hospitalization Archive

The Mental Hospital at Thirteen

Trigger warning: Mention of constrainment and incarceration, suicidal thoughts, misdiagnosis

My general care practitioner put me on a low dose of Zoloft. She said that it would take a couple of weeks, that I would start to notice feeling a bit better, just slowly notice that I felt good.

I got better.


I went to see her again a week later, and I was bouncing, happy, excited. I expected a much different reaction than the one I got.

Painting from the Psych Ward

I painted the beginning of this painting while inpatient at Aurora Las Encinas during arts and craft time. It is my first abstract piece. I was surprised to discover how creative I felt there, digging among old board games like Monopoly for collage material and working in child tempuras instead of my usual oils. I kept the piece of overworked construction paper through my stay, oddly proud of my first artistic effort in a year of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. When I got out of the psych ward, I mod podged it to a canvas and added a border and purple feathers. I call it Inpatient, Forgive.

Hospital Epiphanies

I was taken to the hospital via ambulance and certified so that I wouldnt escape. And I spent the night in a holding cell in the Emergency Room. I saw the psychiatrist in the morning and they changed my meds and made me an out-patient appointment so that I could continue to see this psychiatrist and get care as I didnt at the time have a psychiatrist that was following me at all.

Tales of the Mental Hospital (Chandler) – Part 2

Jeff was with me in Muhlenberg during the stay that landed me in Runnells. He was loud, obnoxious and generally annoying. He was 19, and a complete baby. Every time he had a visit he cried and threw a fit about he wanted to go home. While I understand wanting to leave, I tried on many occasions to explain to him that acting out was not going to get him out of the ward faster, and that it would only prolong his stay. He, of course, refused to listen, stating that I “had no idea what the fuck I was talking about”. From that point on, I simply observed Jeff and laughed at his stupid antics. One day, as his parents were leaving after their visit, Jeff decided to try his first of many escape attempts.

My Recent Suicide Attempt

Trigger Warning: Graphic account of a suicide attempt

I recently attempted suicide. At least I think I did, does it count if you don’t pull the trigger, so to speak, rather you try to get someone else to do it for you? I think it does, so I’m going to count this as an attempt rather than a para-suicidal gesture. At least in a rather sick way, I suppose, it makes me rather happy to count this as an attempt as it means I have tempted the fates and I am still alive and kicking.

Tales of the Mental Hospital (Chandler) – Part 1

It is my pleasure to introduce the newest series, “Tales of the Mental Hospital” to Spending time in a hospital can be an unpleasant and scary experience for many of us. Taking a more lighthearted look at our experiences can be healing for many of those who have had to stay in a mental hospital for some time. Chandler came up with the idea to write about his experiences, and after discussing it together we decided it would be a great idea to make it into a series here. We encourage anyone to add their stories to the series as well!

During my formerly frequent stays to various psychiatric facilities in MO & FL, I’ve met quite a few characters. They’ve ranged from scary violent psychos, to hilariously deranged schizophrenics, to the just plain bizarre. That statement also includes some of the people who worked there. Sometimes, the staff is just on the wrong side of the desk.Needless to say, each separate hospitalization was a truly unique experience. With all the E/N depression threads I’ve seen pop up, I think now is a good time to share some of the hilarity that an inpatient psych hospital can offer. That’s right, the hospital can be fun.

The Window At Night

Trigger Warning: alcoholism, addiction, mention of drug use

How many of my own garments shuffle
with the scrubs and hospital gowns
They feel disposable
But so do mine
As I prepare
As I prepare to leave the hospital
As I prepare to go to rehab
I listen to Amy Winehouse on my headphones.
She is dead.
That is enough
I say yes to everything but is it enough


Trigger Warning: mention of abuse

When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher assigned the first essay of the semester. The topic was “time I felt different”. This proved to be a surprisingly difficult topic for me to write about. Why? Then, I had no idea what it was like to fit in. I had no frame of reference.

My Experience With Alcoholics Anonymous And Early Sobriety (Ava)

Sobriety is a different forest, and one I am picking my way through carefully. The level of commitment that AA seems to require is daunting, as is the god issue. But I have seen people speak there that moved and affected me in a way that was more beneficial than any serenity prayer. Balancing cynicism and nihilism with the all-to-clear possibility of death, I’ve relapsed this month but I’m trying to embrace the program without losing myself. When I relapsed, my wife yelled at me to give her the rest of the bottle of vodka, and all I could say was, “I want something to myself, that is mine.” I gave her the bottle. I want to believe I have other things to hold onto, but the glacial heft of a glass bottle is a hand held.

My Experience With Anorexia (Yael)

Trigger Warning: Mention of suicidal ideation

I don’t recall exactly when my battle with anorexia started, but I seem to remember other people noticing it when I was about fourteen. Maybe the fact that I had always been unhealthy due to multiple medical conditions that caused me to have to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, almost monthly for often painful or at least uncomfortable tests to try and give a treatable diagnosis; a process that seemed to always be in vain.