6 thoughts on “Items brought to visiting hours

  • June 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Beautifully put! I couldn’t have said this better myself! Too often we forget to enjoy the little things. But like you, I have spent time on the psych ward and truly, all those little things matter so very much! Thank you for writing this!


  • June 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

    You’re so eloquent . It has been 7 years since I’ve been in a Pysch ward and 7 years prior to that as well. Both times I swore I didn’t belong there, but as we know if we’re there it was for the best. I too remember the phone calls and the visits with friends and family, and the beautiful flowers.i don’t much remember the counseling sessions or the psychiatric time .maybe that’s just as well.
    Thank you for all your wonderful words.

  • June 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Hello Elaina,

    Wanted to say your posting really hit home for me. I have spent more time in psych wards than I ever wish to have. I have medication resistant bipolar. Nothing has worked. To date I have been hospitalized 21 times in the last 14 years. Most stays are 3-5 days. But some have came close to two weeks.

    Speaking of the small things you miss, oh god to a phone. How about a bathroom with a door that locks so you don’t have to worry about a patient opening the door while your trying to move your bowels. (tried to say that without it sounding too gross…lol). Not being able to choose what you want to eat (caffine and sugar being two of them). Being trusted to shave or cut your nails without a staff member watching VERY closely.

    Or one of my favorites that I miss being on a psych ward is being able to go outside when you want to. Most hospitals are no smoking and so to feel the sun on your skin is a nice feeling. In the hospitals the glass windows are so thick to be unbreakable that you can’t even feel the heat through the glass.

    And how about silence? Hearing people screaming in the night. Or trying to sleep while every few minutes hearing the “CLICK” of the electromagnet keeping the ward door locked after each staff member comes in or out of the unit.

    For me, your post hit to home because I have PTSD from my hospital stays. I was abused in many of them, one of the worst injuries being the spinal injury that paralized me at first was done by a staff member. Long story.

    But also hit home because my family, especially my mom, doesn’t come visit me in the hospital. Especially after what happened when I was 16. I will try to keep this short. The staff were keeping me asleep for several days. As soon as I woke up they would sedate me again. No, it wasn’t legal. Nor was I acting out to justify being sedated.

    Anyway, the one day my mom, her boyfriend and my brother came for a visit I was on such a high dose of sedatives I had to have a staff member help me to the visiting room. I sat down and my mom asked me how I was doing. I got the words out “I am doing fi….” before I passed out and my head hit the table pretty hard.

    My mom had no idea they were keeping me so sedated. She was freaked out at me passing out and thought I died. Later on when I got out of the hopital she told me after I passed out 2 staff ran into the visiting room and carried me back to my room. I woke up 5 hours later. She never came to visit me in the psych ward again. Only by phone.

    With the PTSD, I have relived that ever so short visit so many times. In my case, my nightmares and flashbacks force me to relive those stays over and over. Sucks. But I wanted to share why your posting hit home for me so much.

    And thanks for sharing what it’s like in there. So many people have no idea. I got sick of people telling me “Oh your back from your vacation”. As if it was fun to be in there, or relaxing. None of my stays were fun or enjoyable. With being in the psych ward I often say psych wards are like going back in time to being a little kid because the staff basically treat you like your 6 or 7 years old and can’t be trusted with much of anything and are told what to do all the time. Anyway, thanks for your post. đŸ™‚

  • June 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Dear Elaina

    I appreciated your writing so much. I could relate to you. The part you said I have never appreciated the small things in life. You don’t know till your experience till it’s gone for few days. You appreciate life more. That’s when I felt when I was discharge and was on the way home. So, thank you thank you for writing this message!

  • June 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this, Elaina! My last hospitalization back in the 90s was so horrific that I swore that I’d rather open a vein than go back. I have kept to that, also. Never again.

  • June 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Sorry Pamster for your bad experiences in the hospital. I can relate. I have felt like a abuse magnet when it comes to psychiatric hospitals. Locked in solitary for 14 straight hours when not violent to myself or others, put in restraints because I refused to do a strip search in front of a gay staff member (I am male). One hospital kept me sedated to the point of keeping me asleep for a week straight so they didn’t have to “deal” with me. Another stay instead of asking me for my show laces, two staff ran in, bent me over the bed and pulled my arm behind my back and forced it up toward my head. Once they got the laces I was let go. The muscles were so severely pulled in my arm I had to have it in a sling for 3 days. The worst was when I they paralized me when I was 16. A staff member grabed me from behind and threw me to the floor face down. And then he put his knee directly on my spine half way up my back and applied his full body weight till all his weight was on his knee. There was several loud cracks and then the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. Kind of like being stabbed with a knife, but one that was white hot as well. I was screaming in pain. They told me to get up and walk to “time out” (solitary). I yelled that I couldn’t move. So they grabbed each of my arms and dragged me to solitary, feet dragging behind me. I was sedated and put in restraints. In the end, I regained the ability to walk. But I still deal with severe pain and take a combination of 4 meds for it. And the nerve damage that happened as well caused my bed wetting to get worse, and 4 years after the incident I began having day time wetting problems too and have had to wear diapers 24/7 since. I have had PTSD since the first incident of abuse in a psych ward back in November 1990. So yea, kind of long winded, but wanted to say that I can relate to not ever wanting to go back to such a place. I am terrified of them. Yet forced to go back to the psych ward every night in my nightmares. It’s torture! Again, sorry you were hurt too.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply to Pamster Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *