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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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YoungK9 Offline
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What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 12th 2014, 05:59 AM

Recently, I have been wondering about this would be like. A relative was recently admit to a Psych Ward, though he doesn't want to talk about it, which I totally understand.

Lets say you went there do a suicide attempt...
So, what happens? What's the worst that could happen?
How long is stay usually?
Are you forced to take meds?

Yes, I did have to ask this question...Did anyone have good food? From what I know it just tastes really bland, & not so great



Last edited by YoungK9; January 12th 2014 at 04:22 PM.
   
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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 14th 2014, 06:18 PM

I had a suicide attempt 2 years ago and was put into a psych ward. I stayed for 2 weeks, but some of the others were there as much as a month. Yes I had to take prozac every day, all of the patients in the ward had to take meds. The food was okay, I've had better.
For the first day everybody is put on total ward restrict, and no sharp objects. (cant cut your own food) if someone was bulimic the nurse had to watch them go to the bathroom.
The 'worst' would be putting them in a padded room with a straight jacket and an injection to make them sleep. I had a panic attack and they almost did it to me. They almost never happens though, overall it wasn't so bad. The doctors were friendly and I felt a lot better afterwards
   
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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 16th 2014, 03:13 PM

Don't go to one unless you absolutely have to. Most of them are not very good, and having been admitted to one can block you from opportunities in the future for work and such. My aunt got her masters in counseling psych and used to work in one, but she left because some of the staff were caught abusing the patients. Abuse is common in those type of settings.

You can receive everything that they can give you as an outpatient (meaning just going to a psychologist or social worker and psychiatrist). You really shouldn't be in one unless it is the only alternative to dying.



   
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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 16th 2014, 05:31 PM

Quote:
Don't go to one unless you absolutely have to. Most of them are not very good, and having been admitted to one can block you from opportunities in the future for work and such. My aunt got her masters in counseling psych and used to work in one, but she left because some of the staff were caught abusing the patients. Abuse is common in those type of settings.
This is a common misconception. I've been in a psych ward three times, so I'm a little experienced on the matter. I'm still in school to be a teacher, and it hasn't affected my job or personal life to an extreme yet - so I highly doubt that the fact that I've gotten help for my mental disorders will affect my life.

I just got out of my third psych ward stay. I think I can say that this time was honestly the best one yet. They kept an eye on me and made sure I was being active and getting ready to go home since the day that I got there. I participated in groups to better my experience and myself. They ask that you take your meds, but I don't think that they can force you. They just want what's best for you. The food was incredible btw. Sometimes it's not all that good, but it's definitely dependent on the hospital itself. I guess the main priority is to keep yourself safe. If you think being inpatient will help that, then go.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me. I'd like to answer them.


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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 16th 2014, 11:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream View Post
Don't go to one unless you absolutely have to. Most of them are not very good, and having been admitted to one can block you from opportunities in the future for work and such. My aunt got her masters in counseling psych and used to work in one, but she left because some of the staff were caught abusing the patients. Abuse is common in those type of settings.
I am also going to say that this is not true. I have also been in a psych ward and still in college and have had no problems getting jobs.

They really aren't as bad as people say that they are. I was in the same one all three times, and the nurses were very nice and tried to help you. The doctors were very nice as well but you saw less of them.
we
I know in the one that I was in we were given daily schedules. It consisted of three meals a day and two snacks. You had group therapy, art therapy, and individual therapy, and activity therapy. The day room was open when you were not in therapy and you could watch TV, play cards, color, write in a journal. It was basically free time to do whatever you wanted. One of the night nurses also always had a lesson at night, it was usually a life lesson to help us prepare for when we got out. The average stay there was about 7 days, but there were people that stayed longer then that. My longest stay was 12 days. The food really wasn't bad. I was on a vegetarian diet then so it was actually really good. It looked much better then what everyone else was eating, but even the other patients said that was not bad. They do ask that you take your medicine, and in the state of Michigan they will file a court hearing if you refuse and you usually end up with a longer stay, so it is really better for everyone's interest if you comply with your medicine. I think that the quality of the stay and the experience it dependent on the hospital and the staff.



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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 17th 2014, 03:42 AM

The duration of a stay in a psych ward largely depends on the facility, the treating physician and the patient's progress; there is no set "stay." I've seen people admitted for a 72-hour hold and I've seen people stay in an acute psych unit for a few weeks. It really just depends. In my experience, the general stay is typically going to last between five days and two weeks. Again, though, this may greatly vary. Generally the point of an acute inpatient ward is stabilization, with ongoing treatment to be continued post-hospitalization.

A long-term psychiatric facility focuses on prolonged in patient treatment, and can last from a month to indefinitely, depending on the prognosis of the patient and the facility. In my experience most last between one and three months, though again, it varies. A patient, especially a minor, may be transferred to a long-term care facility if the treatment team in an acute center feels that may be best for the patient.

As for what happens? Generally the facility has unstructured time mixed with therapeutic groups and activities. One would probably see a psychiatrist and a social worker and would interact with group therapists as well as MAs and CNAs for the direct care staff and possibly a medical nurse or doctor for physical health issues and medication distribution.

The facility will not look like an ordinary hospital- it will be very sparse and lots of locks and barriers over things that could be potentially dangerous, if they are necessary things that couldn't be removed. Some details depend on the facility. You will be checked on anywhere from every fifteen minutes to once an hour, including when you are asleep. You may have no privacy for a time, including possibly having someone either be in the bathroom with you or stand right outside the bathroom with the door open. You may be strip searched upon your arrival. If you are on certain precautions, you may have to sleep on a mattress in an open room next to a nursing desk. Your belongings will be subject to search at any time, and will be searched before you are admitted. Food intake will be monitored. The food is usually not good.

Good behavior will get you increased privileges. For at least twenty-four hours upon admission following a suicide attempt you would be on close watch and lockdown, unable to leave the unit (if the facility even allows leaving a unit). There may be a level system that correlates to increased freedoms (red, yellow, green or level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or something like that). A facility cannot force you to eat, take medications or go to therapy. However these things will be noted and it WILL increase the length of your stay and possibly increase the possibility of you being sent to long-term care.

Should you become a danger to yourself or others, you will be placed in seclusion and possibly restrained, depending on your volatility, and you will be demoted back to having no privileges until you can contract your safety and it's been twenty-four hours (usually, although the time may vary). You will possibly have to be within arm's reach of a staff member at all times. If you're incredibly volatile, sedatives may involuntarily be used, and you may have to stay in seclusion for several hours or more. Though seclusion rooms aren't usually "padded," they are small and thoroughly walled off. You may be placed in a straight jacket or restrained on a gurney or bed.

I've been in psych wards many, many times, across various states for various lengths of time and with various levels of security. Though the staff might be nice or the facility more well-equipped, it's never a "fun" experience. I recommend avoiding it if at all possible.


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Re: What Is It Like To Stay In A Psych Ward? - January 17th 2014, 03:25 PM

My best friend has been hospitalized several times. I don't know much about this since I have never been, but I figured I could add to what other people have said.

My friend wasn't there for a suicide attempt, but she was a danger to herself and felt unsafe most of the times that she was there. When she got there, she had to strip so they could check her for any SH tools or anything that she wasn't supposed to have. I believe she was given a gown and put in the isolation room for twelve hours.

She shared a room with another patient and they couldn't go to the bathroom or shower without supervision. There were set times that she either had to be in her room or could roam around different rooms of that floor; the art room, the game room, etc. She had group and individual therapy once a day. Things like phone calls to friends and family as well as visits had to be earned.

Her first stay was six weeks, the second was three, and the third was nine days.
   
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