People You Will Meet On The Psych Ward
The People You Will Meet On The Psych Ward
When you watch movies or television programs there seems to be a typical patient on the psych ward and obviously when you end up on the real thing the people who surround you will go a long way in determining how your stay will be. As I have stated before I have been on two separate psych wards, one in a local hospital and the other in a stand alone mental hospital. Needless to say during the lengthy time I spent in these facilities I have met a ton of different people in a ton of different situations. I think the best way to write this article is just present a number of different profiles of people who are commonly found on the psych ward at one time or another.
In my experience this is the most common patient on the psych ward. People who are dealing with depression that is kicking their butt. For the most part this type of patient is in for a stay of at least a month for the medication to actually kick in. To end up on the psych ward for depression especially you need to be at a real low point and the patients exhibit this especially in the first couple of weeks. As the medication starts to do its job they tend to come more and more out of their shell and begin to take part in the group activities and less time in bed. The most common complaint that you will hear from this group is the side effects that they are experiencing from the newly introduced medication
72 Hour Patient
This subgroup of psych ward patients are much more common in local hospitals than they are in stand alone mental health hospitals. This group tends to be the most emotional group overall which is understandable as they arrived at their local emergency room in crisis. In my experience the next day after their admission they go from crisis stage to the realization that they are on the psych ward and they want to go home now that the crisis has past however the law states a full seventy two hours must pass before they can be released if the doctor agrees so. Most people on 72 hour holds tend to be new to the crazy world of severe mental illness. Unfortunately in my experience there are people who are repeat 72 hour patients who are playing the system to get a place to sleep and relax for a few days with substance abuse being the main reason.
Substance Abuse Patient
The substance abuse patient is unfortunately really common which shows the lack of resources in the community for addictions. The wait list for rehabs and detox are months and sometimes years long so they end up on the psych ward. Obviously substance abuse is a mental illness and the majority of which do suffer from other mental disorders however the psych wards and local mental hospitals are just not equipped to handle the huge volume of this type of patients. This group also tends to be the one that will have multiple psych ward admissions. This may sound mean but when you are dealing with a substance abuse patient whose main problem is drugs or alcohol and you are there for a so called typical mental illness there is a disconnect between patients, basically my brain is trying to kill me and they are killing themselves.
Long Term Psych Patient
When it comes to this category of long term psych patients there are two subgroups (A) Severe Mental Illness (B) Behavioral Issues
A) Severe Mental Illness- Unfortunately there are some mental illnesses that are at such a devastating level that they can not be managed properly in the community. Thankfully this is rare but there are individuals who will spend the majority of their lives in a institutional setting.
B) Behavioral Issues – In my experience the majority of the people in this category when they are not in a mental health institution live in group homes in the communities. When their behaviors become unmanageable they end up back in the hospital until their medication can be manged
Well there you have the main profiles of people that you will meet on the psych ward. Of course depending on whether the psych ward or mental hospital is public of privately run will alter which type of patient you will see more frequently. Yes the psych ward can be a scary place but at the same time it can also save your life