Tuesday, March 26, 2019

My Recent Stint in the Psych Unit: Part 2

me on a "normal" day

Yep, you read it right.  I did time in a psych unit.  Four days and three nights.  Wasn't my first rodeo but hoping it's my last.  You can read about the beginning of how it started in Part 1.

Once I was admitted into the psych unit part of the hospital in the wee hours of a Friday morning, a doctor came by to assess me.  I bawled and cried and bawled some more.  Then I slept until a nurse came in to send me to a "more normal" area of the wing.  Other than meal times, I stayed in my room and slept.  I felt drained of all energy.  Visiting hours on weekdays are 5:30pm to 7pm.  My husband and daughter came to visit.  Jason was a ball of nerves, just wanting me to be home with him.  Clothes they brought for me to wear had to be laundered first so I wore blue scrubs all day and night.

Saturday was a whole lot of sleeping too.  I just couldn't find it in me to pull myself together.  Visiting hours were extended since it was the weekend, so Shelby and Jason came to visit from 1 to 5 pm.  We played a lot of UNO.  I made it to Group later that night but it was a movie I had no interest in, so I went back to my room and slept some more.

It wasn't until Sunday that I was able to feel halfway normal again.  I attended in-house church service and played a game with some of the other patients.  We also watched the movie, Liar Liar (the Jim Carey comedy) and did a group therapy on values.  It was during those times that I started talking to the other admits and psych techs.  I made it a point not to get to know anyone on a personal level but did get a little backstory on some of the peeps.  There were 10 of us total, all with unique stories that tied us together in the same situation.  Wildly enough, one of the Psych Techs is a gal who I've known for several years and even worked with at one point.  It was super weird at first but I knew it was her obligation to keep her trap shut so I didn't ask for her to be transferred (which she said I could do).
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Jason visited again on Sunday.  He was 'bout to go bat shit crazy, not understanding what exactly was going on or why there were so many rules and procedures to follow.  He held it together like a champ the best he could.  I kept myself busy during the night with sleep (imagine that!) and word search puzzles.

Because it was the weekend, regularly structured groups and therapies were put on hold.  A female therapist did stop in at one point to talk.  I liked her style. My regular anti-depressant (Effexor) was given on a daily, along with the addition of Visteral (anti-anxiety) and Trazadone (put your ass to sleep).

 I was ready to go home but was told I had to ask the doctor on Monday.  My chances were slim.  Although I was voluntarily admitted, they could technically hold me for up to five business days.  Saturdays and Sundays don't count!

Monday rolled around and the doctor came in early.  After requesting to go home, he asked a ton of questions and decided I was ready.  I had to meet with a Discharge Coordinator who ensured I had counseling and doctor appointments scheduled.  I also had to discuss Safety Plans and Support Groups.  Jason picked me up and we headed home.  Now here I am, back in the real world.
my "hot mess" face

I can't say being in the Psych Unit was a huge help.  Going in on a weekend doesn't do much good.  But I was able to do some soul-searching and make appointments for professionals who can help me through this thing called life.

At some point, I will post a Part 3.  I know states and hospitals are different but I thought you might be interested in knowing the general rules and regulations of being a patient in a Psych Unit.  For instance, it was mandatory that all patients be checked on every 15 minutes.  My whereabouts were known at all times, and I was watched like a hawk.

At any rate, that's another part of my story.
Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Disclaimer:  If you're someone I personally know who is here to get the down-low, I'd appreciate no judgment.   I've run my course of self-embarrassment and shame.  I refuse to let this define me.  And I refuse to allow someone to define me by this experience.


turboterp said...

I'm a new reader of your blog, and I'm sending you prayers and good thoughts for healing. You were brave enough to seek help and I know you'll get through this.

Lauren said...

I really appreciate your honesty here. I deal with a lot of mental health issues too, so I can see how this would be needed sometimes. I'm glad you have appointments coming up though to help you get back on track, if you will, and I hope you start to feel somewhat better soon!


Forgetfulone said...

Glad to see you posted part 2 and looking for part 3. I tried Effexor years ago. It was not right for me. Zoloft has done the trick, but I don't think it's as effective as it used to be, so I probably should talk to my doctor. Funny thing is, I know more people who are ON medication than NOT. We all have our baggage that we carry around, and no one really knows... unless we share it. I believe you are brave, and you seem to know how to get the help you need. Keeping you in my prayers.