I’m Going to the Psych Ward?? Part Two

I’m Going to the Psych Ward?? Part Two

I’m Going to the Psych Ward?? Part Two.

The last post I wrote, I had just walked with my friend through the Psych Ward doors for the first time. I was surprised at what I saw and heard…

I looked straight ahead and there was no one there. I looked to my left and there was a spacious room with a few people sitting quietly at some rectangular tables. I looked to my right and there was a normal-looking hospital room. I listened and all I heard was silence, so different from my expectation.

My friend and I walked down a wide hallway with hospital-style rooms to the left and right. One room was larger with stuffed chairs in a semi-circle, all facing a darkened television set. I thought I saw two people there and they seemed to be talking.

We arrived at a nurses’ station which also looked like a standard nurses’ station on any other ward. A male nurse came over and asked if he could help us. My friend told him who I was. He introduced himself as Tom and said he’d take us to my room. He led us to the right down a different section of hallway and took us to a room with a single bed in it. He gestured for me to sit on the bed and my friend to sit in the sole chair in the room.

BRRT (CC0), Pixabay

Tom held a clipboard with some papers on it. He said he had to fill out an intake form and he began to ask me questions. As had happened with my Psychologist, my throat constricted and I found it nearly impossible to talk. He asked me about what symptoms I was experiencing. My friend answered for me when all I could expel was air, no words. It became apparent that the Psych Ward knew nothing about me other than that I was depressed. I managed to tell him how I was hurting myself and that I was having suicidal thoughts. Tom asked to see the cuts and bruises on my arms. I was ashamed and embarrassed at what I had done. He was matter-of-fact about looking at my arms, which I appreciated.

Finally, Tom was done and he and my friend both left the room. I didn’t want to leave the room and mingle with the ‘crazy folks’. I decided to write in my journal and try and make sense out of what had just happened (I was still believing that if it wasn’t written down, it hadn’t really happened.).

I wrote for a long time and sometime later Tom poked his head in the door and asked me if I wanted to come to the dining room for dinner. I said I wasn’t hungry. Maybe a half-hour later Tom came in with a dinner tray. I never touched it. I turned out the light and lay fully clothed on the bed and dozed on and off until morning.

For the next 24 hours, I just sat in my room. I gradually emerged to be in the same room as the other ‘inmates’. Over the next two weeks, I sat with my feet upon another chair in a far corner of the dining room writing and smoking cigarettes, rarely interacting with anyone. My G.P. had not prescribed any medication for me and not referred me to a Psychiatrist, thinking perhaps that my ‘condition’, whatever it was, would improve on its own without any psychiatric intervention. I didn’t know.

At the end of the two weeks, my G.P. discharged me. I had grown fairly comfortable there by that time. I was still amazed at how quiet most of the patients were. My preconceived notions of what a Psych Ward would be like had been dispelled. I had met some interesting people, patients and staff, but not much had changed for me. I still felt depressed and rather hopeless. I went home and three weeks later I was back in the Psych Ward, more depressed than before. Now, THAT admission was totally different than the first one…

I’ll share more with you another day.

Stay well and have a wonderful week,

Tillie

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