Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Therapy Session: My Time in a Mental Institution
First of all, let's get the scenes of a high end facility out of your heads. There was no yoga classes, acupuncture or even daily visits with a psychologist. The walls were a washed out gray. The cold dirty floors and heavy steel self locking doors didn't promote a place of healing. Physical activity amounted to standing outside surrounded by tall walls and barbed wire.
I don't remember being admitted because the hospital doped me up for the trip. But they showed me where I signed the commitment papers!
A person is segregated by age in sections of the building and never come into contact with the other age groups. (teens, seniors) But they do put you with bipolar disorders and schizophrenics. My roommate, Sylvania, pronounced Savannha, kept bugging me and everyone else to have sex with her. She even punched a guy in the face because he was wearing a Sponge Bob Squarepants t-shirt. And she would want to fight you if you didn't pronounce her name correctly!
You find yourself standing in line for everything. (getting your food, pills, seeing the doctors, using the common bathroom, etc) The coffee was very good. The food sucked. We had no TV, no access to computers or cell phones. Group therapy was always interesting because there might be an argument amongst the patients. You can't keep people locked up with nothing interesting to do and not be surprised there's tension!
There were many 'return guests' during my stay. Several knew each other and the staff. I decided right there I wasn't going to be part of the frequent guest list.
I told her and my husband that I felt that over these 2 yrs I've learned to use coping skills when dealing with my depression. As we were walking out, I felt my hubby take my hand and squeeze it tight! That made me feel better too!