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Psych ward


Zagor

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Has anyone here been admitted to a mental hospital (voluntarily or not)? If I ever end up there I am curious if they give you your medications that you were taking before being admitted. I have heard some people had to go cold turkey in a psych work from their meds as well as other horror stories.

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The true answer is it's very possible they might not give you any of your meds.  They may start over from scratch.  They might feel if you're doing so bad to have to go to the psych ward none of your meds were working anyway.  In a best case scenario you will miss the rest of your meds you were supposed to take the day you arrive.  Chances are you will not take any meds until you speak to a doctor.  If you arrive there on the weekend you might not see a doctor at the ward until Monday so you could realistically go a couple of days without meds.  Are the horror stories you've heard true?  Yes I've been through it plenty of times myself.

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The one thing is I don't recommend anyone going there unless they are forced to go there.  When it's time to leave they come up with a discharge plan that could be anything.  If you have a house or apartment don't count on ever going back there.  They don't care whatsoever if you have things on the outside.  Those things can be sold to help fund keeping you put away.

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3 hours ago, sober4life said:

Are the horror stories you've heard true?  Yes I've been through it plenty of times myself.

I was similarly wondering what it's like, so I know what to expect, just in case. Somehow I've never heard anything good about it.

I suppose there are lots of reasons to check in (or be forced to check in). With extreme depression, at least, one can't even lift the phone or ask for help... but I guess one can still get checked in if found dazed on the street, dying of hunger, or suffering some other consequence...

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You might make it to the receptionist at the hospital in those cases after being dropped off by an ambulance but chances are in those awful times you won't have insurance.  They'll tell you to leave.  If they're in a good mood they will tell you where the closest homeless shelter is.

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10 hours ago, Zagor said:

Has anyone here been admitted to a mental hospital (voluntarily or not)? If I ever end up there I am curious if they give you your medications that you were taking before being admitted. I have heard some people had to go cold turkey in a psych work from their meds as well as other horror stories.

I have been there. They monitor you and give you different sorts of medications. You get free meals and if its safe you get time to go for walks. Well at least that is what happened to me. You can only leave when you permitted to leave. 

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I've been in psych wards several times.

I would never want to discourage anyone in serious danger of harming themselves from going. To be honest though, I've personally always found them to be completely useless.

Essentially all they do is scramble around your meds, and you go to six or seven groups a day, where no one talks. You are talked at by a social worker, or somebody like that, and are given generic advice about depression, but more often about how to handle stress. It's not like in TV movies, where people are pouring their hearts out and crying and hugging each other. I truly have never known what any of the other patients I've been around were specifically in for. Everyone would just shoot the breeze and watch TV between groups.

I luckily don't have any horror stories to tell. Being at Linden Oaks in Naperville, IL was the worst, because to be brutally honest I hated the other patients. It was like being back in junior high, only everyone was in their 20s-50s. There seemed to be 200 people there at once, and the staff obviously loathed speaking to you. That was as bad as it ever got for me, though. The experience has always been painfully boring and uncomfortable at the same time, but I do realize people go through far, far, far worse.

I don't believe I was ever made to go cold turkey on anything. I don't think I was ever prescribed anything new, either. They would only change the dosages of what I was taking.

Edited by SqueezeWax
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Well the last time I went was to a hospital that no longer exists.  They made me think I had options but the truth is there were 3 options all connected to the doctors there and the hospital.  They mixed in other options with brochures for other places that weren't even open anymore.  They even said there would be people coming from those places to interview me.  Of course I didn't know those places were closed until I got out of the hospital and looked into things.  Anyway they got to a point where they said the insurance doesn't want to pay anymore which wasn't true.  The truth is they tried to rush me into one of those 3 places.  The only options that ever existed.

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I was in a psychiatric hospital once.  My medications were not changed.  Everyone has different experiences, but my time in the hospital was was pleasant enough.  It was like a very good hotel and the meals were excellent.  Since I was in a severe depression, it was not a "nice" time for me.  One night we were taken to the movies.  I enjoyed the art therapy class because I enjoy making things.  No one was impolite to me.  As my condition improve, I was allowed to have visitors and to make trips away from the hospital for longer and longer periods until I was released.  I was lucky in that my insurance covered most of the costs.  I was a little scared at first because although I could leave at any time, it was in my best interest to stay because leaving before being medically discharged voids insurance coverage. 

One night I had a funny experience in the hospital.  Many of us patients were playing cards and someone noticed that there were many cards missing.  One of the patients went up to the front desk and said:  "We're not playing with a full deck here."  I'm not sure the patient intended to be humorous but I started laughing.

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Wow. For a patient with psychosis or a severe depression it might be a good place to stay especially if they are suicidal. But I have read many horror stories about it and to sum it up they say "In a psych ward they punish you for being mentally ill". But my fear is something else. If I was taken off my drugs cold turkey I doubt I would survive. At very least I would lose my mind. My meds are not meant to be quit cold turkey but they can do whatever they want to you. Even if you get yourself admitted voluntarily they can still keep you as long as they deem necessary.

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On 6/14/2020 at 4:28 AM, Zagor said:

Wow. For a patient with psychosis or a severe depression it might be a good place to stay especially if they are suicidal. But I have read many horror stories about it and to sum it up they say "In a psych ward they punish you for being mentally ill". But my fear is something else. If I was taken off my drugs cold turkey I doubt I would survive. At very least I would lose my mind. My meds are not meant to be quit cold turkey but they can do whatever they want to you. Even if you get yourself admitted voluntarily they can still keep you as long as they deem necessary.

That scares the hell out of me. If I go more than one day without either of my meds, I quickly find myself in a very bad place. Brain zaps from Citalopram withdrawal and increasing agitation from Bupropion withdrawal.

I keep thinking I should be slowly weaning myself off of both because what happens if I suddenly no longer have access to them?

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6 minutes ago, JD4010 said:

That scares the hell out of me. If I go more than one day without either of my meds, I quickly find myself in a very bad place. Brain zaps from Citalopram withdrawal and increasing agitation from Bupropion withdrawal.

I keep thinking I should be slowly weaning myself off of both because what happens if I suddenly no longer have access to them?

It is terrible going through the withdrawals from them but if that's the reason you worry a lot of doctors have free samples of medications.  I went a couple of years getting free samples of all of my medications at one point.

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46 minutes ago, JD4010 said:

I keep thinking I should be slowly weaning myself off of both because what happens if I suddenly no longer have access to them?

I understand your concern.  However, it sounds like they are really helping you.  You should not have to do without that help while they are available to you.  

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I did get a sped-up med change (basically overnight) during my last stay, but as it was more-or-less/sorta-kinda in the same category there weren't any severe side effects.
Other times the meds were gradually replaced.

Psych wards are varied. My experience - I thought that most staff were kind, until I had paranoia.

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The only one I liked was when I was 16 and you were allowed to have double of everything at meals so every meal I would have 2 trays of food.  I was there for 2 months and put on 50 pounds when I was there.

Edited by sober4life
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On 6/15/2020 at 12:39 PM, jkd_sd said:

I understand your concern.  However, it sounds like they are really helping you.  You should not have to do without that help while they are available to you.  

I may be losing my "health" insurance soon and I won't be able to afford the prescriptions. That's how we roll here in the Yew Ess Ay.

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I have been several times.  My experience was that if the medicine you are on is not working they either increase dosage or change.  Some medicines you can come off with no side effects.  If there are sides effects they will taper the meds and slowly add new ones.  I had a very hard time when I was tapered off of Paxil.  

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