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Being in a Psychiatric Hospital - Ask Me (Almost) Anything Watch

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    Hey everyone.

    So this thread has mainly been inspired by The_Lonely_Goatherd's Mental Health AMA thread. It's a bit of a continuation to my depressive episode from Sixth Form but I'll keep it very brief.

    As some of you may know, I started Medical School this year after the whole adventure I had during Sixth Form/my gap year and while it started of very well, things got absolutely crazy again during second term and by third term, I found myself admit in a Psychiatric Hospital. My depression was back but this time it was even more severe than last time, and resulted in some psychotic episodes too.

    Basically, I went out for dinner somewhere late at night one day and decided to go for a visit to Lords in London (being a massive cricket fan ). Then before I knew it, something happened that made me insanely upset and led to a very bad psychotic episode. I was then taken in blue lights by an ambulance to the mental health unit of a hospital, where a psychiatrist suggested for me to be admit in a psychiatric hospital for a few days. There were no hospital beds in the whole of London, however, so I was transferred outside of London to a private hospital the next day.

    I stayed there for a few days before I decided to self discharge myself - not because I felt better really, but because I had my first year exams in a few days and I wanted to have a shot at them...

    Anyway, ever since, I can't say I've been at 100% but I've learnt to be way more open about my Mental Health now and want to give the encouragement to others to not be afraid to open up too, should they want to. The stigma is absolute bull****. I started a Mental Health blog (not on TSR) to try to keep myself busy that way and even though it's very early, I'm seriously beginning to think about a career in psychiatry now.

    I've seen many myths circulating around about what happens in a psychiatric hospital, and this seems to put many people off from seeking help in the first place when they need it. So I thought I'd make this thread to answer anyone's questions about what my experiences were like there, or to answer questions about my mental health experiences in general.

    Just as an aside - please keep all questions sensible. I will remove any questions where there is malice intended, and will take appropriate action on those posts. I may also have to remove some posts if they're triggering too, but I won't take any action there if it's not intentional.
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    So proud of you making this thread. :hugs:
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    (Original post by usycool1)
    Hey everyone.

    So this thread has mainly been inspired by The_Lonely_Goatherd's Mental Health AMA thread. It's a bit of a continuation to my depressive episode from Sixth Form but I'll keep it very brief.

    As some of you may know, I started Medical School this year after the whole adventure I had during Sixth Form/my gap year and while it started of very well, things got absolutely crazy again during second term and by third term, I found myself admit in a Psychiatric Hospital. My depression was back but this time it was even more severe than last time, and resulted in some psychotic episodes too.

    Basically, I went out for dinner somewhere late at night one day and decided to go for a visit to Lords in London (being a massive cricket fan ). Then before I knew it, something happened that made me insanely upset and led to a very bad psychotic episode. I was then taken in blue lights by an ambulance to the mental health unit of a hospital, where a psychiatrist suggested for me to be admit in a psychiatric hospital for a few days. There were no hospital beds in the whole of London, however, so I was transferred outside of London to a private hospital the next day.

    I stayed there for a few days before I decided to self discharge myself - not because I felt better really, but because I had my first year exams in a few days and I wanted to have a shot at them...

    Anyway, ever since, I can't say I've been at 100% but I've learnt to be way more open about my Mental Health now and want to give the encouragement to others to not be afraid to open up too, should they want to. The stigma is absolute bull****. I started a Mental Health blog (not on TSR) to try to keep myself busy that way and even though it's very early, I'm seriously beginning to think about a career in psychiatry now.

    I've seen many myths circulating around about what happens in a psychiatric hospital, and this seems to put many people off from seeking help in the first place when they need it. So I thought I'd make this thread to answer anyone's questions about what my experiences were like there, or to answer questions about my mental health experiences in general.

    Just as an aside - please keep all questions sensible. I will remove any questions where there is malice intended, and will take appropriate action on those posts. I may also have to remove some posts if they're triggering too, but I won't take any action there if it's not intentional.
    You are SO awesome for making this thread :yep: :king1: :lovehug: Am glad my AMA played some small part towards the making of this thread

    I would like to ask a question about how you found your fellow patients in the hospital you ended up at and the general environment on your ward. I've not been hospitalised (yet :ninja: ), so am rather naive about these things I guess what my question essentially boils down to is: did you find it scary, being on a ward surrounded by others who were not necessarily in a great position mentally themselves?

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    Where are you studying medicine at?


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    (Original post by Airmed)
    So proud of you making this thread. :hugs:
    Thanks

    (Original post by BWV1007)
    Where are you studying medicine at?


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    Imperial*

    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    You are SO awesome for making this thread :yep: :king1: :lovehug: Am glad my AMA played some small part towards the making of this thread

    I would like to ask a question about how you found your fellow patients in the hospital you ended up at and the general environment on your ward. I've not been hospitalised (yet :ninja: ), so am rather naive about these things I guess what my question essentially boils down to is: did you find it scary, being on a ward surrounded by others who were not necessarily in a great position mentally themselves?

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    Haha, thanks :hugs:

    I'll answer your question tomorrow because it's a long answer - I'm quite tired atm.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    You are SO awesome for making this thread :yep: :king1: :lovehug: Am glad my AMA played some small part towards the making of this thread

    I would like to ask a question about how you found your fellow patients in the hospital you ended up at and the general environment on your ward. I've not been hospitalised (yet :ninja: ), so am rather naive about these things I guess what my question essentially boils down to is: did you find it scary, being on a ward surrounded by others who were not necessarily in a great position mentally themselves?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Interesting thread idea - the differences between hospitals can be massive and I'm curious and want to learn more from you about what private hospitals in the UK are like to compare.


    It's late at night and I'm bored so imma answer this. Hopefully Usy won't mind

    When I was recently in hospital I was sharing a room with 2 other guys. Me and one of them got talking to the other who believed he was a prophet from God and....long story short....we ended up angering "God" and he (the guy) was going to "punish" us for doing so. We were both incredibly worried that we'd be killed in our sleep that night: no joke! We were worried enough to tell a nurse and get her to talk to the other guy. But yeah, it was actually kind of terrifying.

    Anyway, that's my story. Back to you usycool1!
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    You are SO awesome for making this thread :yep: :king1: :lovehug: Am glad my AMA played some small part towards the making of this thread

    I would like to ask a question about how you found your fellow patients in the hospital you ended up at and the general environment on your ward. I've not been hospitalised (yet :ninja: ), so am rather naive about these things I guess what my question essentially boils down to is: did you find it scary, being on a ward surrounded by others who were not necessarily in a great position mentally themselves?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Right, I've woken up now having had about 3 hours sleep which is good for me these days so now I shall reply.

    It's a very good question and it's something that worries many people, including myself before everything. I remember during my gap year when I was looking for HCA jobs, one came up in a mental health ward and one of the 'requirements' that came with the job was to "be able to handle physical attacks" or something like that. Needless to say, that put me off applying and further scared me about things when my own mental health began to kick in.

    My experiences were very different to my fears, however. There were all sorts of people admit there, including surgeons, others like me who couldn't be taken in to a local NHS hospital because of a lack of beds, students etc. Just goes to show mental health can affect anyone eh...

    Anyway, when I arrived there, I saw another patient sitting in the reception area and he started making conversation with me and I remember feeling slightly scared at the time. He wasn't saying anything scary as such, it was clear he was trying hard to be friendly but I guess the shock of it all did scare me. Then he got me a glass of water when I remarked I hadn't had anything to drink for a while and that eased my nerves

    It wasn't just him who was friendly either - pretty much everyone I met there was great. I didn't have a change of clothes and the hospital had none either, so another patient offered to let me wear his spare clothes if I needed them. There was an elderly woman there who was Christian and who'd say she's pray for me *when I told her why I was in (I'm not Christian, but I appreciated the gesture a lot). We all seemed to be like one team there trying to urge each other on and in many ways, because everyone else was not doing great mentally, it made it easier to open up to one another because it really felt like we understood what we were all going through. I guess it reminded me that sure, we are all mentally compromised right now but that doesn't mean we're not normal - we just had a common type of illness that we were trying to fight.

    There were some negatives, but nothing really that was very worrying. There were no physical altercations at all in my time there, just some people who got very confused or who were very paranoid would occasionally scream from time to time and it was a bit scary. The staff were very good at dealing with it though. There were some instances of things getting stolen but that was about the worst of it.*

    Overall, I was originally scared before I was properly admit but then after getting to see that most people were really in a similar position to me, I wasn't scared at all. I've even got the contact numbers of a few patients who I met there and we like to check up on each other from time to time. I think it's mainly the negative stories that seem to get portrayed by things like the media so most isn't stuff to worry about
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Interesting thread idea - the differences between hospitals can be massive and I'm curious and want to learn more from you about what private hospitals in the UK are like to compare.


    It's late at night and I'm bored so imma answer this. Hopefully Usy won't mind

    When I was recently in hospital I was sharing a room with 2 other guys. Me and one of them got talking to the other who believed he was a prophet from God and....long story short....we ended up angering "God" and he (the guy) was going to "punish" us for doing so. We were both incredibly worried that we'd be killed in our sleep that night: no joke! We were worried enough to tell a nurse and get her to talk to the other guy. But yeah, it was actually kind of terrifying.

    Anyway, that's my story. Back to you usycool1!
    Hahaha, feel free to help

    I had my own room in the hospital I was in. I think it was because I was in a private hospital but we couldn't lock the door from the outside and the staff could unlock it whenever *
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    Great thread idea

    I have a question, but I realise that this is a bit intrusive, and I completely understand if you don't want to answer, I think if you wanted to disclose it you would have already explained it in your OP. But can I ask what was it that made you so upset that night you went to London?

    Please feel free to completely ignore this is if you'd rather not talk about it.
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    :hugs:

    That is all :hugs:
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    What things do you do whilsy you're in hospital?
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    Are you worried that this setback could affect your future medical career?
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    (Original post by Twinpeaks)
    Great thread idea

    I have a question, but I realise that this is a bit intrusive, and I completely understand if you don't want to answer, I think if you wanted to disclose it you would have already explained it in your OP. But can I ask what was it that made you so upset that night you went to London?

    Please feel free to completely ignore this is if you'd rather not talk about it.
    Haha, no no, it's a perfectly valid question.

    My honest answer is that I simply don't remember, and that's why I didn't mention it in my OP. It just seems like a massive blur to me - I remember suddenly feeling very lonely because I remembered something and then bam, all the voices and paranoia seemed to start. A police man seemed to notice that there wasn't something quite right with me either so he came up to me to ask if everything was OK and helped me call an ambulance.

    (Original post by Slowbro93)
    :hugs:

    That is all :hugs:
    :hugs:
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    What things do you do whilsy you're in hospital?
    I was very bored for most of my stay. I had some therapy sessions which I attended, had some appointments with the psychiatrist and the junior doctors who were working under him and I was also checked up on every hour or so by a healthcare assistant and they were all very nice to have a chat to. Most of my time was spent sitting outside in the sun doing absolutely nothing but just reflecting on things. There was also a TV room where we'd watch films sometimes or I did some jigsaws.

    Otherwise, I was lucky that I thought to bring my iPad with me to London when I went out for dinner before I was admit so I used that to make sure I didn't fall behind with my course either. I tried to get as much revision done as possible as my exams were just days away so it couldn't have come at a worst time. :nooo: I didn't have a copy of an Anatomy book though so I felt so behind there (and messed up all anatomy questions on my exam, I think ).
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    (Original post by neal95)
    Are you worried that this setback could affect your future medical career?
    Good question - it does linger in my mind from time to time but mainly I'm not too worried about it yet. I declared my poor mental health to my Medical School long before it got this bad so they are aware of my issues. (And if there are any other Med Students reading this, I can't emphasise how important it is to do that - credit goes to ForestCat for telling me that ages ago ).

    A common question that I asked many nurses/doctors/healthcare professionals at the hospital or at my GP appointments/follow up appointments with my crisis support team was whether or not my mental health could have an impact on my fitness to practice. They all said that they didn't think so, as long as I continues to seek help for it.

    Whilst in Psychiatric Hospital, I also missed a presentation that I was meant to deliver which was meant to count towards my Year 1 mark. I emailed my tutor beforehand to tell her that I wouldn't be able to attend, however, and she was very understanding and said that it didn't matter. I also emailed the senior tutor to let him know that I'd be away for a bit and he let the Medical School know on my behalf. I'm also pleased to say that I managed to pass my first year exams too somehow, so it gave me the belief that this is a storm that I can get through and put up with.

    The only issue I had really was when I got an email from the head of Year 1 asking me why my attendance was poor in the final term. I explained everything and showed her letters from my psychiatrists, GP etc. and that was the end of it - she said that it was nothing to worry about given I had documentation of everything and was seeking help etc. I'm pleased with how my Med School have dealt with everything - they have been very understanding.

    Overall though, I'm hopeful that I can get through this and hopefully come out a doctor.
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    Can I ask: how did your friends and family react to your admission into a psychiatric hospital?
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    You were able to continue as normal with your medicine degree? They didn't make you take time out?


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    (Original post by rflxvvrbs)
    Can I ask: how did your friends and family react to your admission into a psychiatric hospital?
    I actually kept it a secret from all of them until my parents eventually found out when I was talking to them on the phone and accidentally let it slip. They were very understanding, however and I'm glad that I told them. I was very scared as to how they would react but they kept saying how we were all one family, one team and how we would all get through it. It was my birthday too while I was in hospital so my Mum made me my favourite food and my family got me a cake and everything.

    In terms of my friends, it was a mixed bag really. I only told people who I considered to be my closest friends and most were unsure as to how to react. I can't blame them though and most have stuck by me to this day, and I am very grateful to those friends. I've said it before but if there's one 'good' thing that comes out of things like this, it's that it shows you who your true friends are.
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    (Original post by Soul-Searching)
    You were able to continue as normal with your medicine degree? They didn't make you take time out?


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    Not as 'normal', no - I had to take most of the last term off. I was given the option of taking a year out of Medicine to clear my mind, then come back with a guaranteed place but I didn't take it as I didn't want to fall even further behind. I guess if I failed my exams, they probably would have made me take time out but thankfully it didn't get to that.
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    (Original post by usycool1)
    Right, I've woken up now having had about 3 hours sleep which is good for me these days so now I shall reply.

    It's a very good question and it's something that worries many people, including myself before everything. I remember during my gap year when I was looking for HCA jobs, one came up in a mental health ward and one of the 'requirements' that came with the job was to "be able to handle physical attacks" or something like that. Needless to say, that put me off applying and further scared me about things when my own mental health began to kick in.

    My experiences were very different to my fears, however. There were all sorts of people admit there, including surgeons, others like me who couldn't be taken in to a local NHS hospital because of a lack of beds, students etc. Just goes to show mental health can affect anyone eh...

    Anyway, when I arrived there, I saw another patient sitting in the reception area and he started making conversation with me and I remember feeling slightly scared at the time. He wasn't saying anything scary as such, it was clear he was trying hard to be friendly but I guess the shock of it all did scare me. Then he got me a glass of water when I remarked I hadn't had anything to drink for a while and that eased my nerves

    It wasn't just him who was friendly either - pretty much everyone I met there was great. I didn't have a change of clothes and the hospital had none either, so another patient offered to let me wear his spare clothes if I needed them. There was an elderly woman there who was Christian and who'd say she's pray for me *when I told her why I was in (I'm not Christian, but I appreciated the gesture a lot). We all seemed to be like one team there trying to urge each other on and in many ways, because everyone else was not doing great mentally, it made it easier to open up to one another because it really felt like we understood what we were all going through. I guess it reminded me that sure, we are all mentally compromised right now but that doesn't mean we're not normal - we just had a common type of illness that we were trying to fight.

    There were some negatives, but nothing really that was very worrying. There were no physical altercations at all in my time there, just some people who got very confused or who were very paranoid would occasionally scream from time to time and it was a bit scary. The staff were very good at dealing with it though. There were some instances of things getting stolen but that was about the worst of it.*

    Overall, I was originally scared before I was properly admit but then after getting to see that most people were really in a similar position to me, I wasn't scared at all. I've even got the contact numbers of a few patients who I met there and we like to check up on each other from time to time. I think it's mainly the negative stories that seem to get portrayed by things like the media so most isn't stuff to worry about
    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Interesting thread idea - the differences between hospitals can be massive and I'm curious and want to learn more from you about what private hospitals in the UK are like to compare.


    It's late at night and I'm bored so imma answer this. Hopefully Usy won't mind

    When I was recently in hospital I was sharing a room with 2 other guys. Me and one of them got talking to the other who believed he was a prophet from God and....long story short....we ended up angering "God" and he (the guy) was going to "punish" us for doing so. We were both incredibly worried that we'd be killed in our sleep that night: no joke! We were worried enough to tell a nurse and get her to talk to the other guy. But yeah, it was actually kind of terrifying.

    Anyway, that's my story. Back to you usycool1!
    Thanks both! Interesting to hear your experiences :yes: I appreciate the answers, as it's something I worry about a lot

    :grouphugs:

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