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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Fenzy Offline
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Inpatient Treatment? - May 29th 2013, 09:58 PM

Hi !
So I was referred to an inpatient treatment for my eating disorder a few months ago and was told that it's up to my progress. Lately, I've been kinda slipping back. To be honest, I actually kind of want to go to an inpatient clinic just because it'll be the first time I have ever been around/talked to other girls that are going through the same thing (I talk to you guys but it's different in person, no offense ). I also just really want to kick this eating disorder in the ass. I can't really go on like this anymore. I don't want to purposely do awful just to get sent to one, but the option is there for me at the rate I'm going right now.. I just don't want to miss school or work..

So I have some questions for any of you who have been in inpatient care or know what it's like.

1. How long does treatment last?
2. Did you make friends there?
3. Was it nice to have everyone there understand you? Because right now, I feel as though everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot for doing this to myself.
4. Was it really frustrating? Especially having no choice but to eat?
5. Did you relapse while in the facility?

and the biggest question of all...
6. Was it worth it?


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"This is not how my story will end"



   
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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 8th 2013, 09:19 AM

Hey Cassie,

I originally did not reply to this because I have never been to an inpatient treatment, so I am not exactly qualified to answer the question. But I thought I can give my opinion, my friends' experiences, and point you in some directions to get the answer you're looking for. Plus, I can bump the thread in hopes that somebody who can answer will see.

1. How long does treatment last?
Inpatient care time-length varies by your personal treatment plan. I hear a lot of 30, 60 or 90 day lengths, so that seems to be common. If you're in the US, I also hear "until insurance runs out" as a common length of stay.

2. Did you make friends there?
N/A, but I know that others often do.

3. Was it nice to have everyone there understand you? Because right now, I feel as though everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot for doing this to myself.
N/A, but I know what you mean. This site helps me not feel so alone in my self-hating and self-degrading thoughts.

4. Was it really frustrating? Especially having no choice but to eat?
N/A. Don't know an answer either.

5. Did you relapse while in the facility?
N/A

6. Was it worth it?
To be brutally honest, I know people who went to inpatient who came out and relapsed immediately, wasting the money that they spent in treatment. I think you need to trust your therapists in their opinion on sending you. For some people, I think outpatient care, such as IOP, is perfectly acceptable. For some people, the schedule of inpatient is necessary. I hope that whatever you choose to do is helpful in your recovery!


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& the sun said “it hurts to become."
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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 8th 2013, 02:10 PM

Hey Cassie,

I wanted to reply to this. Last year, I was sent to the hospital twice, not specifically for my eating disorder, but for my suicidal ideation. Still, the eating issue did come up and I wanted to give you my honest opinion.

1. How long does treatment last?
The short answer is: It varies. Usually nowadays the aim is to get you in and out as quickly as possible. I personally was in the hospital for three weeks each time I went. That's not to say that they're going to release you if they think you're still a danger to yourself, but usually the goal is to get you stabilized (whether that's mentally or physically, or both) and to release you to an outpatient team, usually consisting of a therapist, nutritionist, and PCP, to do further work. Sometimes, they'll send you to a step-down program, which I personally found much more helpful than inpatient as I did a lot more mental work there. Inpatient is typically for medical stabilization and not a whole lot beyond that. I don't want to sound like I'm negating the importance of inpatient treatment, because for some it certainly is important, but that was my personal experience.
2. Did you make friends there?
I did make some friends, but not a whole lot because I was sent to an adolescent unit at the age of 18 and most of the girls were younger than I was (around 13-16). Since you're younger, you'll probably have a greater chance of making friends. I'm Facebook friends with some of the people from my treatment center and it's nice to check in on each other now and then to see how things are going. Even if I didn't make any super close friends, I greatly enjoyed the group therapy and thought it was most helpful being able to relate to the other people there.
3. Was it nice to have everyone there understand you? Because right now, I feel as though everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot for doing this to myself.
Absolutely. It was a most liberating experience to realize that there are people out there who have gone through similar things. Not only was I able to connect with some of the other patients, but I found the support of the staff to be invaluable as well. The people there understand that you're there for a reason and don't judge you for it.
4. Was it really frustrating? Especially having no choice but to eat?
I'm not going to lie to you: Yes. Especially not being able to purge for me. Although I was not there for eating issues specifically, the staff were all aware of my problems surrounding it and so they kept tabs on me during meals. I was called out on not eating enough a few times, which irritated me greatly, and I was also confronted with some medical concerns due to my lack of eating. The fact is, recovery is a frustrating process. If you really want it, you're going to have to work for it. But it's also a rewarding process, and if you can stick with it, life can turn out to be better than you expected.
5. Did you relapse while in the facility?
Yes. I mentioned the few times I was called out on not eating enough, but mostly my troubles surrounded self-harm and suicidal ideation. There were times when I self-harmed on the unit and times where my suicidal ideation was so bad that I didn't even feel safe in inpatient. But remember that slip-ups are quite common on the road to recovery and even necessary at times. Sometimes you need to fall and get back up a few times, like learning to walk. The important thing is that you keep on trying and don't let your setbacks get you down.

and the biggest question of all...
6. Was it worth it?
I would say that for me, yes. I think the biggest mistake I made, however, was expecting the hospital to cure me. I thought I would walk out those doors and life would be a breeze. Not so. It still takes time, patience, and additional work once you leave the hospital. The first stay might not be your last. Sometimes it takes people a couple tries to get it right. That's okay. But remember that inpatient is a lot of hard work and it takes dedication. It is what you make of it. I didn't try my hardest the first time, and I wound up getting sent back a second time, where I tried a lot harder.

One thing I learned is that you can't expect the staff to tell you how to get better. A lot of the work is left up to you, and the staff is really on there to enforce rules and monitor your safety and health. They're not going to sit down and say, "Okay, this is what you're going to do to beat this." Rather, they're going to say something more along the lines of, "What do you think you need to do to beat this?" They will teach you coping mechanisms, but it's up to you to use them. Hospitals aren't magic. Often, you don't go in and come out a new person who never feels the need to restrict or purge again. It's a continuous battle that could take months, or even years.

So yes, inpatient is really what you make of it. Make it a good one.

Hope this helped to answer some of your questions!
   
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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 8th 2013, 09:27 PM

I have never been to treatment, however I volunteer in a facility that includes and ED unit and I have been a ED meal monitor for a long time now and have gotten to know a lot of patients in the facility.

1. How long does treatment last?
Depending on the facility, most treatment centres will have you for a minimum of 12 weeks or until your goal weight is maintained for a significant period of time. However, if you're going to a more public facility it can be as little as 30-90 days.
2. Did you make friends there?
Not having been in treatment myself, no. However, I speak to and deal with a lot of the patients who have formed lifelong bonds with other patients because of this shared struggle. I have found it typically depends on the type of facility you're in and how many people are around your age. It is completely possible though!
3. Was it nice to have everyone there understand you? Because right now, I feel as though everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot for doing this to myself.
The main thing that surprises many of the people I see is this exact thing. That all of a sudden they don't need to explain everything to everyone around them because they all already know. Fellow patients will be in similar situations and the professionals you interact with likely will have decades under their belt and have seen and heard everything. I understand that many describe it as a "weight being lifted" and one less stressful thing to worry about.
4. Was it really frustrating? Especially having no choice but to eat?
At first we get a lot of disgruntled patients, some hissy fits and rebellion however that typically subsides quickly. You'll realize that many people in treatment either have been before or are there because they really want to get better. The first maybe week or so can be hard not just because of the rules, but because your body has learned to expect certain things and so when that changes somewhat unexpectedly it's going to react differently...say to eating full meals. You also have to understand that we aren't just setting down 5 pounds of food in front of you and telling you to eat it all or you can't leave the table, amount of food typically varies depending on how much weight you need to gain and your previous eating habits. We don't FORCE people to eat everything, but monitors typically just watch to make sure that you're finished your meal because you physically can't eat anymore (within reason, obviously you have to eat more than usual) and that you aren't doing anything that pertains to your ED like hiding food in napkins or clothes, bingeing and purging, etc. In fact, i've had many people tell me this is the easiest thing to get used to and the change in the other habits is the hardest.
5. Did you relapse while in the facility?
This happens, and while we don't WANT you to relapse, if it happens there are many supports in place to make sure that it doesn't cause you to spiral out of control again. Typically a relapse would mean a change in your schedule/routine that allows for more one on one and/or group therapy for awhile but will go back to normal eventually. It isn't something you should go in worry about though, because there is every type of support in place in these facilities to help you succeed!

and the biggest question of all...
6. Was it worth it?
Even those that come to the facility not wanting to get better have told me that it has been a positive experience. You may not feel that way while in the facility (many do though), but when you "graduate" we often see patients returning to thank us for the changes they have helped create because they didn't really feel how big those changes were until they left the facility.

Good luck, this really is a wonderful step and i'm sure you will do great in treatment -- it's not as scary as the media makes it out to be!!


"Remember what you're worth
Remember you're worth fighting for
Remember you're not a punching bag
Remember you're not a doormat
Remember you are valuable
Remember you are repairable
Remember you matter
Remember they don't."

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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 8th 2013, 10:39 PM

Thanks for the answers How did your parents react when you were sent to the facility ?


Only you have the power to say,
"This is not how my story will end"




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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 10th 2013, 09:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenzy View Post
Thanks for the answers How did your parents react when you were sent to the facility ?
My parents were scared for me but supportive. Having their daughter sent to a facility for psychiatric treatment wasn't easy for them, and they were really worried about me -- understandably so. But they were very receptive to my team's feedback and listened closely when they were advised on how they could best help me. They wanted me to get better and were willing to do anything in their power to make sure it happened, especially my mom. She was great. I imagine your parents want you to get better as well and you need to go to an inpatient facility to do so, I would think they'd be on board. It might not be an easy thing for them, but I think you would have their support. My parents and I still don't really talk about recovery matters (we just don't have that kind of relationship), but I know that they support me and that's what matters.
   
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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 10th 2013, 11:31 AM

Thank you again! Haha
My parents and I have a similar relationship where we don't really talk about more personal things. So I believe that when my specalist refers to me to any kind of clinic, they get really shocked and worried.


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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 10th 2013, 11:31 PM

Like Kylie, I was sent to an inpatient facility for mostly suicidal ideation and self-harming tendencies; however, my eating disorder was watched carefully the second time I was admitted because I admitted to restricting and purging behaviors. I will answer your questions honestly based on my experiences. Since I mentioned I've been in twice, I will add that the second time was NOT a pleasant experience for me. Simply because the facility wasn't the proper place for me. So.. I'm going to try to keep my answers based on the first time because that was a better experience for me.

1. How long does treatment last?
It depends on the facility, your condition, and how you react to treatment. When I went in the first time I was originally supposed to be there for just a 72 hour watch, and I stayed for six days. The second time, I was there for less than three days. I'm sure that if I was one hundred percent honest about my thoughts, then they would have kept me longer (which was probably necessary at the time...so I suggest you be honest always!).

2. Did you make friends there?
Not at all. The first hospital stay, I was very against my being there. I tried very hard to stay as far away from the other patients as possible. The second one, I was around people who were twice my age....so it was very hard to connect to them personally. I do, however, have an email address from one of the girls and I've yet to get in contact. It's been a year, so I doubt I'll ever contact her. I think that if I was less shy and reserved, I would've made friends. It is possible. I've seen plenty of people make lasting friendships.

3. Was it nice to have everyone there understand you? Because right now, I feel as though everyone thinks I'm a complete idiot for doing this to myself.
Yes. Although I'm reserved and keep my problems to myself (and share them with a few select people), I listen intensely. I relate my story to others, and yeah. It's just very nice to know that other people understand (you're not stupid for doing it to yourself... it takes a lot of courage to receive treatment. Be proud!).

4. Was it really frustrating? Especially having no choice but to eat?
Yup. Extremely frustrating. I was constantly being watched, forced to eat, and keep safe. I didn't even want to be there in the first place. However, looking back on it, I know that it was for my own good (and deep down I knew it then, too).

5. Did you relapse while in the facility?
I couldn't. I wasn't allowed to have anything that I could possibly use to hurt myself. I was given plastic silverware, I wasn't allowed to have shoelaces, I was supervised while using the bathrooms, and I had fifteen minute checks. I was closely supervised so that relapse wasn't an option. Some people find ways around it, but I guess I just didn't have the energy to do that. Plus, relapsing while inpatient just isn't worth it. It will probably hurt your case more than anything.

and the biggest question of all...
6. Was it worth it?

Absolutely. Being inpatient has saved my life more than once, and I'm so thankful for the opportunities to get my mental health in tact. Although I've struggled since then, I'll forever carry the coping tactics and information I've learned. Inpatient is definitely what you make of it. You have to be willing to grow and learn, and be in recovery. If you're not ready for recovery and all the ups and downs, then you won't gain as much from it as you could. You should also know that it's up to you as an individual to get better. Being inpatient and being around doctors can only help you so much. Recovery continues afterwards, so being prepared for that is a necessity.

And, since you asked another question in another post in this thread, I'll answer that one too.
How did your parents react when you were sent to the facility?
My mom cried and told me that "nothing was worth what I was doing to myself," and she didn't quite understand it, but my dad reacted a little better. Of course he was worried for my life, but he understands because he struggles with mental health issues himself. He took my hand and helped me through the hardest struggle of my life, and he has always been my number one supporter and has encouraged me to get better since he found out something was wrong. Honestly, if you and your parents don't have a "personal" kind of relationship, that's okay. You can be honest with them, do your thing, and work on getting better. You don't have to tell them every single detail. I'm sure they'll be concerned, but they also want what's best for you, so they'll want to help in any way they can... but that doesn't have to mean talking about it. You know?

I know this is a long post, and I apologize for that. I hope my experiences/insight helps just a tad. Take care, and good luck!


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Re: Inpatient Treatment? - June 11th 2013, 10:21 AM

Thank you.


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