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What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by The Depressed Puppy, Jan 11, 2014.

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  1. The Depressed Puppy

    The Depressed Puppy Well-Known Member

    If I were to go to a Psych Ward because of suicide attempt...Whats it like?

    Oh, & I mean for someone under the age of 18...but it's fine if it is for people over 18.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2014
  2. mark b

    mark b Well-Known Member

    UK here.
    Chances are you wouldnt be in mental health unit unless very unstable mentaly. Or violent or aggresive.
    You can expect a caring but possibly not a comfortable (as in a conventional ward) stay.
    What did you want to know for?
  3. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    Better to reach out for some professional help before you do a suicide attempt!!! If you attempt and still alive but they think you will attempt again they will keep you on a locked psych ward..

    Until they believe you are safe...lose freedom a ton..have to attend groups often.. All with a lot of very depressed and troubled people.. Strict schedule and very close supervision constantly.. You lose a ton of your freedom and privacy..

    Only stay for me on a psych ward was in early 70's.. I will keep myself safe and get help if needed so I never end up with that again!!!
  4. mpang123

    mpang123 Well-Known Member

    BrokenButterfly, first of all, I hope you don't act out your suicide plan. However, if you do, hospitalization will probably be the result. I have been in and out of psych wards all my adult life, but each hospital is different, but some things may be the same procedure. I can go on and on about all the negatives about psych hospitals, but I want to encourage you and not frighten you to going to one if it's necessary. Basically, the hospitals are providing a safe haven for you to recover while you see a psychiatrist who will prescribe meds for you and the staff will observe how well you respond to the meds. You will have lots of group therapy to learn coping skills and you will see a social worker to work with you individually as to what your needs are and provide you individual therapy. There will be psych techs to monitor the ward and observe your activities. The psych nurse will dispense your meds. Some hospitals have good food, but others don't. There are so many details I can fill you with, but as I said, every hospital is a little different. I just described the basics. Keep in mind, they're there to keep you safe.
  5. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

    I agree here with mpang123, I hope you're not planning your suicide plan.
    My first and only Psych-Ward stay was last year in beginning september. At that point I was under 18.
    Basically, you haver to attend different group meetings like for drugs/alcohol/self-harm etc., they watch you 24/7, you work with your social worker, you have to take meds (in my hospital).
    But you have no freedom at all. I had to sleep with an open door, I couldn't really shower alone (and they had monitors which provided you from closing the door), I had to eat all the food (
    (which was...I don't know...totally digusting). I watched a movie about a boy who was hospitlized...I think from Ned V. or something... was the same there...
  6. 9426

    9426 Member

    Ok I guess. The nurses and doctors are usually friendly, the food is edible, and you get to play different games with the other kids.

    Completly different story. The staff is rude, the food is horrible, and there's nothing to do but watch TV or read a book.

    Hope I helped.
  7. MessengerFromHell

    MessengerFromHell Well-Known Member

    Its shit. Dont ever end up there.
  8. Jackie's Strength

    Jackie's Strength Staff Alumni

    I'm an adult from Canada and recently had a surprisingly good, first experience. Believe it or not, even if you're immediately suicidal or have attempted, hospitalization is not automatic... they have to believe that they have something to offer you - more than just keeping you safe. The degree of autonomy you're given depends not only on the circumstances that brought you in and their assessment, but also on your behaviour while you're there. I can openly and honestly say that voluntarily checking myself in was one of the best decisions of my life. Do go if you need to!
  9. The Depressed Puppy

    The Depressed Puppy Well-Known Member

    Well, last night I was planning to act on my plan, but I end up not doing it.
  10. mpang123

    mpang123 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations for not acting on your plan. I know it is difficult, but you made it!
  11. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    Butterfly glad you still with us.. Really glad!!! You only get one life hon so do get some help and try hard to make this life worth it please.. Jim
  12. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I was actually 18 and in high school so first hospital I went to , admissions were in middle of nite n they didn't want me in the adults ward cuz I was too young looking tho 18 still in school so they put me on the kids floor it was a locked unit. I took off my clothes they looked thru them for counter and but they didn't touch me so I put clothes back on. Slept the entire 3 days I was there as refused group as most of the people in kids unit was teeny boppers or Tweens I was basically the oldest and couldn't relate to them so they left me alone.

    Transferred to a different hospital w ambulance ride of course, for better program suited to my needs, I was actually placed in both slept in adults ward and mixed with people my age and all were in high school. My buddy had to sleep in kids ward it was on same floor so we could see each other at notes but door was locked. What I've seen was way more restraints and code forgot color all security people rushing to the floor to assist. Compared with adults I felt more safer on the adult side due to kids being stronger and hormones all of it was just insane there. I felt bad for my buddy he couldn't sleep cuz thru nite cuz commotion thru nite. While adults floor very quiet
  13. The Depressed Puppy

    The Depressed Puppy Well-Known Member

    I really want to act on my plan again, I am depressed once again, & I'm contemplating whether or not I should commit suicide.:(
  14. demuredawn

    demuredawn Well-Known Member

    sounds to me as if you need to call a crisis line, or talk to your doc, or perhaps just go in and get a voluntary admission at a psych hospital. i have been in the one here about 7 or 8 times, and really.... not much to it.

    they give you a psych evaluation to determine if you need admission.
    then you go through whatever admission process the hospital has
    then you get shown to your room (it may or may not have a roommate but generally has its own bathroom unless you are put on the intensive care unit of the hospital in which case you need to be in site of staff at all times so they don't let you in your room by yourself in the day)
    you get woke up around 6am for breakfast
    then you get your vitals taken (weight, pulse, blood pressure, temperature) to make sure your meds are not having any counter effects on you
    you see your psychiatrist (one of the ones on staff at the hospital)
    you go to group meetings
    you eat lunch
    go to a few more meetings
    eat supper
    sometimes you have a few more meetings
    in between times when there is no group that you specifically need to go to, you can watch tv, play games, color, snack... they generally always had packaged snack crackers, cookies, sometime ice cream and soda on hand
    then you take your meds
    and go to bed
    during the night hours sometimes they will wake you up to take your vitals or draw blood or do a ekg, whatever the doc has ordered for you to make sure you have no complications from meds (or if you are there detoxing or because of a sui attempt)
    they keep any personal belongings that are not allowed in your room in a safe and it is all returned to you upon release
    you can generally call out collect, and receive calls (depending on the rules of the ward you are on -- icu doesn't always do this) and sometimes can receive visitors but you have to approve them even after your doctor has said its ok for them to visit if you decline, they cannot come

    honsetly, the hospital stays in my opinion, are more like a much needed break from reality that we sometimes need, than they are threatening... the only real bad parts about them is that generally speaking you have to take the meds they give you , and that the ward is locked down ... some hospitals have areas that you can go outside that are fenced in, others don't ... most hospitals have activity areas tho even if they are not outdoor ones
  15. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Feel free to call the crisis hotlines I am sure there are good ones geared towards teens. Good luck and take care please take it one day at a time
  16. rigadoog

    rigadoog Active Member

    demuredawn, i was in the psych ward 4 times within the last year, they dont force you to take meds, you can refuse them.

    overall its a pretty shitty place to be, but your experience can vary a lot from place to place. My first stay was in the adolescent unit and it was the stupidest fucking waste of time ever. i was a mature 17 year old with a bunch of 13 year olds who would just bitch and cause drama all day long. The staff were kind of rude, but you could tell it was just because they were tired of dealing with brats all day.

    The worst part was probably just all the precautions they have to take. this is pretty much the same anywhere you go, due to hippa laws you cant have any electronics. and they limit your tv time also. i ended up spending most of my time reading, or doing sudoku or puzzles.

    I was at a psych ward that is nationally recognized as one of the best and i hated it. then i went to a hospital closer to my home and it was a much more comfortable, productive stay. It still wasnt fun obviously, but i liked all of the staff, the patients were friendly, it was quiet, and i didnt get too bored. In general the psych ward is hell and is a terrible place to live for any amount of time, but like i said, it can vary greatly from hospital to hospital. if you ever end up there (you dont want to), try not to judge people, whether staff or patients. Its a place thats basically filled with the same mixed bag as the general population, as long as you dont get put on a unit with lower-functioning or schizophrenic people. Including staff.

    oh, and a big part, if you arent already aware, is that they check on you every 15-30 minutes. its not too obstructive or anything, they just have to put a check on their sheet, but for me and im sure many others, it really feels like an invasion of privacy when people have to come bug you that often.

    also, it can vary a lot from place to place how much they force you to do. on the adolescent unit they were really annoying about forcing you to get up and go to their stupid groups, but depending on the hospital sometimes you can really do whatever you want all day as long as its not disturbing or harming anyone and you follow their rules. you dont have to eat, go to groups, talk to people. but if you dont talk to your doctors you wont go home.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  17. demuredawn

    demuredawn Well-Known Member

    not sure why you are directing this at me.... as even you said that it varies from hospital to hospital... and i stated that was my experience... honestly don't really care if u believe me or not.. i know its true here cuz i been in it 7 or 8 tines as stated
  18. rigadoog

    rigadoog Active Member

    Maybe the laws vary state-to-state...? In my experience at every hospital, doctors are not allowed to force medication on you. Have you ever told them you want to refuse meds?

    Found this: http://www.ct.gov/opapd/cwp/view.asp?a=1756&q=277272

    Since CT has its own page for these laws I would assume it varies state-to-state... in which case your state's laws are really unjust and infringe upon basic human rights if they really can force medications upon you.

    now this: "In 1979, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit established in Rogers v. Okin that a competent patient committed to a psychiatric hospital has the right to refuse treatment in non-emergency situations. The case of Rennie v. Klein established that an involuntarily committed individual has a constitutional right to refuse psychotropic medication without a court order. Rogers v. Okin established the patient's right to make treatment decisions."

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2014
  19. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    With apologies to the Original Poster here and to help clarify any confusion this last exchange may have caused to them I would like to add something about psych units and forcing meds.

    In most if not every state it is true that they cannot force meds on you with the exception of emergency situations. However it is up to them to determine what an emergency situation is. For example if you are being completely non-compliant and/or violent they can and will administer a tranquilizer. That is pretty clearcut and easy to understand - but suppose they believe you are going to do that imminently based on their observations - then they may decide that is an emergency as well. You can of course argue about that after the fact or threaten to sue , however it will be you that is in a mental hospital and defacto incompetent arguing that Drs and nurses were the ones that were misinterpretting the situation - not likely to go well.

    In the case when my daughter was admitted for a longer term - no they did not force her to go to groups or to take medication. However if she failed to do so when asked to it was written as non-compliant to treatment and a danger to herself and inability to recognize the need to get better. While on the official books she was in fact "voluntary admission" in NY state a voluntary admission means they have to release you within 72 hours of your request and they use that 72 hours to change it from voluntary to involuntary if you are not following the recommendations. In the case of my daughter (14 at the time) I happen to believe that was a good thing as it made her stay on meds and see therapists long enough so we were able to find a combination that worked for her - but I am very certain not all people feel the same way nor do all people have the good fortune to have 2 very strong parent advocates checking in 2 or more times a day forcing staff at the hospital to explain their reasoning for medications and selections of therapies. We did in fact step in and force changes on several occasions however lacking us she would have been given the choice of taking the medications and therapies voluntarily or being indefinitely involuntarily committed.

    In reply to the dispute- legally no, I am certain they cannot force medications but in reality since they decide if it is an emergency or crisis and since failing to comply can easily result in an involuntary committal for an extended period of time unless you have a strong advocate checking in on a regular basis it is an unfortunate situation where you can either comply and hope that they are in fact correct (I believe they are most of the time but that does no good if you are in the minority where they got it wrong) or be uncooperative and either be forced or coerced into agreement by declaring it and emergency or threatening loss of privileges or longer commitment.

    Original poster- Many people find that a hospitalization can be very helpful in many ways - even if it is just the self therapy of time away. There can be many benefits derived from it. But it is not a small thing to be taken lightly and you should know that your rights can erode very rapidly if they perceive you are being non-cooperative.
  20. MessengerFromHell

    MessengerFromHell Well-Known Member

    Glad that you are still around. I am.unsure abt ur country but its definitely more developed than others. But in any case, that is not a pleasant place to be in
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