Reflections on Being in the Psych Ward & Being on the “Outside” – March 2018

This morning; Photo provided by author

This is the last post I’ll write about this experience, I promise! First of all, my stay there was very therapeutic, in terms of maintaining personal hygiene, socialization, and most importantly, structure.

Nearly every hour of our days was scheduled for one thing or another, like the various group therapies and meals I described in yesterday’s post. Even when I awoke, long before mealtime, I took a shower immediately and got dressed. I had to take a few shortcuts because I didn’t have conditioner, my entire skincare regiment, or a hair dryer, but that worked for me.

My inpatient psychiatrist met with me both Monday and Tuesday. He said that I could be discharged Wednesday, which I found surprising (but wasn’t complaining) because it seemed to me that the average stay is at least a week — I was admitted on a Friday evening and didn’t think I’d get out until the following Friday or Monday.

When my husband picked me up, and we got outside, I found that the world wasn’t as captivating as I expected it to be. I thought I’d see it in a better light, but it looked the same as it did when I went into the ER. My mood began to dip.

I tried to duplicate my inpatient schedule as much as I could at home, but that lasted 2 days. By Saturday, I was back to staying in my pajamas and had to push myself to throw on sweats and accompany my husband to the vet for our dog’s annual check-up, drop him off at the groomer, then eat lunch at a pub a few doors down while we waited for him.

On Sunday, I stayed in my pajamas and barely got off the couch. I spent most of my time just lying there, or falling asleep. The social worker who discussed my discharge plans suggested that I go to an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), maybe after I return from our mini-vacation. I texted my therapist last night about how I was feeling, and she also suggested going back to PHP because of the social aspect and structure it provides, particularly at the last one I attended.

My therapist told me to think of 3 things I could do today, and concentrate on those: 1) take a shower, which I did but took shortcuts; 2) do my physical therapy exercises, which I started but didn’t complete; 3) write a blog post.

As you can see from the selfie I took this morning, I’m feeling pretty meh. I am, however, looking forward to seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow and finally transitioning my mood stabilizer from Tegretol to lithium.

Have inpatient hospitalizations helped you? Did you feel better once you were discharged?

via Daily Prompt: Captivating


20 thoughts on “Reflections on Being in the Psych Ward & Being on the “Outside” – March 2018

  1. I’m surprised they don’t fix your meds before you are released. I guess they don’t have the space to keep people for as long as they really need to. That is the problem with the health care system, right? Rush rush to get people released, before they are ready maybe. I hope you get your desire when you see your therapist tomorrow. Keep us posted.

    1. I thought they’d switch my meds while I was in the hospital too, but you’re right — then I’d have to stay there longer. The inpatient psychiatrist said I could do it on an outpatient basis with my regular psychiatrist. I guess they really needed the beds, because a bunch of people were discharged on the same day.

        1. Yes. I had actually made the appointment for tomorrow when I last saw him 6 weeks ago, so it happened to work out well.

  2. I hit send way too quickly. As I was saying… Being in the hospital gave me new insight and a bit of an eye-opening to my illness. I was better equipped to go into an outpatient program that lasted close to 6 months, and that in itself gave me tools in order to take hold, and I continue with practicing daily.
    Barb, I hope you do feel better really soon. I hate knowing you’re in this state. Do what the psychiatrist and counselors suggest. I know it will help you in the long run. Feel better, my friend. 🙂

  3. some of my psych hospitalisations have helped, some have harmed. it all depends. I prefer planned admissions, because then I know what I am expecting, and there is a planned length of stay and care plan in place. Xo

  4. Thank you for sharing this, Barb. I was in group therapy for 4-5 months last year; whilst I was a “day patient” (as opposed to an in-patient, staying overnight), I did 3 days a week most weeks. (Thank you private healthcare!). When I stopped going, I felt better for a while. I came off my meds and went off travelling & took the rest of the year off. I had another blip before Christmas, though the meds seemed to be helping again, and I have started 1-to-1 therapy with a wonderful therapist. Onwards and upwards ✨

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