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1 Sep

What I Learned From Being in a Psychiatric Hospital

People have it way worse than I do. Of course, I already knew that but when you spend a week with people who have real issues and you hear their individual stories, it really hits you. I met people who were homeless, who had been in jail or prison, who were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, people who had no family or support system, people with personality disorders, and people who were struggling just like myself. It really put my life into perspective. I’m not trying to say what I’m going through isn’t horrible because it is, but I have learned to appreciate the things I have much more. I have a roof over my head, I have people who care about me, I have food to eat, I’m not an addict of any kind, and I’ve never been to prison. Being in that hospital and listening to the other people’s struggles and how they dealt or are dealing with them made me a stronger person. It’s so strange how you find strength in unlikely places. I even made some friends there.

Being in a psychiatric hospital isn’t like what you see on tv. It’s much harder and exhausting than it looks. Every 15 minutes someone checks on you, even at night, which makes sleeping impossible. It was there that I took my first sleeping pill. There is a lot of sitting around doing nothing. You don’t get 1 on 1 therapy, only group therapy where you were supposed to help guide whoever was sharing at the time. For me it was difficult. I couldn’t relate to the others in the hospital with me. We also did DBT therapy, which is dialectical behavior therapy, which is just a fancy way of saying coping skills. We ate 3 meals a day and a snack at night. We got our medicine once in the morning and once at night. Some days there would be music therapy or they would play a game with us and on rare occasions we could go outside with supervision, of course. Once a week for an hour we could have visitors. My family brought me flowers but I couldn't have a vase. There were a lot of rules we had to follow. Like I said I have never been to prison but it kind of felt like that. 

The hospital was nothing like I have ever experienced before. I think it was helpful for me to be there and be away from the real world for a week and get my medicine adjusted, but I have no desire to ever go back there. Who knew I could be without my phone for a week!

Anyway, moral of the story, be more grateful for the things you have. Someone always has it worse than you.

**I would just like to give a huge shout out to one of my best friends, Breeyn, for helping me get to the hospital. She drove all the from Grand Rapids to Detroit to come and pick me up and spent 24 hours in the ER with me with no sleep. You are the real MVP!

Author

Anna Forcier

Anna Forcier loves elephants, unicorns, sunshine, and rainbows!