First, I would like to start off saying that there is such a stigma around "Psych Wards" and how they treat their patients. In the movies, everybody is stuck there against their will and they are all running into walls and delusional. This is not the case at all and in fact, most people check themselves into the facility for the help they truly think they need. Even though I did not check myself in, I was brought to the facility and endured a short (but long at the same time) journey.
I could not stop crying when I first got to the unit and honestly, I think it's best that I got all my emotions out my first day. As I was sitting in the lounge area in my paper scrubs I kept thinking that I didn't belong there and they were "holding me against my will." With my best interest in mind, they decided to keep me for 2-3 days and then I would be able to go home. I kept saying that I didn't want to be there and didn't embrace the group therapies for the first couple of hours I was there. It didn't hit me until later in the day that there was no way they were going to let me out if I didn't participate and learn something from this experience.
I started having an open mind and embraced the group therapy and all of the people around me. That is when I started to learn that it's okay to come to these types of facilities and get help for planning out the rest of your life.
1. Take Care Of Yourself First
Don't worry about what path others around you are on, make your own and be content with doing so.
2. Other People May Have Bigger Problems Than You, But This Does NOT Minimize Your Struggle
There are people here that have seen more than you may ever see, but this doesn't invalidate your feelings.
3. It Will Make You Really Appreciate Small Things That You May Not Have In The Facility
You lose all privacy privileges, this is for safety of the patients and the staff, but don't take an unlocked door for granted.
4. Start Off Every Morning With A Goal
After you've had breakfast, think about your mood on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst and 10 the best), think about a word to describe your mood, a short term goal that can be achieved by the end of the day, and a long term goal for the future.
5. Journal, Journal, Journal
It is important to get all of your feelings out and onto paper. Once you look back to what you've written, it is no longer a barrier in your life, put it to the side and keep fighting for what you want.
6. Get To Know Someone Before You Think You Know Their Whole Story
7. Take Everything Day By Day, Minute By Minute
Everything can be very overwhelming, however, if you take a deep breath in and just take things as they come to you, then you will be much calmer in the end.
I am not ashamed that I went to an Inpatient Facility. At first, I did NOT want to talk about my experience outside of my immediate family, but then I realized, what is the big deal? I finally went, got help, and now I am on the right track in my life. I am grateful I had this opportunity and I will be using everything that I learned here for the rest of my life.