The Hospital

Sometimes in the world of psychiatry the hospital is a dreaded word.  I know that to be true of myself, too.  I have been in the hospital four different times this year.  One of those stays just being in the last two weeks.
When I hear that word come out of my psychiatrist’s mouth I feel despair, but relief at the same time.  There is nothing wrong with going to the hospital for treatment.  It’s a way to keep ourselves safe when we feel out of control or we have thoughts of harming ourselves or other people around us.
I think the reason the hospital word is dreaded is because it has a stigma.  If you are in a psych unit then you are crazy, insane, or nuts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If you need the hospital then you need it.  That’s what it’s there for.  Our psych unit here is excellent.  I couldn’t have asked for better care each time.  However, each hospital has their own protocol and set up.
I have found that my hospital stays have made me better each time.  However, this year has been a very rough year for me with a ton of stress.  That stress is what put me there each time.  When I am under a lot of stress I hear voices and they do not say nice things to me either.  They tell me to kill my self, hurt other people, and defame my character with awful things they have to ‘say’.  I know they aren’t real but the hospital setting is what brings it into check every single time.  It requires extra medication and a safe place to get those auditory hallucinations under control.
So….what if you need to go to the hospital?  Some people are scared, some feel relief and others feel dread or other feelings.  I can relate to those feelings.  My experience has been that the hospital isn’t used enough.  I think there are patients out there who need to be there but are scared to go.  What will Mom think?  What will Dad think?  Am I crazy for going there?  My suggestion is to not second-guess yourself and go.  Don’t worry about what others will think.  Find those out there who will support you.  For me, it’s just my husband and one other friend. Then there’s the awesome Ask a Bipolar Facebook group and the awesome website, too you can use for support.
My suggestion to those of you suffering with that decision to go or not to go is to GO!  You will feel some relief.  You will be safe.  You will have staff to take care of you and do your meds.  You can rest and catch up on sleep if you are deprived of it when you arrive there.  Be bold and stand up for yourself if you can.  Don’t worry about what others think.  Do the best you can and attend the group setting therapies they have available there.  They do help.

I do not like to see or hear of people suffering on their own.  Reach out to others and if it’s the hospital you need then do it!

4 thoughts on “The Hospital

  1. You are right,it does take a lot of courage to go to the hospital,especially if you’ve had a horrible experience previously. I was very scared to go to the clinic a month ago because I wasn’t sure if id end up in a similar situation,that of 11yrs ago. I wont get into details here,but I was harassed,and until now 11yrs later haven’t really even spoken to many people about it,because i was embarrassed,and also because there was more good out of the situation,id like to think then bad. Considering I was there for three months.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one with bipolar that has paranoia and thoughts of hurting myself,and experiences psychosis. Thank you SO much for sharing your experience!,it means a lot. If it weren’t for the AaB authors and support group on facebook,I wouldn’t have all the courage I do to speak up and stand up for bipolar!,
    Im finally on a new cocktail of meds after 11 yrs,and I so far i think,its working.

  2. I think its amazeballs that you know yourself well enough to know when its time to go there. So many people do not have that type of self awareness. I had 2 hospitalizations and the first time I went, I had been thinking about it for several days and finally, the day that I went, the thoughts of jumping off a balcony were so strong that I couldn’t even think about what anyone else would think. I thought about it all the other days I considered going, but that very day, all the other thoughts overpowered my thoughts of what others would think. And It was the best decision of my life!!!!!! I am so grateful that I went and got the help I needed. it resulted in my diagnosis and my path to wellness, or as much wellness as we can achieve.

  3. I used to work in a child & adolescent psych unit at a hospital and the things that you mention in your post are relevant to children and youth as well. We had many patients who needed to be hospitalized because their behavior was out of control and they were at risk of harming themselves or others. Many patients and their families were in a state of crisis when they arrived at hospital. However it was the safest most therapeutic place for them to be. Some patients were admitted on a voluntary basis whereas other were brought in by police or ambulance attendants against their will. It was my experience that many of the patients and their families benefited greatly from a hospital admission. Some patients returned again because they needed more treatment, the door was always open for them. Hopefully the stigma of being hospitalized will lessen in time. Vicky

  4. This is an important post. I’ve somehow managed to never end up in the hospital, but there are at least two occasions in which I *definitely* should have gone, and a third where I probably should have. It’s good to read posts like this so, when it happens again, I won’t be so resistant.

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