tales from the psych ward

I’ve been away for a while, and I do apologize if my absence didn’t go unnoticed. I’ve been in for a tune up.

The past couple months have had me on a tailspin. I’ve had two breakups, one hundred and two breakdowns, one deceased childhood cat and about fifty switches on whether or not I should leave my job and that lead to one hell of a mind riddled with suicidal ideation. So I went in.

This past year has been the most traumatic of my life. Even as I type this now I am lacking the words to describe exactly how much of an impact this year made on my psyche. But standing in my bathroom, unsure whether or not I would ever come out, I STILL decided to live. Despite everything in my head telling me to die, I got myself to the hospital and advocated and told emergency doctors that no, I could not just go back home and that yes, I would wait in emergency for a bed. For three or four days, yes, thats fine. No, I was sure I couldn’t go back home. Thanks.

I stayed. And I landed myself in the Crisis Stabilization Unit. Which is a short stay psych ward because they didn’t think I was warranted to stay in long term, which was kind of a kick straight to the part of my mind that STILL romanticizes mental health, but I get it. Truthfully, I don’t think they could help me in a long term psych ward anyways. People are in long term psych wards to wait and get a diagnosis, or to wait and test out how new medications will be. I didn’t need either of those things. I am certain of my diagnosis, and I didn’t have a problem with my medications. Or rather, I did, because I was still sitting in a psych ward, but there wasn’t much to change about anything.

Which began to beg the questions I still have lingering in my head; what can anyone do for me? Because Crisis Stabilization Unit gave me a bed, a nurse, and a lot of reading on DBT subject matter that I’ve already read before, but other than that, I was still myself. I was still wondering what to do and not getting very many answers. But who has the answers? Who has the magical solution to the ‘should I kill myself or not’ question? Not these nurses, not my mom.

I was talking to one nurse at the very end of my stay, saying how nervous I was to leave psych and he suggested that maybe a psych ward was an illusion and that the only difference between psych and the real world was isolation, a nurse, and emergency medication. That other than those things, the real world and psych were the exact same. And I’m still thinking about that, a week later.

Is it an illusion? If so, why do we go? Maybe the isolation part is more important than we realize, because the nurses and the emergency medication presence doesn’t seem like a big deal. But the isolation, the taking away of the external stressors does seem like a key component to optimal health. More often than not, I’ve thought ‘if I could just take a break, I’d be better’. And it makes me wonder how many other people, neurotypical or not, feel the same way?

I think I wrote this post for me. To sum up how I felt about psych, a question I’ve been dodging since I got out. But the summary is this; I don’t think the psych ward presented me with the transformative change I was waiting for, but I don’t see it as a waste of time. I think it gave me the intervention I’ve been talking about, the complete removal from my day-to-day life, and that acted as a small life saver. It also inspires me to find that isolation piece in my ‘real’ life. How can I create a psych ward from a downtown apartment? If I can do that, and have a clear differentiation between the time spent ‘isolated’ and the time spent normally, would I then be able to retreat to my own little psych ward at any given time?

All questions to contemplate until the next breakdown.

I’ve missed you guys. Lemme know if you have any thoughts or feelings about this convoluted ramble.


2 thoughts on “tales from the psych ward”

  1. Asia, Cousin Julie here! I think you are on to something. That is that folks struggling with mental health issues sometimes need a break from their lives. They are tired and need to rest. But in the real world of school and work, it’s not always possible or even considered realistic. We’re supposed to keep pushing through! The only way to get out of all of our responsibilities is to get sick and go to the hospital! I think keeping a less demanding schedule would help. Having an employer that allows breaks as needed would help. I hope you figure this out for yourself. I think some things needs to change to help folks be successful. Hope you’re doing better. Sounds like you are. ❤️


    1. thanks julie! I think those things would help greatly too. my boss currently lets me take breaks at work which is nice. I am doing better ❤ definitely less dire than before, but small steps!


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