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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Staying in a mental health facility

Topic: Staying in a mental health facility

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sleepy21
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    13 April 2020

    Hi....

    I recently attending a public mental health facility......It helped me and I'm glad I did it. The people in the facility (the other participants) were pretty lovely and supportive, and it felt great to not have to explain a million times what I was going through. People didn't probe too much, just accepted that if you were in the facility, you were struggling in some way, and it was enough for them. I realised how frustrating it is to have to explain mental health conditions to people who just don't get it. Here, everyone got it.

    Has anyone else stayed in public or private mental health facilitys? Either in wards, recovery facilities, short or long term? Would you recommend it to others who needed help?

    I've heard some horror stories, and I believe them. But I think it's good to mention that some of these services are also excellent. It's a mixed bag.

    Curious to here anyone else's experiences

    2 people found this helpful
  2. SammiGee
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    2 posts
    14 April 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Hey Sleepy

    so glad you posted this as I literally came here to get info on the same topic. I honestly think an in-patient stay is the only way I’m ever EVER going to cop a break from this current 3 year depressive episode (not even a days break this time) - so have been looking at dipping into my super and paying the $19k to do a 21 day stint - I’m finally that desperate - after being this way for 35 years. Seriously, what a waste of a life. So if I can make whatever’s left half decent then I’m going to try it I think. But I have heard stories too; where it’s more about the $$ than the treatment - and that concerns me too.. I’d hate to fork out all that money for nothing!

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
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    Croix avatar
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    14 April 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Dear Sleepy 21~

    Ive been hospitalized in a public hospital more than once. This has been due to PTDS,depression, anxiety and suicidality.

    Each time it has been voluntary, though it's taken intervention by my (non-hospital) psych to get me permission to leave if I wish (this was fair while ago admittedly)

    I did not find it a pleasant experience, sharing a two-bed ward, having other clients wandering around, some in a highly distressed state, and a number of staff who were not enthusiastic about completing their duties.

    Does not sound much good so far - however

    On the first occasion the separation between me and the world, with all its triggers, worries and pressures, was a balm. I could look out a high window to the street below and see people scurrying around in their normal lives , traffic stopping and starting, and knew I was apart from it all.

    A very kind psych nurse, who was not in my section, brought me books to read from his home and gave them to me. Although my concentration was terrible they were exactly right, adolescent fantasy. They transported me to a simple clean world where heroes and heroines lived happily ever after and villains got their just deserts.

    This insulated me from the unpleasantness of the ward, and I've had books in hospital ever since.

    So to sum up, in my case unpleasant but effective. If I had to I'd go again.

    HTH

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Sleepy21
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    15 April 2020 in reply to Croix
    Hi Croix, your post explains well what it's like to go through the hospital system.
    Did you stay for short or long? Did you ever make any friendships there with the residents?

    It would be difficult not to have your own room - that would be very very scary.

    I had my own room which closed and because I've suffered PTSD something about the privacy and seclusion also made me feel so so calm.

    It is really good to get that break, and hopsital isn't such a bad way to get it, all in all.

    Another benefit for me was that i saved money, as all was provided in the hospital. I also rediscovered my creative side in hospital, like you.

    I am very interested in the role creativity and art can play in healing... i did see a parallel between me experimenting with art, drawing and craft in the hospital , and me feeling better mentally. I think art therapy is underrated.

    It sounds like you have a balanced approach to what hospital can and couldn't provide. I agree completely with a lot of what you said about some of the residents being confronting. I've had some very uncaring private psychiatrists who I paid for, but in the public system I found some very caring social workers and nurses.

    Like you, I'm very glad I went. I wish I'd not been so afraid of stigma, and gone earlier. But the timing also has to be right, i guess, would you think? Did you feel like you got different things from different hospital stays?

    thank you for helping. I'm very interested in this topic as my first stay was a few months ago, and it took many years for me to even consider diving into the system
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Sleepy21
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    15 April 2020 in reply to SammiGee

    Hi sammy - that's a big expense for sure!! You'd want it to be a good fit...
    Are you going to take the plunge and give hospital a go?
    Some places are for sure out more for cash. Have you heard about needing to have a doctor with admitting rights who can get you in??

    Please please look into the different psychiatrists at the hospital and their "reputations" - there are good ones and some terrible ones out there....But hospital saved me... I have mixed feelings like you Sammy. I understand the position you are in now...

  6. Sleepy21
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    15 April 2020 in reply to Sleepy21
    The books sound very healing.... did you have the opportunity to do any writing at hospital as well, journalling or such? I felt too blocked to write, but did some of the craft groups. I hope you continue to enjoy good books and the calm of sometimes watching the world :) best regards
  7. Julia needhelp
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    10 posts
    19 April 2020 in reply to SammiGee
    Private hospitals are too expensive to be totally self funded. Private health insurance might help with cost but I am still in the 2 months waiting period.
  8. Sleepy21
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    19 April 2020 in reply to Julia needhelp
    So you do have good private health insurance? That's very helpful
    i know a bit about the diff hospitals in Victoria but don't know much about NSW...
  9. Sleepy21
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    19 April 2020 in reply to Julia needhelp

    i didn't want to go to a private hospital because I thought there would be a power imbalance, the psychiatrists could be controlling etc....
    I liked the experience at the public hospital.

    I feel like I made the right choice

  10. Croix
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    19 April 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Dear Sleepy21~

    Takes me while to get back to answer questions sometimes.

    Yes stigma payed a large part in things, first in admitting to myself how bad I was (I'm not one of those sort of people) , and second of what others would think if they knew. I fact on one occasion when I was working I was very concerned about my workmates attitude when I came out and rejoined them.This took up a lot of my attention when on the ward.

    I need not have worried, they didn't even mention it, just pointed out the piles of stuff that had been banking up while I was away:). Actually there was one who was perceptive and sent me a get-well card right to the ward, an act of kindness I still remember fondly.

    No, I made no new freinds there and no creative art, in fact there was little privacy (this was some time ago of course) and something like writing a journal would have had me worrying it was being read by others. I'd have had to make it too bland to be of any use.

    As for the benefits, simply the pressure of life was gone, a retreat of sorts. Most staff tended to be impersonal, and that was a bit alienating, but overall I think if I needed I'd go some more.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Sleepy21
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    19 April 2020 in reply to Croix

    that's exactly how i felt - to become "one of those sort of people."
    I did not stay on the ward but in a recovery centre, people were screened to get in, and had to be quite well. Sort of. Some people were recovering from suicide attempts, or drug addicitons etc. So the conditions were better...

    I made some friends there, although it is hard to keep in contact, sometimes their issues have an impact on me and they are aat different stages in recovery. One woman from the hopsital I think lives near me..... so weird bumping into other residents in the real world.

    The retreat element you mentioned cannot be underrated. it is a healing space.

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