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I wanna hear what happend to you

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Well im at the point of pretty soon having to go to a mental hospital. i want to here your guys experiences with this stuff what do they tell you and how do they help you. cause so far therpy and psychiatrist have done nothing to change my opinon on life they just sit there then at the end of the session say i hear you im gonna change your meds to this that blah blah blah, next time i come in there same thing. so i wanna hear from somone a mental hospital has helped and changed there life Thank you
your stay at the hospital is all about what YOU put in to it... you have to do the work. it will most likely be very boring. bring a book. sometimes there are groups, depending where you go. my last hospitalization had no groups, only 5 minutes with the psychiatrist in the morning. they mostly switched my meds and waited until they kicked in. after a week i was desperate to get out.

therapy is by far the better option. if you don't like your therapist (not talking about your psychiatrist, who is really only good for medication management) but your therapist, get a new therapist. one you trust and can open up to.


Well-Known Member
I've never been in a mental hospital but I know someone who has.

He was admitted after 2 serious suicide attempts. He was obviously at a pretty low point in his life. He's been in there for 3 months now and is part discharged (he's allowed 6 hours out a day). He says he can't see himself attempting again, that he don't think it'll happen again in the near future which is a huge improvement on how he was. He hates it, yes but he's getting better.
Well, from my personal experience, I don't think being in a psych ward helps all that much when you're suicidal. I think it's really supposed to be more for stabilization and to help you gather some perspective into your thinking and not exactly therapy. My last two experienecs were horrible and this last one had no therapy, only 2 groups that were more for drug addicts more than anything else and I spent my time trying to get out. When you first get admitted, they will often mix you in with the general population of the psych unit to observe you. This means you're walking around with psychotic people. It scared me a lot. I saw a nurse get attacked and I watched some girl eating from the garbage. It was uncool. People had outbursts of anger and some had odd behaviors that made me question why I even did this to myself.

So, for me, it isn't helpful. In fact, I would venture to say it made me more suicidal rather than less. They strip you of your belongings and you're basically left to roam up and down hallways all day. I did not find anything about it helpful in any way.
I've found that it hasn't worked at all for me, I went a few times and even recently and all they do is give me some anti-anxiety medication (even though I go there voluntarily because I'm suicidal) and release me on the same day. The anti-anxiety medication they have given me each time is also one used frequently in suicide attempts, which shocks me even more that they would prescribe this particular anti-anxiety medication which I won't name for now.


Well-Known Member
I was on the pysch ward for about 10 days in March... The most boring 10 days of my life. I was confinded to the ward [you are allowed time out and to go over to the outpatients centre at our ward] but i wasnt allowed any of this. I was stuck watching TV listening to my iPod or reading. Oh and I smoked. Alot. There was nothing else to do. I swear I drank my own weight in hot drinks while I was there.

we resorted to pacing the corridors for exercise... It was crazy.

Other places might be different but the ward where I live sucked!
I was in a ward in april of 2011 after an attempt and dazzle is right - you get what you put into it. It sucked but i knew i'd be better for telling the absolute truth than lying. I didnt get my ipod or any trips to the outside world . Just 10 minutes out in a courtyard with the smokers. Theres daily activities and such. Very scheduled living but i do well with rigorous scheduling. Otherwise i get bored. But uhh yeah. Always tell the truth even if it means more days put on.
Sorry if i didnt answer your question its hard to write big paragraphs on an ipod.


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I was hospitalized 3 times when I was 14-15 years old. I guess I got a few good things out of it: I learned that I don't belong in a mental hospital. I learned about cognitive therapy and actually used it in my life. And I found the only psychologist who ever helped me, at all. I think there are good things to come from it but it's not exactly a vacation. Of course I was in the adolescent ward so for adults its bound to be very different.

Lady E

Well-Known Member
If you don't like how your therapist and psychiatrist respond to you it's up to you to let them know it's not working and what you would like out of therapy. Like dazzle said with any therapy or hospitalization it is what you get out of it.
If you decide that you need to stay in the hospital to stay safe it's not bad all the time. Depending on your hospital an area you may get a 72 hour observation to start where they may adjust your meds. You'll attend several therapy sessions some being group, some one on one.
Bring loose fitting clothing, nothing with draw strings, bring shoes without laces like slip ons or flip flops. They will take out laces or drawstrings.
Definitely bring books or magazines. Maybe a journal. Be careful about electronics they might keep them locked up or there is a large risk of them getting stolen.
If you don't improve after the three days they may transfer you to a psychiatric care facility. Which has a little more security.
Be honest and don't hold back this is really a chance for you to get the help you need.


Banned Member
When I went to Rehab it really helped for me to be away from everything. Just to be in an enviroment that was dedicated to helping me.

morning rush

Well-Known Member
I went to hospital but was admitted only for a night...because according to them I wasn't suicidal enough, or in any imminent danger, so they made me stay the night, the next day I realized that being in the intensive care is BORING, nothing to do, and I wasn't in the mood to talk to others, it made me realize that my home wasn't such a bad place to be in, atleast I had my computer, my internet, my tv, my movies, my music, my choice of food, my bed etc...

they did help me by registering me to a group that does stuff with you...I have to be evaluated and stuff...but I'm hoping that it will help me...

my mom is in the hospital right now, and she seems to like it...so..I guess it depends on the person...


Well-Known Member
Because I live in MA and voluntarily hospitalized myself, I managed to score McLean, one of the top hospitals in the country. A very popular hospital with a world-class staff you may or may not see. Also the same hospital in Girl, Interrupted.

My stay was very dull for the most part, but I enjoyed the attention I was getting. I purposefully packed clothing that was somewhat excessively formal, which was noted on my chart in a positive way as "dressed neatly". My affect was listed as "blunted" and my affect and mood were listed as "depressed". I was told I spoke slowly, showed little emotion even when describing my suicidal thoughts and behavior, but was readily friendly, proper, and affable.

The place could be amusing at times. My treatment team there thought I would make for a perfect subject to be interviewed by the famed Dr. Maltsberger about my suicidality, who has a hell of a reputation; one of his essays is even published in a book of mine. Aside from the stupid number of medical students there which I should have asked to leave, it was a pleasant interview in which I had a lot of fun. He asked me all about my previous suicide attempts, my current plan, and he asked me a lot about my past, particularly with my parents. I took a rather perverse pleasure in admitting to him with a friendly smile my violent suicide plans and looked him in the eye as I said it, curious as to how he'd react.

I did poorly on his cognitive tests, though. I generally do well on those kinds of tests, but some of them trip me up, especially anything related to memory. They were simple enough, but I continued to make mistakes. For instance, I had to subtract 7 from 100 and then another 7 from that until he told me to stop. I made one wrong calculation early on, which was unfortunate because you get a maximum of five points if you do it five times in a row correctly. I believe I messed up right after 93, and one point is pathetic. I also bombed the short-term memory examination, in which he told me a short story, then asked me to tell it back to him, but I really just couldn't because I don't retain auditory information. I was able to mention a few details about the story, but nothing else. But who cares, I was interviewed by the famed Dr. Maltsberger. I wish I had brought my book along with me so he could have signed it.

There was one instance when I became furious at a staff member for patronizing and demeaning me. I responded by self-harming along my arm, after which I immediately asked to speak to the person who was responsible for me that day, telling him what had happened. Needless to say my treatment team asked me about it later, but everyone agreed there was no reason to put me in the ICU, so long as I didn't do it again.

My second roommate, who was a longtime resident patient of the place and who I spent the most time rooming with, was a highly mentally ill and very low-functioning person, which made time with him rather difficult. Although he didn't do anything that was actively destructive, his personality was very disturbed, and very difficult to communicate with. He was also somewhat demanding that I entertain him, usually when I wanted to sit in the room and just read. He asked that I read certain passages of the book I was holding, for instance. It didn't help that I was reading Pride and Prejudice, which is awkward to read aloud. He would persistently demand to be released to the staff. I felt bad for him, really, for being so clearly the type of person who they could not release, even though he clearly was stir-crazy and bored out of his mind, and who had already spent extensive time there and in other units. I very much preferred my first roommate, who made no demands of me and gave me no trouble at all.

The last thing I'd like to mention is that you might run into someone who is malignantly disturbed. For instance, there was one woman in my unit that liked to walk up and down the halls screaming obscenities and threatening the staff in the middle of the night when everyone was trying to sleep. Some people I was with were clearly highly disturbed, and I felt somewhat frightened on occasion, although not so bad that I actively avoided them. There was one man who I accidentally infuriated, apparently because something I did reminded him of his abusive sisters, and we had a small physical scuffle, but nothing serious.

Anyway, that was my experience, although I'm leaving out some details. That was what happened with me, more or less.
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I'm not sure what country you're from, but I'm from the UK and I spent three days on a psychiatric ward for being suicidal. I was a voluntary patient, though, not detained under a section of the Mental Health Act, and it wasn't dramatic, although the events that led to me being there were a bit dramatic (read my 'Police and Mental Health' thread which I'm rather pleased to say has attracted several pages of replies - my story and many others are there).

Anyways, basically, I arrived at the psychiatric ward at about 03:00am the morning, I was driven there in a police van driving behind my social worker, I don't know why he didn't just take me himself, I was a voluntary patient. But yeah, most of the staff were nice to me, however I was on suicide watch, so I could never have a member of staff leave me. When I slept, I had someone sitting in my door with a light on. When I needed to use the toilet or shower, someone always had to either stand outside or come in (depending on who, I was once placed with the nurse manager thing who insisted on being fully invasive, though she was actually a nice person). They were always with me when I ate or watched TV, and even when my brother visited me. Although not much was said, I was given the impression that if I dared step out of the ward (which was locked) I'd be sectioned, so yeah, I didn't try anything.

Most of the staff were nice, and the other patients weren't too bad themselves, there was none kicking off because I was warded with people with mainly things like depression, etc. Don't want to go back there. I think the worst part of it is honestly boredom.. the shock of being watched 24/7 faded quickly for me as I had to put up with it in police custody, anyway. Hell knows how some people can cope spending 28 days/six months in places like it...
On the LONG road to Recovery.

Moods pass if you wait a while.

So don't attempt to do anything based on your mood!

When i was younger, I attempted to hang myself, tried drowning, took a shitload of panadol (LOL), hung around high rise buildings (which are easy access in my country). I have burnt myself with cigarettes and my wrist bears a vertical scar - since I was told that the veins go "that way".

So I can hardly blame my doctor for hospitalising me repeatedly the over 3 years after 2005.

When I came to Sydney, I was lonely, homesick, heartbroken and paranoid.
So I used to go to the A&E ward around exam time.
by the time you see the doctor, you will be cured, trust me. There are better uses for a hospital bed.

Thankfully, I have yet to be hospitalised for a year and a half!
If you're feeling sad, please call someone. There is nothing worse than hurting yourself for issues that will pass.
People move on with their lives so quickly.

"What seemed so good about the benzodiazepines when I was playing with them, was that it seemed like we really did have a drug that didn't have many problems. But in retrospect it's difficult to put a spanner into a wristwatch and expect that it won't do any harm."~ Alec Jenner, British physician who conducted benzodiazpine trials in the UK 2003


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I have been in the hospital ten times.. Each time it was interesting.. I would just sit back and watch everyone..About the only excitement I saw was a girl came out of her room butt naked..lol..Seriously It's not that bad..You only get out of it what you put in to it... You see your shrink in the AM and usually see a therapist once a day.. Like Catherine said take a book.. It's more boreing than anything else.. They have nurses you can talk to and floor techs that you can also talk to.. So don't be afraid, The floor techs keep the peace..


Some kind of geek
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I've been in several times, and my experiences varied from rotten to pretty good. It's never great, because there's no such thing as a great hospital stay. Other people have given you pretty good advice--don't bring belts or anything with shoelaces or drawstrings, and don't take in anything valuable. Bringing a journal can help with the boredom, although they may insist you use a felt-tip pen.

Stranger1 is right that techs and nurses are the key to keeping you comfortable, so I always tried to be courteous to them. The staff will generally be nicer to you if you go to all groups or whatever treatment activities they have. If you refuse to go, you might get a reputation as a "difficult patient." I've been in groups that were helpful and ones that seemed useless, but I always tried to go, because even going to useless groups shows the staff you're trying. Showing up lessens the chance of getting locked up longer than you have to be.

Oh--if you have a choice, don't check yourself in on Friday night or Saturday. Most hospitals cut back their activities over the weekend, and you will find yourself walking the halls and sipping weak decaffeinated tea for days. Sunday can be okay if you need a day to orient yourself, and hospitals with activities will begin them again on Monday.

Most hospitals are good, safe places to stay until the strong urge to commit suicide has passed. Whether they'll offer much besides that depends very much on where you find yourself.
Hi, I'm Hannah. I've been in 4 psychiactric units, in 3 different hospitals including 1 High Dependancy Unit. I was admitted after 3 suicide attempts in 2 1/2 weeks and was admitted voluntarily. I was on the High Dependancy Unit for 3 weeks; I was placed on 2:1 observations for 5 days, 1:1 observations for 3 days and 5 minute observations for the rest of the time. I was on half an hour observation until about the 3rd month where I attempted suicide twice more on the acute ward (I smuggled in pills). They put me on 2:1 observations again and sectioned me when I tried to discharge myself. Was finally discharged after 5 months. It gets boring. Luckily, one of my admissions was in a private hospital and I had therapy every day, pretty much all day. The NHS hospitals were horrible and extremely clinical with little therapy and a weekly meeting with a psychologist. I don't think the hospital helped, more the fact that I was given 5 months admission time to get my head straight. I hated it and was desperate to get out all the time. Sometimes I felt like I was going to be in there forever, and it was occassional that I wished I could me; there's something oddly satisfying about knowing you've got nurses around you 24/7. Inbox me if you want; I'm pretty clued up on hospitalisation.

I stayed in a psych unit once for 8 days, not including the entire day spent in the E.R. When you go don't take shoelaces, necklaces, bracelets, belts, or pants with tie strings in them, they will be seen as dangerous and taken from you on arrival. They will also take your phone, ipod, etc so don't take them either. You might want to take a book in case things get a little boring, but it never got that boring for me. haha. At the hospital I was at we could watch TV, listen to the radio, and do puzzles. oh yeah lots of puzzles lol. but there's a lot of other activities you can do too. There's always other patients to socialize with. Not many are actually crazy, most are there for suicidal attempts, cutting, anger, or depression. While socializing with other patients can be entertaining, you should prolly try to keep in mind you're there to help YOU not them. It's like other people said before, you will only get out what you put in, so do your best to participate in group therapy and goal work and whatever else. As far as staff go, some are really good, and some are awful. You can get visitors and make a few phone calls a day. Everything is extremely structured tho. Some people say their hospital experiences were terrible, but I don't think you can have a "great" experience with one, I mean the reason you're there is because nothing else is working. However with that being said, some parts of it can be pretty good, while others not at all. My advice is don't leave before you know you're ready to face the world again. I left waaaaay too early and regret it. I hope this helps.


SF Supporter
The first time I went it was helpful b/c before I could not get help to manage the stress and to get better. Becasue I went there, the docs were motivated to get me help. The second time they just about involuntarily sent me b/c I was viewing suicide web pages (they don't know I frequent here). That time I played dumb and got through it being like the model prisoner. I have my plan, my method, and it is just a matter of time before I put things in action.
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