DepressionDiaries: My First Week on a Psychiatric Ward Part Four

WARNING: This post contains strong language

Day Seven

Morning: At roughly 5:30am the fire alarms were tested, I knew it wasn’t real because I heard a young staff member rushing to the alarmed door saying sorry at our doors as she past them. After a while I managed to get back to sleep but then the verbally aggressive patient started yelling down the corridor at 7:30am. I was not so appreciative of her yelling this morning as she woke me up an hour early, being woken up at 5:30 didn’t help either.

I trudged to breakfast at 8:00 feeling grumpy as all hell. After breakfast, as I promised myself on day six, I returned to my room to hide from everyone. I worked on colouring in my treehouse a bit more. Thing is the staff would not leave me be after about half an hour I got a knock on my door from a staff member wanting me to go for a walk to the shops with him and other patients to get newspapers for the ward which I did do and felt slightly better after going out and getting some fresh air, I didn’t talk much though.

At 10:00 am my mum came for my ward round, she could tell something was wrong as I had no interest in talking to anyone, not even her. I told her how some of the patients were trying to mother me and about the woman who talked to me like I was five years old instead of 18 and how demeaning it was for me.

Ward round was where about four or five consultants would assess your state and discuss a plan on how to further help you. The whole room we were in smelled of bullshit as the nurse who clearly did not know me said how I was really happy and chatty, how I wasn’t tearful and aggressive. Well, I’ve lost count of how many times I burst into tears on the ward and swore like a trooper down the phone, ranting my heart out about the shitty system that was supposed to be helping and observing me. Great observing I got from the nurses then (!) they knew sod all about me!

By this day I’d had enough and asked if I could go home, the main consultant however did not want to discharge me for another week or two so we compromised and I got a week’s home leave but I have to return to the hospital for my next ward round next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Afternoon: I could not leave the ward until a member of the crisis team had done a risk assessment of me so I had lunch then returned to my room to try and sleep, no such luck though and it wasn’t long before I got a knock on my door from a staff member telling me that a man from the crisis team had come to assess me.

I sort of lied to the assessor that my mental state was okay. I didn’t mention the fact that I wanted to leave because I was so angry that I thought I might deck someone but I couldn’t do that because if I did then I might get sectioned and that was the last thing I wanted.

After the assessment I packed my bags and did some more colouring in while I waited for my mum to come and pick me up. When she did I was able to go home and sleep for as long as I needed which was a long time.

Today

I returned to the ward to collect my meds but ended up staying for an activity then a rash flared up so I had to see a ward doctor as they thought it could be a side effect of my medication it turned out to be an allergic reaction to the new detergent my mum was using to wash my clothes. It was nearly lunch time at the ward so I thought I might as well have lunch there.

The ward is a nice place if you’re there when you want to be and not staying for days. I caught up with some of the patients as I didn’t say goodbye to everyone yesterday, turns out it was a good thing I did go home last night as it was one of the worst nights on the ward, no one got much sleep and everyone wanted to punch the verbally aggressive patient for keeping them awake.

I met the new girl, she seemed young and was very quiet, I welcomed her as the older women did when I first arrived. While the psychiatric ward had been chaotic and one of my most stressful experiences, you could count on the patients to look out for you as much as we can piss each other off we also care for each other because we’re all in the same boat there. I learned a lot from the other patients and feel I came out of my first week feistier than I had ever been. A part of me was sad to leave when lunch was over.

NI2M

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