Monday, 18 July 2016

What Psychiatric Hospital Taught Me

When I was sixteen, I was admitted to an adolescent psychiatric hospital and after lots of requests I decided to narrow down the never ending list of things that I learned from my experience down to forty. Psychiatric wards aren't ever a pleasant or smooth experience and I wouldn't wish it on anybody but these are the things that I thought were the most important. I also think that it is important to state that psychiatric hospitals aren't a holiday camp, they are an absolute last resort and although this post may make them seem not too bad, you have to make the most out of a bad situation.
  1. Psychiatric Hospitals actually exist.
  2. There are people out there with similar experiences and issues who understand you.
  3. It is possible for some aspects of your illness to get worse which if it happens, will be scary. For me, my self-harm went from superficial to rather medically serious very quickly.
  4. When your parents drop you off, they most likely will leave crying.
  5. The staff members have specialist training within mental health, they won't judge you or discriminate against you.
  6. Some of the closest and strongest friendships can be made inside of them. I met my best friend in hospital and I don't know how I used to live my life without her.
  7. You find out who your true friends are, who still talks to you regularly, who comes to visit you, even once you're discharged.
  8. You recognise which things in life you have been taking for granted. Small things such as having a comfortable bed, having windows that open more than an inch, a wardrobe with doors, having baths and showers without interruptions, going to bed when you like and not being woken up at eight in the morning.
  9. You don't have to be sectioned to be admitted but you often won't get the choice. 
  10. You literally are 'locked away' but it is for your own safety.
  11. There will always be patients who are more poorly than you and there will also be patients who are less poorly than you.
  12. Within adolescent wards, there will be school but it would most likely feel like reception. You will also sit any scheduled exams there, I sat some of my GCSEs within hospital.
  13. If there are no beds within your county, you will be sent miles away from home. I was sent to a unit not only out of my city, but completely out of my county and seventy miles away from where I live which for me, made it harder to settle in knowing that my family were so far away.
  14. Any mail that you receive, will be checked by staff before you receive it.
  15. Any sharp objects or any items that you can harm yourself with will be confiscated.
  16. You will have all of your belongings locked away if you abuse them.
  17. Within the adolescent ward, you will all be around similar ages.
  18. You will most likely be given your own bedroom.
  19. You'll be woken up multiple times throughout the night with a torch shining in your face and your bedroom door wide open.
  20. Privacy doesn't exist, if you're not on 1:1 observations then you'll be checked on frequently.
  21. The staff will try everything in their power to help and support you.
  22. Staff will watch you swallow your medication.
  23. Sometimes it will feel like the staff really don't care but the majority of them do.
  24. If you are a girl then your periods will sync with the other girls on the ward.. that's right, twelve girls all grumpy, emotional and fragile at the same time.
  25. Despite being under eighteen and still in the care of your parents, they will lose control. Every decision regarding being allow off the ward will be completely up to your consultant.
  26. Other patients will find out about incidents and trips to general hospital.
  27. When you finally are allowed home leave, your home wont feel like home, hospital will.
  28. You'll become rebellious which you'll soon realise wont get you anywhere.
  29. Your every move will be watched.
  30. You will get forced to try out a wide range of new therapies.
  31. The staff will witness all of your relapses, blips and breakdowns and you'll soon learn how to talk about what you are feeling.
  32. You will find ways to sneak in things that you aren't allowed but if the staff finds out then you will get strip searched on a regular basis and it wont be nice.
  33. You'll make close bonds with the staff members and it will be hard once you are discharged and aren't allowed any contact.
  34. When you are finally given a discharge date, you will feel more terrified than thrilled.
  35. You'll manage to escape any future threats of another admission.
  36. Psychiatric hospitals aren't a nice place to be.
  37. Once discharged, everything will feel odd and uncomfortable for a few weeks, maybe even months but your home will feel like home again soon enough.
  38. You will miss the patients, staff and the good memories but you will not miss the ward itself.
  39. When you and other individuals are ill, you will decide to do things that aren't helpful and which can be seen as something that friends wouldn't do, but you'll be able to look back on them moments and realise that it was only because you were all extremely poorly.
  40. You will realise that life inside a psychiatric hospital is no life.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x


  1. Having studied psychology as one of my subjects for my higher studies, this post was a very well written and realistic read.

    1. Thank-you lovely! I'm glad that you enjoyed it x

  2. Well done for sharing hun!! Very well written and all true, have been there too!! Take care of you. Xx

    1. Thank-you so much lovely! You too of course x


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