Yes, You read that right. I admitted myself to a Mental Hospital. At the age of 18 I went to a local hospital wanting to hurt myself and asked for help. I knew they would admit me to the hospital and then send me to a mental hospital, but I was prepared. Sort of…
You see, when i was 16 I had tried to kill myself and ended up in Peninsula Mental Hospital for 5 days. Since I was underage I went to the children’s unit and basically waited my time there out by coloring and playing card games with the other kids. They put me on medicine that helped me greatly and sent me on my way with an appointment to see the outpatient therapist & psychiatrist.
Jump two years into the future and I’m in the same boat, you’re probably wondering what happened? Well, nothing had really changed. I was still on my medicine, seeing doctors about my mental health issues, and I had hobbies to keep me busy. However, what we didn’t know at the time was that the dosage on my medicine was too low. I was starting to feel really bad again and it was scaring me. So I asked my parents to take me to a hospital because I didn’t trust myself. They agreed and we went to a hospital without a psych ward. I got put in a blocked off hallway in the emergency department called GREEN and GREEN 2.0. They had a nurse 24/7 in the hallway with us but funny enough this hallway also doubled as a drunk tank. I say funny enough because its hard to be sad when you’re surrounded by happy drunk people who make you laugh. I waited in that hallway for 5 days in the same clothes i went to the hospital in. They weren’t allowed to give you a change of clothes then. Finally on the 5th day around 3pm a bed had opened up in the unit I would be going to at Peninsula. I had a police officer come and transport me from the local hospital to peninsula. He was a very nice man and we talked about his life and why I was going to the hospital on the way there. I was nervous as I didn’t fully remember, and still can’t remember, most of my first visit. I had overdosed and even though i could remember some stuff, Other things my family remembers and i have no recollection of it what so ever.
When we got to the hospital we went through the normal routine. Answering questions about why I was there, Getting checked for weapons and drugs, and getting scrubs & socks to change into if i wanted. The one thing I do remember from both the visits is that the children unit was much more strict than the adult unit. For example, Boys and girls weren’t allowed to talk unless in group in the children’s unit. Where as the adult unit, as long as you were able to be seen by a nurse, they didn’t mind you talking to someone of the other gender. Once they took any personal belongs I wasn’t allowed to have (Cellphone, makeup, hair bands, jewelry) They showed me to my room that I would share with another girl. There were three beds in each room along with 1 bathroom per room. However i got lucky and only had to share the bedroom with 1 other girl at a time.
During our free time we would go outside to play games & listen to music. We would also play card games and watch Investigation Discovery on the TV. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking..
Who in their right mind would let mental hospital patients watch murder shows?
The answer is simple, The unit I was in was mainly drug addicts who wanted to get clean and also suicide watch patients. None of us wanted to hurt other people or we would have been in a different unit in the hospital. I could talk all day about the therapy, individual and group, that we did or about them raising my medication dosage.. However, That isn’t what helped me the most.
During visitation with our loved ones we would be in the cafeteria and we each had our own tables. I overheard one of the drug addicts conversations with his fiancée, Let me remind you that he had admitted himself because he wanted help. She was pregnant and had just told him, he instantly started crying as they had lost a previous baby to a miscarriage. I was beyond happy for him and his new family. Sometimes I wonder What happened to him because watching his reaction finding out that they were pregnant & How hard he worked to get better after that was a game changer for me. I realized I didn’t want to come back to a mental hospital. I didn’t want to wait at a local hospital for 5 days anymore. I didn’t want to do harm to myself either.
I wanted to get better
and thats exactly what I did. I asked questions, I talked to doctors and therapists, I put time and effort into myself and the things I loved. That is how checking myself into a mental hospital saved my life.