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I keep seeing posts from people who have had awful experiences. Is it really so bad? I have this little mental fantasy of a country-club like place where a troubled soul can rest and heal but that's probably naive and stupid. What's hospitalization really like? I've avoided it so far but there are times when I've felt close to the edge that I've wondered if I should.


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I've been in a county hospital twice and a private hospital once. Private is wayyyyyy better. But the county hospital here is free if you're 5150d.

You're pretty much locked down in a ward with a bunch of other people. Probably share a room with 1 or 2 other people. Can't have much in with you as far as personal property. Books, magazines and the like are ok. Cell phones and ipods are not. Usually they have different group sessions every couple of hours during the day. Sometimes they're about stuff like managing your anxiety or improving coping skills, and others are like arts and crafts or games. They also give you a patio break every couple of hours so you can go outside and smoke or whatev.
i've been in 5 times. not so bad. the way i look at it their job was to keep me alive when i wanted to die... so, success! it was a bit boring. not much to do except see the psych, groups, crafts. and reading a lot. i hated not having my cell phone and not having internet access. the main thing they did for me was adjust my meds. even better than being in teh hospital was the after care. a one month outpatient program, met daily 9am to 2pm. lots of stuff on coping, recognizing triggers, etc. run by the most amazing nurses and social workers.


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It depends on where you go. Private hospitals are much better, and expensive. Mostly, it's boring, but when I am in crisis, boring is okay. Don't expect miracles. It is just a place to help you manage a crisis.


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I have been there 4 times, all of them in Switzerland. One of them was in a private one and it was like club med. Lots of group sessions and lots of sports. The public hospital ones were in 2 different places since one of them is a crisis ward where you meet a doctor once a day and the nurses 2 a day in one-to-one sessions. But oh my God I have also been at a psychiatric hospital which was a very traumatic experience since they mix people with different diseases and some cases are very hard to be with.


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I've been in ten times.. Nine of them were in a clinic for people without insurance..Very boreing.. All there was to do there was sit around and watch the other clients..Then you see the pdoc and sometimes a therapist depending on what ward your on..The last time I was in the hospitals ward because I had insurance..The only problem with that is you couldn't smoke..I learned to bring a book or two to keep my mind occupied..Overall they keep you safe from yourself and from the other clients..
I have been to psy ward for many times (sectioned).. Able to use my laptop to play games and able to talk to the staffs.. they counselled me and keep me happy by serving me many nice food and also some patients are not insane and they are able to chit chat with me.. The downside is: the place is hot because there is insufficient fans to keep the place cool.. There is nothing to worry about being in a psy ward.. The staffs keep you safe and better.. Don't be afraid.. :hug:


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I thought it was awful. The food was terrible, the co-inhabitants were beyond saving and completely insane and the so-called "help" was actually people doing their job, not caring if you'd pull through or not when it came down to it. The "helpers" (i.e. doctors/psychiatrists) were completely stupid imo anyway as they weren't creative thinkers they just repeated things they'd read in books. They'd just go "Oh this guy has this symptom and this symptom. *reads book* He has [insert wrong diagnosis here]!". On top of that some of them were completely unprofessional, way out of line and offensive without a shred of remorse. They do not have my respect.

I wouldn't recommend it.
Compared to how we are feeling at a time of commitment between living the way we are, and living the way we wan't, it's a no brainer. No matter how apprehensive we are, getting help is always the best solution. I should know after only beining in a program 10 times. Probibly soon going for #11. I still struggle, but I'm still here.

Best wishes.......sks


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i spent 17 weeks in hospital last year...and came out worse than i went in. pyschiatrists just decided once a week to pump you with this drug or that drug and if you had bad side effects (which i did) didnt believe you until it got so bad they had to do something. i couldnt go out alone, my named nurse was useless, and never saw me as she was supposed to do. so even the remotest suggestion of going back is shot down in flames. i guess it depends where you live.
I've been in four times.The food was great,they had their own canteen and cooks.They had assertiveness classes every Monday and relaxation everyday.They take away your shoe laces,dressing gown belt,mobile phone,mp3 player etc etc...

I had to share a dormitory with six other people so privacy was an issue.I suppose the hardest part was passing the day.It can be very boring and long if you just site around all day.I brought books in to read which helped a lot.

Some of the other patients were nice and fairly normal but there were some that shouted a lot and cried.It can be intimidating first time going in.


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It really depends on a lot of different things, whether you'll have an OK experience in hospital or not. Some people look at it as a "rest" and are happy to sit around doing nothing all day. If that's what you want, it might be OK. I didn't find much in the way of help in them though. Some at least attempt to help with regular group meeting sesssions, art therapy and the like but I had some damaging experiences in those things too. (Like the time a therapy group was told 2 people would have to leave and it was up to the group to decide who those 2 people would be...now discuss it for the next hour. I knew immediately they were playing a sick game known as "lifeboat" in which a group of people are told to pretend they're on a lifeboat, and two people must get out. I played along anyway, knowing they would never let the group decide something like that. Several people got so upset about the whole thing they ran out crying. I got voted out for "being too healthy." (Which shows how ridiculous it was. I'd just almost died of a suicide attempt and the group members didn't know that.) At the end of the session, the leaders say, ha,ha , just kidding, sort of thing. Sick. So sick. Sometimes got the impression the staff was a nuts as the patients and making them crazier by the minute. There were other things too, but too long to get into. On the other hand, in that same hospital, I met the pdoc who would help me and support me for the next 14 years.
Another time, I was at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto getting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an outpatient. It was excellent and I admired and respected everybody in the Mood Disorders Clinic. They hospitalized me for suicidality and I figured hey, this is the most highly respected Psych facility in the country, so how bad could it be? The inpatient experience was awful. There was no treatment other than seeing the inpatient pdoc every few days. The nurses never even spoke to me. No group therapy, nothing. I just started denying suicidality and acting as healthy as possible until they let me go. On the other hand, I made a good friend there amongst the other patients and we stayed friends for many years. On the other hand again, he killed himself eventually.
Anyway, those are just a few of my experiences. Sometimes you're lucky and you meet good people in the staff or patient population and sometimes you're not so lucky. Sometimes the funding is better for programs in some places than others; sometimes the programs are good, sometimes not. It's a crap shoot.
It totally depends what area you're in, sadly. My friend had good experiences, and she lived in Northern England. I nearly admitted myself this year, and am avoiding it at the mo. There doesn't seem to be much literature, or info on experiences on the web.
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