont sign in and they want you to stay, you have a hearing before a judge and the judge decides....they usually side with the docs, of course, and they can order you to stay for however much longer.

    I have heard some people have trouble getting into a psych hospital, but if you tell them you are suicidal/homicidal and have a plan to hurt yourself or others, they pretty much have to hospitalize you. My suggestion is to go to the ER of your local hospital and tell them this, they will have you hospitalized, but it will be involuntary. It's up to you on this.
    Let me know if there's anything else you want to know about.
     
  5. Baka

    Baka Well-Known Member

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    Just another question besides the fine ones Samara asked, what happens to you when you leave the hospital? For instance Samara said she was being evicted by her brother, what would happen to her or someone who has nowhere to go, do they just release you or send you to a shelter or some other kind of place? Just curious, not that I'd want to go but if ever forced to just also wondering what happens after, that was also some good info from the two that posted what happens in places like that.
     
  6. synchrohobbit

    synchrohobbit Active Member

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    I was hospitalized on an eating disorders ward, which is basically the same but stricter about food sort of stuff. They will search whatever you have, and of course take sharp things, but also anything that might be "enabling," like books about suicide I suppose. Where I was always some sort of activities we had to do, like group therapy, individual therapy, meditation, exercise, crafts, whatever. But honestly it is pretty boring. I think the worst part can be the utter mistrust all the staff will have for you, and the feeling of being trapped; I was involuntarily committed by my parents, so maybe it would be different if it is voluntary. I don't know what your monetary situation is in terms of finding housing, but they would make sure you ended up in some sort of shelter or group home. However, and this is awful, these things are ridiculously expensive, like tens of thousands of dollars. You probably won't be admitted to a program without insurance. I don't know what country you are from, but here in the US we are working on fixing our healthcare system now so people can get the help they need. I hope you are still okay.
     
  7. JigsawJohn

    JigsawJohn Well-Known Member

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    I've been in a mental hospital i Sweden at three different times under a bit different curcumstances. Here's my experience:

    What conditions are necessary to even be taken in? etc...?
    - He in Sweden it's always crowded in the closed wards, they're not very big and is only for emergency situations. You either have to be at high risk suicidal, just recently tried to commit suicide or recently experienced psychosis, basically. Once I could get a place there for a changing of meds that made me feel much worse, but they had to push for that...

    What you brought with you, or what you are allowed to take into one? If anything at all?
    - I've had quite a luggage each time and the only things they take away from you are sharp objects, medications (they keep them locked in and give you them when you should take them), wires, shoe laces and whatever could be used to do damage tor either yourself or anyone else. Computer/cellphone's were allowed but they had to be locked away when loaded.

    I also need to know how they take care of you hygienic wise when in one?
    - They let me keep deoderant, schampo and any kinds of soap. You can shower whenever you want but if you want to shave or cut your nails it might be difficult.

    What do you do all day/night? I mean, do you just sit in a room on a bed? Or are you put into classes all day long? How does this work?
    - There was a common room with puzzles, a tv, papers and pens, stuff like that and you could walk around all over the ward, basically. Except from kitchen, private rooms and such. Most people there just watch tv or smoke cigarettes all day though. Some are allowed to even leave the ward for a couple of hours or so while others need to be supervised in various degrees. There's no classes or such here.

    How long can you stay if voluntary, and can they make you stay longer on purpose if you voluntarily go?
    - They're generally "kinder" to those who come voluntarly, but if they think you should stay longer than you want, you have to stay. But it's always been the opposite for me, they kick me out before I'm ready.

    What is it like inside of a institution, in terms of just the atmosphere, other people there etc etc etc... and the conditions upon which one would be required to live (eating, sleeping... what is the regime of all of this?)
    - They want you to go to bed in time and get up to breakfast, but they don't make you. Same about the food. You can chose between two diffrent kind of dishes of hospital food. Mostly the other comitted there are nice people who just had some bad luck in life and I've very rarely met someone who's violent or mean.

    What did you do with all of your personal belongings when you went into one? What do you do if you come out of the hospital then (out-patient life)?
    - I mostly stuffed my bag of things in the closet or under the sheets or pillow in my bed when I wasn't in my room. Some things like cellphone I carried around. After I was let free again I mostly went back to my old patterns where ever I lived at the time.

    I have no money right now, and if I leave where I am (I am getting evicted by my brother anyway), where would I go after this? Where would I stay?
    - If you have someone else who could pay your rent when you're gone it would be really helpful, but if you can't go back various reasons (some people way get comitted because of their living situations) they can make arrangements for you. But I guess it's different for each country.

    How does that work when you leave?
    - Last time I was in, I couldn't go back to the rat whole I lived in cause of the bad conditions there and they somehow managed to get me into a special kind of resident for people who are just not really capable of living on their own for various reasons, physically or mentally. They made some calls and they got me a place there for when I came out.

    If I were to go into such a place and then leave after some time, I'd still be in the same position I am in now... and worse then.
    - That has happened for me, the first to times I went in. But after the third time they really helped me get back on my feet again. My advice is don't judge before you've tried!

    I hope some of my answers were helpful, though some regulations and rules might differ from each country or even city. Much depend on who's working there and even what people you end up with in the same ward, what you're expectations are and such. Many things play a role but all I can say is that it's worth a try if you think you need to go there and don't be afraid to open up to people there. Much depends on yourself and what you make of it. But they're really there to help you. I wish you well whatever you decide/decided!
     
  8. Samara

    Samara Account Closed

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    JigsawJohn,

    Thankyou for your reply, it seems, from what I have heard others say, that much of what you said also stands true for where I am as well, Canada. I just wanted to let you know that I did read your response, and have taken that into account.



    Also:

    synchrohobbit

    Thanks for responding as well.

     
  9. cloudy

    cloudy Well-Known Member

    Re: HAVE You Been In A Mental Institution/Mental Hospital Before? Please Answer Me He

    over 10 times since the age of 22. it was over medication issues/suicide
     
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