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Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely

Auguste Rodin

Psychiatric Hospital
A Personal Experiences of Psychiatric Hospital

I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital when I was 17, and when I first heard I was going to be hospitalised I had no idea what it meant, or what I was in for. Upon arriving to the Adolescent Inpatient Unit, I was seen by the doctors and psychiatrists –as were my family, and they shortly left. I was slightly overwhelmed, and as my belongings were searched I was assigned a room.

My first night in hospital was a bit surreal, and it was strange realisation for me that I was actually there. But lying in that bed and feeling the relief of being safe for a while was quite comforting, though lonely, and I drifted off to sleep –only to be woken up by the night staff doing their checks! I think they enjoy shining a torch in your face sometimes…

The hospital was not very full of patients when I arrived, but everyone was very welcoming. The patients were relatable and I became friends with them, and the staff were also very welcoming of me, which eased my anxiety. There was always staff around in the central lounge to talk to us, and they would play card games and board games, too.

I stayed in the hospital for three weeks, and during that time I had school work sent to me which I did in my spare time. The hospital I was in ran a lot of self-help groups, which kept us involved and always looking forward into what the future was going to hold. Sometimes it was hard, and being kept in hospital is a lot of hard work and can be very draining. Sometimes I was lonely, too, and I spent the night of my school formal in hospital, which was really upsetting.

Hospital is often seen as a very extreme way of treating things, and I understand why that is. I had several admissions and only on the third could I say I really learned something useful, otherwise I was mostly there to be contained for safety–which is, of course, still important and valid. But it’s really important to work with staff and try and get the best out of what they are offering you.

The atmosphere of the hospital is not always pleasant, and sometimes there can be patients that you just don’t get along with, and the same goes for staff. But it’s important to remember you are there to get better, and to get back into the community. It was often stressed to me the importance of not becoming reliant on the hospital system as the only way to get better, because really it’s the last alternative most people will consider.

I would say I learned a lot from my experience in hospital, but I would really only recommend it as a final resort type of thing, because you do lose a lot of freedom. Although you can have weekend leave, you are kept on the unit all week, and I think almost every patient runs home just to shave :P And maybe eat a decent meal, too. ;)

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