Tag Archives: psych hospital

Would You Work?

Word Press Post A Day – If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

If money was out of the question, I think I would work.  Maybe not a lot, but I would work.

I’m on disability right now.  In fact I haven’t worked since 2012.  Right now, I don’t even think I could work yet.

I wish I could work though.  I wish I was able to be out there, be around people, do something with my day, be productive, feel like I was contributing to society, making a difference.

At this point, even getting out to volunteer hasn’t been possible.  So I can’t feel any of those things.

My bipolar has finally stabilized quite a bit thanks to my medication, so the highs and lows are not as bad.  My borderline personality is getting better.  My PTSD and social anxiety is out of control though at this point.  Most people would brush this off as no big deal. Surely you can still work! Those that have been there understand though, or I hope they understand.

Even if money wasn’t an issue – I got no money, not a lot of money, or a ton of money — I would love to work.  I don’t think I would work a lot.   I would work enough though.  Enough to give me a routine.  A routine if what I need.  A routine is important to my life.  It grounds me.  It actually helps me, but until I can keep commitments and not get overwhelmed and handle social situations and relationships with others and not be so depressed that I miss a ton of work or attempt suicide and end up in the hospital from the overwhelming situations or depression — until then, even if a routine from work would help me — it just wouldn’t be possible.

I am signed up with my states vocational rehab.  They would be able to work with me, set me up with a job coach and put me in a program to work with me .  They are so backed up with other people though that I am on a wait list.  They are only now getting people off the list from a year ago…..

 

Good Days and Bad Days, This Blog Has Helped and Will Help Me

I used to write all the time.  I had a journal on blogger and I wrote and wrote and wrote.  I wrote about my depression, my frustrations, how much I hated life.  I would write suicide notes and good bye letters.  I wrote about how I thought suicide was ok and how those who loved me should be happy I was gone because I wasn’t in pain anymore.  I had a physical, tangible journal too that my therapist gave me, and I wrote in that periodically as well – I would scribble down any thought that came to my head, over and over again, rambling on about everything – but it was always the bad stuff.  I never counteracted any of the negative thoughts with good things.  I never put any positive self talk in there or reminded myself about what was going on that was good.

I couldn’t see anything good around me – at all.  There was good stuff though.  My siblings cared a lot about me.  I live no where near them, we are all in different states.  We don’t even talk very much, but when we do, I can cry and let all my emotions out and they listen and understand.  Each day, I have food and an apartment to stay in.  Sure, I struggle to pay the bills and have food to eat — but I have it.  There was a time in my life, that I basically was kicked out of my apartment and had to move back home or be homeless, and I attempted suicide because of it.  I did not want to live with my mom.  Now, I have those things.  I have to think about that.  I have a mental health team, I am able to have my medicine.  I hate taking medicine, but it makes me stable.  There were times I couldn’t pay for my medicine – now I can and it is works fairly well.  I have struggled incredibly hard to find a good therapist and psychiatrist, but I have those now.  I have a team that wants me to get better.  There are good things in my life.  I may think that life is horrible and miserable, but not everything is working against me like it may seem.

I started this blog because I was so focused on the negatives in my other blog.  WordPress is a really active community and I wanted to be able to be involved with interacting with others.  I wanted to discuss mental health issues.  I wanted to be involved with reading about other interests of mine.  I wanted to focus on positives.

I still have horrible days.  Just two weeks ago (or something like that), I broke down.  I called the crisis line and then a day later called my dad and about went to the psych hospital.  I thought I was going to kill myself.  Life isn’t perfect for me.  My days can still get really shitty.  I still get super depressed.  But, I want to help people.  And writing on here has helped me feel better.  And talking with others on here has helped me feel better.  Connecting with others that are going through the same thing, knowing I am not alone.

I’m going to eventually have the posts where I am hating life again, but I am hoping that those are few and far between.  I’m sure starting grad school is going to make them happen a lot more frequently – bringing back memories related to my sexual abuse and rape.  My PTSD is going to be stirred up even more than it has been lately with therapy.   I hope to use this as a way to vent still, and get my frustration out, but in a more positive way than I was on my other online blog – which was quite negative as I was simply writing out my plans for death.  Here I can just write out my thoughts and even ask for advice.

I really think that writing on here and connecting with others on here and seeing this as a support has really helped though.  I hope that it continues to do that.

The Worst Day of My Life

Trigger warning — discusses suicide.

It was the lowest day in my life.  My depression hit a wall.  I didn’t know what to do anymore.  I had been out of college, graduated 5 months prior, in December 2011.  It was May 2012 now.  I had no money.  I had quit my job in March, but it was a student job from my college, and I wasn’t a student anymore so I was bound to lose it at some point anyway.

My parents had been paying most of my bills.  Even with my job, I didn’t have enough money for rent and food.  They wouldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t blame them.  Rent, food, even my students loans – they were paying for them.  They cut me off.  My lease ended at the end of May.

I had to move home to Texas to live with my mom and her husband or I was homeless, in Indiana.  Neither option was a good choice.  I didn’t want to move to Texas.  I hated it there.  I wasn’t fond of my mom’s husband nor was I fond of my relationship with my mom – living together for more than 2 weeks usually ended up in a disaster with arguments galore.

So back to the worst day of my life —

I decided I could live anymore.  I was done.  I had attempted to end my life multiple times before.  I had failed many times before.  Usually, I called for help.  I realized it was the wrong choice.  I realized I didn’t really want to die, just wanted the pain to end.  This time, it was different though.  I went all out – I was determined to die.  I was ready to die.  I didn’t want to be saved.  It wasn’t a cry for help.

It was still an overdose, as usual.  I didn’t take the pills all at once though.  I strategically took them over time.  Ten pills here, ten pills there, ten pills here… over a course of 24 hours.  They slowly built up in my system.  My liver was toxic.  My case manager met with me the next morning.  I didn’t tell her anything.  The tone of my voice and the negativity in my voice I suppose let her know that I was having the suicidal thoughts though.  She left, but 30 minutes later called me back.  I answered and she asked me how I was.  Of course, I said fine.  She said she would call me again.  I couldn’t understand how she knew something was going on.  Before she ever called me back – there was banging on my door.  The police, paramedics… they were all at my door.  I refused, I refused to go anywhere.  Because of my past history of suicide attempts though, they could get a court order and have me taken in – with handcuffs and all if I did not go.  So I went.

The paramedics took me, I refused to tell them anything.  Blood tests were taken and showed that my liver was at toxic levels and I was very close to actually dying.  They couldn’t believe I was not sick, that I wasn’t in horrible pain from how my levels were.  I told them I refused treatment, I wanted to go home.  Absolutely not – it was not going to happen.  Mucomyst – it is the antidote to Tylenol overdose.  I was given it, immediately.  It also made me incredibly ill.  Police were outside of my door since I was set on leaving and not being treated.  I was throwing up and became very ill.  They gave me Reglan to combat the vomiting.  That was a mistake because I was allergic to Reglan.  My face swelled.  I got hives all over.  I couldn’t breathe well.  I was going to die!  Nope — then I got Benadryl.  I was miserable.  What a miserable way to be.  A few friends from my NAMI support group came to be with me.  They sat with me, disappointed that I had gone to these lengths.  I was upset.  I was upset that I didn’t die.  Yet I was happy.  I was happy that someone cared enough to save me.  I didn’t know how I felt.  I was horribly ill – mentally and physically.  I was supposed to be sent to the ICU, but the ER was trying to stabilize me from all the reactions I was having to the medications to combat the overdose.  Finally, I was sent to the ICU.

I spent 5 days in the ICU.  Maybe 4.  I’m not sure.  I was then released into a psychiatric hospital.  I spent two weeks there.  I had been to that hospital before, many times.  They weren’t surprised to see me.  Upon my release I only had a few days to be out of my apartment because my lease was up.

I won’t forget that day though.  The day I attempted suicide.  Sure, I had done it before – but that day, it was the worst attempt I had ever had.  It was the attempt I really wanted.  The attempt I had hoped would actually work.  It was right near my mother’s birthday, right near Mother’s Day.  It was the attempt that actually really hurt my family.  The one that made everyone realize that I was struggling really bad.  It was the day that I realized I was hurting everyone around me whenever I hurt myself.  It was the day that I realized I would probably never attempt suicide by overdose again either – hopefully never attempt suicide again period too.

I have had really crappy days since then.  I have had horrible days.  I have still had my suicidal thoughts and been back in the hospital since then.  But, when I think of the worst day, that is the worst day that comes to mind.  It was caused by all the horrible things that happened before me.  The culmination of all my past events that made my mind go crazy, it was caused by my chemical imbalances … and all those things just created the worst day ever.  The lowest day in my life.  The lowest point in my life.

My Story

I had no idea what was going on with me.  I was 10 and sad.  But I wasn’t just sad.  I was really sad.

I was 11 and I wanted to die.  I planned on how to die.  Our school was taking a trip to Six Flags and I wrote out my suicide note, and I put it in my backpack and I was going to kill myself at the park.  My mom found it though, she asked me if she needed to keep me home.  I said I was fine and went to catch my bus.  It was never talked about again.

I was 13 and still really sad.  Suicide still ran rampant in my head.  My art teacher found out.  He found out about my home life.  I trusted him. I thought he would help me.  He said he was going to.  But he took advantage of me.  He made me do things to him.  He did things to me.  He verbally abused me.  He sexually abused me.  He hurt me.  I believed all his lies. He molested me and hurt me and fucked me up so bad.  I wanted to die more than ever before.

I was 14 and moved to a new city. Life was worse than ever before.  A new school and no friends. My school counselor found out about what my teacher did.  Chaos broke out.  I didn’t want to deal with it.  I began cutting. I did not tell the police everything. He was never charged. My depression became more severe. I became sick from stress. I missed more than half the school year and stayed home because I was “sick.”

I was 15 and 16 and 17 and high school happened. My depression trapped me.  I faked my smiles and I wore my mask.  I immersed myself in school work.  I tried to pretend like I was happy and make myself believe I was. Deep down I was choking, I could barely breathe. Every day I planned my death. I didn’t even believe I would make it to graduation. Surely I would do something before then.

Graduation came and went. I was 18. College was a new start. Surely life could start over now. I was raped. My mental health went down hill. For the first time in my life I was put into counseling. I couldn’t talk though. I didn’t know how to express myself. I isolated more than ever. I cried more than ever.

Therapy continued and I made no progress, but I just kept going.  I kept my emotions in for so long that I just avoided everything. I turned 21 and my life went upside down. My arm was paralyzed. I lost control. Again. The molestation. The rape. My arm.  I had lost control again. I needed to die now. My depression consumed me.  The year was 2009.

Trigger Warning –  the next paragraph mentions a suicide attempt


 

I had many suicide attempts.  My worst was in May 2012 though.  I had strategically overdosed on Tylenol.  After being given the antidote (Mucomyst) and Reglan, both of which I had reactions to, I was transported to the ICU where I spent 4 days before being sent to the psychiatric hospital.  This was not my first time in the ICU but it was the worst attempt I had.  And it was also somewhat of a wake up call. It was my last attempt, but not my last visit to the psych hospital.

Between January 2011, my first psychiatric hospitalization, and October 2012 – I had 15 psychiatric hospitalizations and ended up with three diagnosis (bipolar, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder). On that last hospitalization I was committed for 6 months to the state hospital.  I was terrified, but at the same time, I was so frustrated and sick of life, I really didn’t care what happened to me.  I was so sure that I would kill myself no matter what anyone did and that I had no future, that it didn’t matter to me.  The state hospital was the best thing that happened to me though.

On Halloween of October 2012 I went to the state hospital via the backseat of a Sherriff’s car. It was a two hour drive and it took me to a life changing experience.  I had the best psychiatrist, psychologist, nurses, rec therapist, music therapist, group therapists, psych techs, dietician, and other support staff possible.  They were all determined to get me and others back on the right track. I left the hospital in April 2013 more stable than I had been in a long time.  On the correct combo of meds and with coping skills that I actually felt comfortable using.

Today, in 2014, I still struggle.  I have been hospitalized since being out of the state hospital.  But in no way am I in and out like I was two years ago.  I take my medication and I acknowledge that I need it.  I accept that I have a mental illness and I try to educate myself about them.  I attend therapy and participate in it actively.  I am working through my PTSD which has been a huge factor in my hatred of myself and life.  I am always working on improving and finding new coping skills.  I continue to attend my support groups.

I know I can continue to fight.  I know I don’t have to let it consume me anymore.  I don’t have to let it win. It still knocks me down sometimes.  I just have to make sure I keep getting back up.

Psych Hospitals – The Not So Scary Truth

Don’t take me!  I don’t want to go.  I’m not going!!!

Going to a psychiatric hospital can be incredibly scary.  There are a lot of horror stories about them.  And for the most part, in today’s society, the horror stories are not true.  I say “for the most part” because I know that for some people, they have had bad things happen to them.  But, in general, most facilities are safe places, where people can go and get the care they needed.  They are not strapped down for hours and hours, stabbed with needles, and/or drugged up and drooling on a couch.

As I have mentioned a few times on here before, I have a little bit of experience with psychiatric hospitalizations. 17 different hospitalizations to be exact – at 7 different facilities. 

  • 1 in Texas
  • 4 in Indiana
  • 2 in Florida

Out of all of these facilities, I would say I had bad experiences at 2 of them, and out of those 2, only one of those was a really horrible experience, and I would say I would absolutely never want to be admitted to that hospital again.  Despite that, I know people that have been admitted to that hospital, and have had completely different experiences than me – so I don’t know, perception of how I compared it to the other hospitals I went to maybe?

All of these hospitalizations ranged in time differences – from as short as 3 days to one as long as 6 months at a state hospital (that hospital was probably the best hospital I was ever at). 

The reason why I really am writing this, is because far to often people talk about their bad experiences at the psych hospital.  No one really talks about how much it might have helped them. This tends to scare people off from actually going and getting help when they need it.  They are scared they might lose their kids, or they will never get out, they will be restrained and tied to a bed, they will be treated bad. 

This isn’t true though.  I can’t promise every hospital is going to be amazing.  It isn’t a 5 star hotel, and some hospitals are newer and better than others.  But it is a safe place if you are in danger of hurting yourself or others.  It is a place for you to get help.  Unless there is abuse or neglect of your kids where they are in immediate danger, they wont take away your kids if you have someone to watch them while you are there – you will get them back (per every situation I have ever encountered with people that have had kids).  You might be there 1 day (unless you are under a 72 hour hold), or you might be there a month – but that is between you and the doctor and how you feel you are doing.  If you are not a danger to yourself or others though, they cannot keep you in there against your will. 

I know it might not seem like the hospitals helped me at all, considering I was in and out of them so much.  But they did!  They saved my life.  If it wasn’t for them, I would be dead.  I would go on and off my medication, I was non compliant.  I didn’t think I needed help.  I didn’t know how to accept the help.  Every time I went in I hated life and wanted to die – or had actually attempted suicide.  They would bring me back to reality, get me back on my meds.  Get me into the group therapy there, the techs would talk to me, the psychiatrist would talk to me.  I relearned how to use my coping skills.  I got stabilized.  For the time being anyway.  For me, it took more than an acute care hospital – it took the state hospital.  For most, it doesn’t take that though.  But for me, that state hospital literally saved me from destruction. 

I spent 6 months there and I was scared to go.  When they told me I was being committed I was scared.  Yet, I didn’t even think much of it at the same time.  I was so over hospitals and assumed I would kill myself no matter what it didn’t phase me.  In the end, after 6 months, I was a new person.  Yes, I still struggle, but I think about how much time and effort everyone put into teaching me how to live again, not just survive in life but actually live.  The psychiatrist, nurse, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, techs, recreational therapists – it was amazing how much everyone cared. 

People at psych hospitals do care.  It is a not a gloomy place where patients are catatonic and drugged up, tied to chairs and beds.  Groups take place, patients make friends, support is given. I still have friends from some of my hospitalizations in the acute care hospitals and friends from the state hospital.  And we keep in touch more often than other friends because they understand me much better.

If you need help, reach out.  Take it.  It is there.  Don’t be scared.

Post a Day – Off We Go! A Trip to Remember my Freedom from the Hospital!

WordPress Post A Day – ‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on? (If you don’t or can’t drive, any land-based journey counts.)

 

I absolutely love road trips!  In fact I think I have taken 8-10 of them in the last 3 years, Not with friends and not generally planned though. After multiple psych hospitalizations, the psychiatrist started pushing my parents to have me go stay with them.  So, my dad would trek his way from Florida to Indiana, and we would drive back down. I would stay for a month, and then we would drive back up.  This happened a few times.  Then I moved to Texas (it was supposed to be permanent) at one point, this was another road trip.  Then I moved back to Indiana, another road trip.  Perhaps these weren’t what others would call road trips?

Well, they were to me! See, we explored all the National Parks along the way. I saw all the National Monuments that we knew about.  I visited museums and of course was the tourist, stopping to take pictures at every visitor center at the state line, taking pictures with the state’s welcome sign!

If I could take another road trip, and no money or time was involved, I would definitely visit all the National Parks.  See, being in nature calms me.  It helps me to see life.  Having mental illness makes me feel dead inside all too often.  Being around nature though, seeing the green trees, green grass, watching the animals around me, seeing the majestic mountains, or trees as tall as the sky – they open my eyes to the beauty around me, the life around me. I feel free in nature, not locked up in a house, committed to a job or a person, I can just focus on anything, be mindful of my surroundings, listen to the sounds around me.

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And the road trip itself – going to all the National Parks, well that might take a while!  Perhaps I wouldn’t make it to all of them at one time.  It would probably take a few road trips over the years.  But driving in the car, listening to some music, singing along – who can argue with that?  I don’t typically enjoy driving to be honest, but knowing I will be going to a place I enjoy, knowing that I am free, I think I could enjoy that!

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This road trip would remind me of being out of the hospital.  They were freedom from the psych hospital!  Now, they will be for pleasure, but they will always represent my freedom – my freedom to be me, to be independent, and to get away and enjoy life and really live.

 

 

Life with Suicidal Thoughts

It is so easy to think about suicide.  And then so easy to begin ruminating on it.  And for me, it eventually became easy to act on those thoughts.  For two years, I was so deeply depressed that my life revolved around my suicidal ideations and even suicide attempts.  I would simply lie on my couch, crying and thinking about how to die and how much I wanted to die.  I knew why and yet I didn’t know why at the same time.  Sometimes it had to do with my bipolar, a chemical imbalance.  Some of it had to do with my borderline personality, just if something happened that triggered me to suddenly lose control of my feelings.  And other times it just had to do with my PTSD if I was having awful memories and wanted to just get away from them and end my life. It went on for two years though because I didn’t want the help, I didn’t know how to truly accept the help, and in some weird way, I didn’t even think I needed help.  I felt like the only help I needed was for someone to help me die.

I had quite a few suicide attempts, but never really did any major damage.  I was in the ICU a few times, but only one of those times was it somewhat serious.  At the time, I didn’t know if I was happy or sad to be alive.  Actually even today I am not sure how I feel about that attempt.  Things have gotten much better in my life, but I still suffer with depression because of my mental illness, and so I question if living or dying would be best.  I do not think suicide is the answer at all, but as many (not all) people with depression do, suicide still comes up in my mind from time to time.

I really like the saying: “Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse, Suicide eliminates the chances of it ever getting better.”

People always tell you, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  Yes yes yes… I know I know.  But in my head, my problem is not temporary, so if you say that to me… it doesn’t even sound like a good statement.  So I hated when people told me that.  And everyone told me that, over and over again.

However, the first statement, that just seemed really eye opening to me.  I really never pictured my life getting better, but it still lit up my mind to thinking perhaps it could.  So when I think of suicide now, I always tell myself this quote.  If I just wait another day and see how that goes.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.  And I just keep putting it off.  Eventually the thought does pass.  Eventually I do have a day that is better than the previous day, and the thought somewhat disappears into my brain – until the next chemical imbalance or trigger or flashback.  Again, I try to use the same technique of putting off and suicidal actions day after day after day though.

I lost a friend to a drug overdose back in November.  It was not a suicide attempt, but she did suffer with depression.  It hurt me incredibly bad.  Seeing how it affected me and her family and other friends was very eye opening.  I never thought about how much it would hurt my family and friends.  I really believed in my mind I would make things better for my family and friends.  I thought they would believe I was better off dead – that my pain would be gone and so they would forgive me for what I did.  That I would no longer be a burden to them and that they would be happy with me gone.  But now that I am thinking clearly, on proper medication, in good therapy – I see that this thought process was not true at all.  I slip into every once in a while still, but that is how our brains work and we have to fight back.

We will all go back and forth, have good days and bad days, but we can have a good life.  I went through 17 hospitalizations between 2011-2013.  Fifteen of those being within 1.5 years.  Today, while I still struggle, I am stable for the most part and trying to get my life back on track.  Much happier, not lying on my couch all day, not crying all the time, and my mind is not obsessed with dying.  Life does get better.  I never thought I would say that either.

 

If you, or anyone you know, might be feeling suicidal, call the suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or go to http://www.crisischat.org (between 2pm-2am)

Also, talk with your doctor and/or therapist if you have one about how you are feeling, and do not abruptly stop any of your medications without consulting them.