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Lottie Offline
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Leaving hospital... - August 28th 2012, 01:56 PM

Hey guys, I guess this a long shot but I need some advice/support. I am not sure what forum this should go in either! Basically, I just got out of hospital after being an inpatient for 178 days. One hell of a long time and plenty of time for me to become institutionalised. Basically, ever since I got out i've got this overwhelming sense of anxiety and a sense of something is going to go wrong. I have even got to the point of wanting to overdose just to end this feeling. It's so overbearing.

My question is- has anyone else been in hospital for a long period of time and struggled when they come out? If so, how did you cope with it? I can't seem to shake this feeling of worry. Also, how did you go from the transition of having people around and things to do to essentially having nothing to do? Also, how did you cope with the change in support levels?

I hope this makes sense :s
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Re: Leaving hospital... - August 28th 2012, 02:08 PM

I know how you feel! My longest hospital stay was around 3 months, and when I got out it was such a shock. You get so used to being in the hospital that it feels right and normal. You get so sucked into the routine, meals at the exact same time, people always around to talk to, activities every day, etc.. Then, you get home and there's nothing to do, nobody to rant to.

What I did was look for a job, just an easy stress free one. I ended up working at Chapters for a bit which was pretty nice, I had people to talk to and something to do for most of the week. That's also about when I joined staff, and went back to school.
No matter what you do though, the feeling goes away with time. It's like when you first got into the hospital, you weren't used to it at first but with time you become accustomed to it all. You just need to get used to being out again.

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Re: Leaving hospital... - August 29th 2012, 08:58 AM

I haven't been in hospital that long . . . but what they do here is sort of stagger it.

So for someone who's been in for a long time, at first they'll get a little leave, then day leave, and then more often than not they get moved from hospital to respite, where there's less care than hospital but you're still surrounded by others and a lot of stuff is still done for you. From there, people either go home or into residential care, depending on how much ongoing support they need.

If you feel really, really out of your depth, it might be worth asking if the health system where you are has something like respite. Usually it's in a converted house or block of units, and it's quite useful for bridging the gap between being at hospital full-time and being home full-time.

And for the worry and whatnot, have you talked to your doctor? You were in hospital quite a while so it's not surprising that you're experiencing anxiety adjusting to the outside world, and your doctor may be able to prescribe you something or refer you to somebody who can help you cope with that.

And also, don't overdose, it's not going to make things any easier to manage.
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