Woman shares what it’s really like to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital – from having her shoelaces taken away to drawing a picture of the eyes she believed were ‘watching’ her
- A brave woman from Essex has shared her experience in a psychiatric hospital
- Anon patient posted inside look to help break the taboo around mental health
- Revealed she wasn’t allowed shoelaces, spray deodorant or clothes hangers
- Praised work of ‘overstretched’ staff, clarified process around being admitted
A brave woman has shared a candid look at life inside a psychiatric hospital to help break the stigma around mental health.
The woman from Essex took to Bored Panda this week to reveal just what happened when she admitted herself to the secure unit, hoping to encourage others to open up about their own battles.
Writing in an anonymous blog post this week, the woman explained that she has previously been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and classed as a suicide risk, and had fallen into a deep depression as well as suffering from delusions.
Explaining that she had sought support from A&E and mental health teams, she revealed that she was then deemed unsafe to be at home and given a bed in a closed ward within a few hours.
An anonymous woman from Essex took to Bored Panda this week to reveal just what happened when she admitted herself to the secure unit, hoping to encourage others to open up about their own battles. Pictured: The bedroom which she described as comfortable but hot as patients aren’t allowed to open the windows for safety reasons
Writing in an honest blog post this week, the woman explained that she has previously been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and classed as a suicide risk, and had fallen into a deep depression. Her shoelaces were taken from her on day three so she couldn’t harm herself with them following an assessment which left her upset
Counting herself ‘lucky’ for having secured a space in the ward, she described her room as wheelchair accessible and comfortable, but ‘a little hot’ as she didn’t have access to the heating and the windows only opened an inch ‘for obvious [security] reasons’.
Continuing her post the woman revealed the room had a partially peeled-off inspirational quote on the wall, and added: ‘Notice the plug sockets? I thought they were a bit redundant since I was not allowed any wires, because of the ligature risk.
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‘They’re actually for the domestic team to clean. There’s not a lot of places to tie anything onto; even the toilets don’t have proper seats.’
She then shared a picture of her wardrobe, highlighting just how many things were adapted for the safety of the patients.
‘I’m not really sure what the bit on the left is, because you clearly can’t hang anything up or it would be a ligature risk, once again,’ she said referring to the tall unit without hangers or a rail.
Sharing a picture of the corridor, she explained that there was an exit at the end but you couldn’t leave without being seen by a doctor
She then shared a picture of her wardrobe, highlighting just how many things were adapted for the safety of the patients as there were no railings or hangers
‘I spent a lot of time rearranging it, when I got bored,’ she said. ‘There weren’t a lot of activities. This is probably because it was a short term ward and funding cuts have really taken their toll on the NHS.’
Going on to share a picture of the corridor, she explained that there was an exit at the end but you couldn’t leave without being seen by a doctor.
She said: ‘I was in a locked ward, so even though I was an informal patient I couldn’t leave without being seen by a doctor.
‘You had to be careful because if you tried to leave that way,’ she added. ‘I’ve heard stories people being sectioned. Which means you could be held there against your will, for your own safety. This shouldn’t happen to you if you can prove you’re safe enough to be discharged. You will have to wait to speak to a doctor though.’
She also listed amenities the hospital provides, including pyjamas, shampoos, shower gel, a stress ball, and a relaxing bag of lavender to help her relaxation technique – adding that the class was one of the few left.
She added: ‘I always bring my own toiletries. If you’re a woman, you need to bring your own sanitary products as they don’t give them out in most parts of the NHS (thanks to underfunding). You won’t be allowed any sprays, so pack a roll-on deodorant.’
She also listed amenities the hospital provides, including pyjamas, shampoos, shower gel, a stress ball, and a relaxing bag of lavender to help her relaxation technique- adding that the class was one of the few left
The woman then shared a picture of her art, which depicted lots of eyes and explained that she would start experiencing delusions of being ‘watched’ when she was under intense pressure
But she also shared the tougher moments of her stay, recalling how a meeting with a doctor didn’t go well and going on to describe how her shoelaces were taken from her.
She said: ‘On the third day, I had a meeting with the psychiatrist that didn’t go well. I felt like he wasn’t listening to anything I was saying and my anger got the better of me. I ended up storming out of the room. I spent the rest of the afternoon sobbing.
‘When one of the nurses came to check on me, she took my shoelaces off of me. I think she thought I might try and use them for ligature. I spent the rest of the week feeling a bit ridiculous. Amazingly they stayed on my feet though.’
The woman then shared a picture of her art, which depicted lots of eyes.
Sharing an inside tip, she advised potential female patients to always bring their own toiletries and added that sanitary products weren’t provided on the NHS
Speaking in her post the woman described the room as having a partially peeled-off inspirational quote on the wall and admitted it was quite ‘hot’ due to the locked windows
She wrote: ‘This creepy drawing is based-off a weird delusion I sometimes have about fourth-dimensional beings, that are watching everything I do as though I’m some sort of experiment or subject.
‘It’s normally triggered when I’m under a lot of stress. The delusions were not why I was in the hospital, though. I’m diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and I was in a period of deep depression and had been actively suicidal.’
Revealing that she had since been discharged and was feeling more positive, she concluded: ‘Most of the other patients were really lovely and supportive.
‘The same goes for the staff; their biggest crime was probably being overworked and tired. I felt sorry for one nurse, who was on her fifth long shift in a row.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
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