A lot of people ask me when the hospital is needed for mental health problems. I want to say, it is not cool, fun, emo, strange, or has bragging rights. People often text me or email me and say “how do I get into the mental unit?” I don’t like when it’s phrased this way. It is a psychiatric unit. Being put into the hospital is not something you want – it’s something you need. You need to advocate for yourself and share truthfully what is going on at that time. You could be better in 3 minutes or 9 years. They have to monitor that. Faking symptoms or lowering the severity of your symptoms will get you nowhere. You know if you need to be hospitalized. I don’t know how to explain it but you just do. There is a list of reasons to go to the hospital at the bottom of this article for family, friends.
It’s not something you want to do. That’s like saying I want to get my kidney taken out. No. People who need that do. But sadly, the system lets in many people who do not need a bed at that specific time, and others waiting, die. They could die in hospital or at home because of the waiting. –blog post to come on emergency room waiting times-
The difference between adolescent and adult psychiatric units are incredible, as well are the difference between adult psychiatric units, and institutions. When I was an adolescent I thought I was so cool. I had scars and had to wear a gown. But when that faded, probably after my 3rd hospitalization. I learned that I was actually sick. I dropped out of school, I couldn’t get a job, I lost all my friends, I quit soccer, and my romantic partners, and I refused to talk in therapy. I was the kid cutting herself in the washroom, or crying under the bleachers during gym. Some specific examples could include when I lied on the floor of the grocery store and screamed – I just screamed and cried and laid on the concrete floor in the fetal position. When I got a bit older, I got back into soccer and had a psychotic attack on the field. I then left the sport behind for good.
The older I got, the more I faded away. I developed an eating disorder and was ordered bed rest, when I recovered I replaced eating with drugs. My health was extremely warned out. I developed osteoporosis, anemia, irregular heartbeat, easily bruised, light tenderness/sight problems, lowered hearing, memory loss, dissociation and more.
1 year ago, for 4 days I was in 12-point restraints. I couldn’t eat, and when I wanted water I was fed by the nurse with a straw, my bones ached, I couldn’t turn my head and had no access to any sort of amusement, I was shot with sedatives daily depending on how I was –in the arm or in the bum- I cried everyday. To be restrained from being able to do anything even a 2 year old can do is horrible. Being in the hospital is a necessity not a choice.
Please do not manipulate the system because even I have seen people die waiting for help.
If you have suicidal thoughts but have never attempted – try a helpline to see your severity and if you need the last resort – hospital
If you have suicidal thoughts and have attempted before – go to hospital and talk to the crisis team –not necessarily admitted
If you are a physical immediate threat to yourself or others – hospital
If you have attempted suicide or homicide – go to hospital ASAP