Memories of a troubled place

My memory of the whole charade is rather fuzzy, I had been missing my risperidone for about a week prior to the event. I was having thoughts of suicide and decided to call the ambulance and go to the emergency room. I ended up getting what the doctor called “pink slipped,” meaning I was imprisoned, or, in legalese, “confined”
to a psychiatric ward for 72 hours. I stayed the entire night in the emergency room, in which my bladder was distended, they forced me to drink bottle after bottle
of water so they could get a urine sample. They were considering shoving a tube of sorts down my urethra to get the piss out.

Thankfully they didn’t need to, since my I suddenly started pissing, the amount of urine I pissed out filled two whole jugs, and then a half of another. It was…..
not fun, to say the least. I ended up getting an hour of sleep on the cot there, which wasn’t that comfy in the first place. It was hell. The actual psych ward itself
was better, but that’s not saying much. I spent about four days in total away from home.

I tried convincing them I was not suicidal, because I wasn’t, it was merely a case of me losing my meds. As soon as I was ushered in I noticed that inside of the place
was like a jail, not literally, but pretty close to it. It was a “total institution” as some call it. A place where I was subject to 24/7 control, I had little to no
agency while I was there. It was boring as all hell, the only thing on the fucking tv was that stupid show called Impractical Jokers or something, I don’t exactly
remember.

We did group and such, it wasn’t really that helpful. I got the distinct impression that this institution was only meant to enforce compliance, not genuine wellbeing.
I felt trapped. They did good at making me meek and docile tho, which helped in me getting out so quickly, now that I look back on it. I couldn’t even shower in
privacy, someone had to be outside of the door watching me the entire time. I had no underwear, and only my boxers and shirt.
,
The food wasn’t half bad tho, I’ll admit. This one guy I distinctly remember, was there cuz he was an addict of some sort, he lied and said he was depressed and
considering suicide, but really he just wanted to get clean. The place didn’t help him, and so he was stuck there doing nothing but sitting on his ass watching, you
guessed it, Impractical Jokers all day. I remember feeling trapped, caged, like an animal in a zoo.

There was a pamphlet about our patient “rights,” but since the doctors had the ability to keep us in there for effective noncompliance, even when exercising our
“rights,” something tells me those were just for show. I slept in this room with one other person, a man who did nothing but sleep all day. I took to reading a book to
keep myself occupied, but due to being off my Vyvance it didn’t help all that much.

I was constantly restless, I was uncomfortable. I cried a few times. I remember being told that if I cried I would be kept there longer. It was hard, but I managed to
suck the tears up. I was overjoyed when I finally got to go home. It’s not an experience I want to revisit, I’ve learned my lesson about going to the emergency room
for suicidal ideation on that front. I also am worried that if I go back there, they wouldn’t have my HRT, which is yet another reason I won’t go back there.

I found out that the hospital I was staying at was a for-profit entity, which made me sick to my stomach. I was still a radical socialist back then, just not an
anarchist, and I was rightly miffed people were, and are, profiting off of other people’s woes. I hated that place, I don’t want to go back there.

One thing that kept me sane throughout the stay was the thought of being unbanned from a particular Discord server I was on, but when I finally returned home, well,
I was never unbanned. It seems like a petty thing, but we all need to have something to latch onto to retain our sanity. It was also there that my headmate Irene
emerged, and while she’s a pain in the ass, she’s been there for me ever since. We’ve been through so much together, I know I`m never truly alone.

Some thoughts concerning psych wards

I was at the mental hospital recently and I have a few thoughts concerning my experience there, as well as the experiences of those people around me. First let me get some of the common misconceptions out of the way, the people in mental hospitals aren’t entirely homicidal psychopaths, hardly so, in fact they’re people like you and me. There are many myths surrounding mental illness that give it an undue stigma and which help to ward people away from treatment.

Secondly psych wards aren’t like what they’re portrayed as in the media, hellish places from which there is no escape, the average stay at the one I went to was about 3-7 days on average, I stayed there for about four days, give or take a few hours. They’re actually rather boring places to be frank. The most popular form of entertainment was watching fucking Impractical Jokers on the TV there, cards was also pretty popular.

Now that’s out of the way let’s get down to the nitty gritty stuff, what determines whether or not you leave the hospital is down to compliance more than anything else, the patients have little say over whether or not they get to leave, and that presents a problem, since it is an infringement on personal autonomy. Hospitals will also boot you out the door as soon as your insurance stops paying, which says something.

I resorted to a lot of sleeping and pacing to pass the time, it was more of a wait to get out than anything else. So-called “pink slips” are also a bastard thing, in which you are legally mandated to be held under psychiatric supervision for 72 hours without regard to autonomy or individual context. I think the process should be a lot more democratic, that way less abuses can occur. There was also very little privacy there, even when showering you had little to no privacy, with the door cracked open and someone just outside it. That too should be changed.

In general I think the entire system should be reformed, or better yet, replaced, preferably with community involvement in treatment and giving patients more of a say over their own treatment, there should also be more respect for personal autonomy and privacy, but I don’t expect any meaningful change to occur anytime soon, but that’s just me.