Have you ever been hospitalized for your mental illness?

If you have ever been hospitalized what was it for exactly? For how long? What was the experience like?

Personally I have been in twice for GAD. Once when I was 16 for a year because I could no longer attend school, and was agoraphobic, etc. I was so young and in with patients with all kinds of illnesses. One guy thought he was Jesus, another who tried to kill his wife & children had a lobotomy, there were schizophrenics,
manic-depressives getting shock treatments, suicidal repeat offenders, alcoholics, heroin addicts, etc. While I was there my roommate slit her wrists in our bathroom – not all the blood came out of the grout. Very eye-opening. 

Recently for GAD, panic and benzo addiction since late December. Almost went to ER a few times with panic attacks. My GAD spun out of control for no particular reason (that was determined). I'm still enrolled in after-care once a week. I wish there was some place that just deals w/ anxiety problems but none where I live.

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  • Hello @snapshot!

    I hope you're fine now, though I know that anxiety problems are not that easy to deal with. I also have few episodes of panic attacks and depression once in a while, but I have never been hospitalized. I'm always on self-medication, just trying to get used to these things.

  • hi @snapshot thanks for sharing. i bet it was scary to be in the hospital...eye opening as well.

    have you looked into mental health agencies that offer community support? i know here in my community there are behavioral health agencies that offer support for those who have mental health concerns. the support worker will meet with you for a certain number of hours each week, offer support, assist with any treatment goals, etc. it might be worth giving them a call to set up an appt to discuss.  

    what are you doing when it comes to trying to curb anxiety now? 
  • I'm sorry you had to go through that, @snapshot! It must have been terrible knowing that your roommate slit her wrists in your bathroom. It must also have been pretty scary being near people that are crazy to say the least.
    How have you been doing since the time of the post? Are you in a much better place now or do you still have issues? You seem like a strong person that has gone through a lot! :)
  • I've never been hospitalized for mental illness, but I know people that have and then I know people that should be getting treatment. It's a tough thing for a person to go through, and it's never really a good, positive story. Many people get treatment and finally start making some improvements in their lives in the face of mental illness, which is one of the positives here, even though getting hospitalized is never something that people do willingly (unless all other options are exhausted). 
  • I was almost admitted to hospital once some years ago, I tried to kill myself and was unconscious for a bit. But I did wake up.   I wanted to kill myself after a really bad diagnosis some years ago, I was so depressed I just didn't want to go on living anymore. My heart just sunk right now thinking of that actually :(  It was the darkest time in my life, and I hope I never have to go through the same thing. That is probably my biggest fear. 
  • I've been hospitalized once, and it was only recently. I was only in for a few days. The doctor said I was fine to go but needed to be observed. I'm pretty sure he came to the conclusion that I was faking for attention, but then again, I think everyone thinks that no matter how many times I am told it's not true. 
  • I know people that have had to seek medical help for their mental illness and a couple of times it as led to them being kept in hospital but its only ever been for a few days.

    Even now while the treatment of mental illness as got a lot better its still an illness that a lot of doctors aren't sure how to cope with and don't know what to do with for the best. Sometimes being admitted to hospital is a way of covering their own back just incase they sent that patient away and something happened. 
  • I've never been hospitalized for JUST my anxiety. However, I've been treated in the ER for panic attacks and anxiety following severe asthma attacks or other health problems. So it's been a factor for me when getting hospital care, but never the main reason. I've had different reactions, from doctors treating it like a real problem to doctors implying that if I would just calm down my other health problems would disappear and I was wasting their time.
  • I've been admitted twice to an inpatient facility, both back to back for the same thing. I had just come out of a traumatic experience and within a month of being back home and trying to get "on my feet" I found that I had significant difficulties surviving day to day life. I checked myself in voluntarily because I began feeling aggressive and suicidal. The first time I was inpatient it was an awkward and weird experience for me - it was civilian run and local and I was only there for two weeks but had a difficult time interacting with others or walking away with anything new. The nursing staff were polite and therapy consisted of talking to a doctor maybe once every other day. There was some classes we'd attend in the unit for a few hours each day but no one interacting with one another and not as much interaction with a medical provider. I'd see the doctor at that facility whenever they happened to be available and all they did was relay that information back to my primary health care provider and correspond with them. I required something more intensive. It was a cold and unforgiving place. Needless to say my health care needs were not met at that facility. I returned to my job and they recognized some of the symptoms of what would later be PTSD and I was referred to a more comprehensive facility that would help identify PTSD as well as a TBI that I had suffered from my experience. The second time that I was admitted inpatient it was less voluntary and more of a "requirement" considering where I had come from. I was scared to death because of my prior experience being inpatient and felt even worse. I ended up having to be sent out of state where I spent around a month as a patient and it was a wonderful experience for me - it helped being around others that I could really relate and form bonds with. The first inpatient facility was a mixture of every kind of person with every kind of medical history imaginable. The second was more focused on what symptoms I had been able to identify with. I'm thankful for that experience but the first week was absolutely terrifying for me.

  • I ended up on the psychiatric ward seven years ago. I was in the process of switching antidepressants and I had to have a week off all medications to avoid any adverse interactions between the new meds and any old stuff that was still on my system. 

    As I wasn't doing too well at the time, the psychiatrist thought it best if I did this med-free week on the ward. I lived alone at the time and didn't have any family around so I think they just wanted me to have some sort of supervision. 

    It wasn't too bad on the whole but there was this one guy who was convinced the IRA were going to track him down and kill him. There was also a woman who had spent around 20k in a week on a manic shopping spree. There wasn't anything to do at all, not even any basket weaving classes!
  • I was hospitalized for five days at the end of 2011. While in detox/rehab for alcohol at the beginning of that year, a psychiatrist diagnosed me as bipolar. I was on 4 different mood stabilizers over the next 9 months and I've never felt so miserable in my life. I can't even really describe how bad I felt, other than just "bad." I eventually started to have trouble sleeping, as in not sleeping for days on end, while still parenting a small child and working full time. It was honestly excruciating and that combined with being on medication that didn't work for me, eventually just broke me down.

    Being in a psychiatric hospital unit is not something I ever wish to do again, but it honestly saved me. There were a lot of people there who were way worse off than me, and it was just really sad. But, I got some sleep while there, and the doctor took me off of mood stabilizers and put me on Zoloft, and it made an enormous difference within days. Zoloft is my miracle drug!

    (By the way, I've been told by several doctors in the past few years that the psychiatrist who diagnosed me as bipolar while I was detoxing from alcohol should have never done that. That's like the worst time to determine what someone's mental illness is!)
  • Yep, I've been in the hospital about 7 times. The most recent time was this past summer and before that in the spring. I was in once for 30 days for addiction treatment a few years back as well. During addiction treatment I had a lot of freedom, not so much during the regular inpatient stays.
    It wasn't so bad though. We played games, colored pictures, watched a lot of game shows on TV. I took quite a few naps as well.
  • That is a powerful post. I went into a mental/rehab center. I cut my wrist I only stayed for 4 days. That was enough for me. The reason I cut my wrist was the other reason I was there my addiction to alcohol. I was in the duel program I must say I was in with a few that we're really off their rocker. I don't think I could have stood a year. I really wish you the best sounds like you have been through a lot.
  • I imagine how dangerous living among these people is and you are lucky that you got out of there alive. Patients should be put in different rooms, what if your roommate was a psychopath who would have murdered you in your sleep? Mental disorders are never taken as seriously as they should be, and patients are hated because of their conditions. A friend once told me that they were given sleeping pills and made to lay in bed all day, everyday, instead of actually trying to show some empathy to those poor souls. Disgusting.

    To answer your question, I have never been hospitalized, because I had no one to care about me. And I am glad I didn't. That would only have worsened my depression.
  • Wow, lots of stories here that sound scary to me. I've only been committed somewhere once, due to suicidal feelings associated with my depression and alcoholism. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was terrified, I was not taken care of in any way, no one spoke to me, there was no therapy or anything, and I kept demanding to leave, because I had essentially been tricked into going there, being told it would be a group environment with therapy, and it was me in a room alone with people staring at me through glass while I covertly cut myself and went through cigarette and alcohol withdrawals. When I demanded to leave they said if I DID leave before the days-long period was up, they'd just send the cops to bring me back, and they had the legal right to do it. I was terrorized and shell-shocked from it, and I do feel like when I got out, I escaped. Never again. I will never tell someone when I'm suicidal again.
  • I have had to go through the hospital thing at least 20 times due to anxiety, withdrawals, and mental health problems. It's a very hard experience, because you are somewhere weird and you have to tell everyone what's wrong about 100 times. They keep asking you if you know what day it is and stuff. I do not miss that, I am glad to be on the right medications for it because I haven't had an episode for a couple of months now.
  • That sounded like some really bad experiences and from a young age too. Thanks for being bold enough to share the experience and I hope you're doing so much better today. I cannot say how I would have handled all that; I felt a bit queasy just reading about you witnessing a roommate slitting her wrists. I hope you will stay strong after all you've been through. I realy look forward to all your good news updates.
  • I have never personally been in the hospital for my mental illness but my sister was years ago because she tried to commit suicide. It was a very trying time for my family. I did not know that my sister was that bad and for her to do something like this was very painful. Looking back, there was so much that I was not aware of and wish that I would have been better at helping her.

    A few months ago, I was under so much stress that I truly considered that I might need to go in the hospital and I would make jokes to cover my fear that it might happen. However, I am a single parent and that is really not an option. My sister helped me through it and making changes to dig myself out of the hole that my life had gotten into helped me as well.

    I hope you are doing better. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  • Hey there @snapshot! How are you doing nowadays? I hope you're doing well and feeling better already. The only time I can remember being hospitalized was when I was a kid and being tested because my parents were afraid that something's wrong with me. I was an hyperactive child and I quite caused a stir in the school that I was attending. The teachers didn't know what to do with me. I really don't remember much of the details, except that I was seldom in class and there was always a person following me around wherever I run to. 

    I have a cousin whose wife was hospitalized because of depression and anxiety. Back then I didn't know better and even thought that it's a waste of time and money to get treatment because the person is extremely sad. But of course. it's much more than that. Though I won't fully understand what the person is going through because I don't experience anxiety attacks, I now am aware that these problems are not easily dealt with. Medication, therapy and counselling are needed to help the person suffering from them. Not to mention the support of loved ones and family. 
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