24 hours in a Psychiatric Ward

25 Jul

If you have been reading my blog, you will know I’m not in the best of places and I had given myself a deadline of this coming friday to decide whether to live or not. I had been open and honest with my care coordinator (cc) about my feelings and that I was struggling, but that my motivation was so low I wasn’t a theat to myself.

Some of my family live in America (I recently visited) and my mum and step dad went on monday (I took them to the airport). Later that day I had an appointment with my cc that didn’t go very well. I was very uncommunicative as I was, understandably, upset. She left and then phoned later to say she is worried about me and would I go and see my psychiatrist tomorrow (Tues). I was in two minds about it as I was worried I would be put in to hospital, but I was told if I didn’t go then the psych would come to my home and so I thought I’d better go along.

So yesterday (Tues), I was compliant and went to my appointment as asked and we spoke for a while. My psychiatrist said she believed we were back in the same place as Jan and that she thought the only option was to go on to the wards where they could a) keep me safe and b) sort out my meds as she doesn’t think my current ones are working for me (trazodone 300mg). I told her I couldn’t go back in to hospital, that I still have nightmares about my last stay and that I feel it would be detrimental to my healing.

However, the bed was waiting for me and I had 2 options:

1) Go in voluntarily

2) Be detained under section 2 of the mental health act.

The thing with these options is they are exactly the same because I was told if I was in voluntarily and I wanted to leave, the staff would hold me on a section 5 (2) for up to 72 hours when I would be assessed and detained under the same section as option 2! So yeah, I really had an option didn’t I!!

I decided voluntarily as at least then I didn’t have to do all the waiting for another doctor to arrive etc. So my cc followed me home whilst I packed and then brought me here, to a different ward than the one I was on previously. I walked in and whilst my cc went in to the nurses station to handover, I was left standing in the corridor. This man walked up to me until he was about 1 foot from my face and just stared at me. I know people are in here for their own problems, but when it impacts on me and my issues then I’m not happy. When he walked away, I just started crying – I don’t belong in here!!!

My belongings were taken off me and I was shown to my room and my cc left. A woman who works here came in not long after and told me that a doctor would be coming to do a physical and take my bloods. She also asked me if I was planning to do anything about suicide whilst on the ward – I said no.

About 2 hours later she came back with another woman with my belongings and they set about going through them. They got to my asthma spray and asked how often I use it, I explained it was an as and when inhaler so no set time – they took it anyway! The did however leave me with all my power cables (laptop and 2 phone chargers!) and a broken cd in my laptop bag that has a nice pointy edge to it that could do some damage.

The doctor came, took bloods and usual stuff – bp, temp etc and then left. All this time, I could hear mens loud voices and although I am in the female only part, there is nothing physical to set the 2 areas a part and all communal areas are mixed (lounge, dining and the laundry room is right opposite me!) I was getting really triggered and had some horrible flashbacks – the magnitude of which I’ve not had for a while – they seemed to go on forever!

And then it was meds time – 10pm. I told the nurse I didn’t want mine because I couldn’t go to sleep knowing there were males so close and that could in my room during the night and so I didn’t want to fall asleep (which my meds make me do).They didn’t argue with me, just told me to tell my psych in ward rounds the next day.

I did doze off a few times but I needn’t have worried because I was on 15 min obs which means you get a nice flashlight shone in room every 15 mins.

So what hasn’t been done on my first day here? I’ve not been shown around, have no idea where anything is. I haven’t been given a named nurse or had my care plan discussed (even now at the end of 2nd day I havent!!). Then there are the small things. The fact I was in floods of tears last night and the woman who saw me told me that she was going off shift now so I’d have to speak to someone else (didn’t tell anyone herself). And then when I asked for a hairdryer this morning, I was told they’d bring it down – 8 hours later and still nothing! It’s these small things that matter when you are in here!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and went to go to the bathroom. WHen I opened the door, this man was stood there – right outside my room!! I quickly got back in bed and then the shouting started, he was arguing with a female member of staff – yelling at her that just because she was a woman don’t think he won’t hit her. The alarms went off, we were told to stay in our rooms and it was at this point I needed my asthma spray – what a joke!!!

It hit 12pm and I hadn’t eaten or drank since arriving (I was ok with that as I’m like that at home – it’s hit and miss!) And then I was told my psych was ready to see me. I needed to tell her al that had happened and why – why I hadn’t eaten, why I didn’t take my meds and most importantly why this was doing me more harm than good!

Well, i’m sure you can guess the outcome – layer me up with more meds!! So going from trazodone every night I am now on:

Promazine 50mg 4 times per day, fluoxetine in the morning and an extra dose of promazine (50mg) if needed and a sleeping tablet. So yes, that’s right – with the girl who is scared of mens voices because she knows what they are capable of, lets just drug her!

I asked when I can go home and she said she is off next week and still wants me here when she returns the week after (ward rounds are weds, so 2 weeks from today).

And here is my problem, being back in here has made me remember why I wanted to live – why I was fighting all the time. All I’ve wanted to do since being in here is speak to my mum (which I can’t – she is in America). The problem lies because no one will believe me if I tell them that – they will think I am just saying it to get out. I’m not dumb, I know I am at the bottom, but I also know I want to climb out. I don’t need 2 weeks of being scared and drugged up to realise this! I don’t even have anyone to visit, so it really isn’t doing me good with nothing to break up the monotony.

And so as I write this, big fat tears are rolling down my cheeks, just like they have been doing for the past 4 hours….


Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


8 responses to “24 hours in a Psychiatric Ward

  1. Jacqueline Applebee

    July 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I’m based in London but can travel a bit, so if you’d like a visitor, please let me know. I’ve been where you are, literally, and I know how isolating and scary it can be. If you’d just like a card or something in the post, let me know too and I’ll get on it. Thinking of you.

    • femaleptsd

      July 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Sorry I have only just seen this – I want to say thankyou SO much for such a kind offer! It has literally overwhelmed me completely and I’m speechless (that doesn’t happen very often). x

  2. Gill

    July 26, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I am so sorry to hear this – isn’t there an advocate you can contact to get you out of there sooner? Someone from Mind, perhaps? They can’t surely keep you there just for their convenience because the doctor has gone on holiday?
    I take Trazadone (450mg) – although I don’t because they make me feel so tired and awful – but have tried most other meds and they don’t work either…
    Keep in touch and let us know how you get on…xx

    • femaleptsd

      July 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      thanks so much!! well she has someone covering her but didn’t want them to have to go through discharge I think! x

  3. nikky c (@gherkinette)

    July 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Oh god, what can we do to help? Can you DM an address to me or others on Twitter so we could send you postcards or something to remind you you aren’t alone and we’re thinking of you? Can we contact an advocacy service for you? Please let us know!


    • femaleptsd

      August 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Am so sorry, I have only just seen this!! Thankyou SO much for this kind message – it really did overwhelm me how people who don’t know me were willing to help me out so much – thank you x

  4. EscapingEntropy

    July 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    i’m sorry you’re going through such a terrible time – as someone who has never been admitted to a psych hospital reading people’s accounts always terrify me. I have PTSD and even though my trauma differs greatly from yours I can’t imagine much worse than being in a psych hospital with the anxiety/flashbacks that come with PTSD 😦 I hope you get discharged soon and are safe xx

    • femaleptsd

      August 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment – if I am honest, it was horrific 😦 x


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