Psychiatric Wards

The mental health care system is broken, or at least I believe this is the case in my local area. The way we treat those who are severely and suicidally ill is insanity itself. What happened to me when I felt like hurting myself? I was locked up in a crappy, sterile psych ward as if I were some kind of criminal. This led me to lie about feeling better before I actually was in order to get out of there and get some real relief. This was usually how it went when I was in the hospital. People would be so stressed by being locked up inside a cold and unwelcoming hospital ward that they would fake being better just to get out. Then they would go home feeling worse than when they went into the hospital in the first place. Or at least many of us did.  Some of my fellow patients got better only because the hospital scared them, so they decided they would get better just to avoid being locked up again.

I don’t think this was any real type of healing though. And it usually took being locked up a couple of times to accomplish. Maybe we should save people some of their heartache and time and actually help them the first time around. Don’t drug and electro-shock people into submission as if they have done something wrong. Life is tough and the world is cruel; don’t punish those who recognize this fact by making things even tougher for them. Instead of putting people into one size fits all group therapy, give psychiatric patients some one on one therapy with a counselor for at least half an hour a day. Give them classes on how to build a resume and job search. Help them figure out how to get back to work and keep them from having to go on disability, if it is at all possible. This will help people’s self esteem and give them a purpose in life. Help those who need it find housing.

All I know is that being in a psych ward should not be so darn terrifying.  People shouldn’t be discouraged from seeking help if they need it.  Keep in mind that the experiences I have described are my own; hopefully not all psych wards/hospitals are this bad.  I am sure there are some great ones out there.  I just think that the good help shouldn’t be limited to how much money a person has.


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