*Trigger Warning* Before continuing, please note, this post contains some emotional content and discussion of self-harm behaviour & suicide ideation which can be a potential trigger
I have developed this odd fear of being an inpatient. I have never been an inpatient for my mental illness… but I’m feeling more & more suicidal, which gets me thinking that maybe I should give hospital a try?
My irrational fear started after I spent some time as an inpatient in Australia, for a physical illness. I have to point out that it’s not Australia’s fault; I received really good care at the hospital that I was in, and I met other lovely patients. What I think has resulted in this fear, is that I just hated being so sick, so far away from home and from everything that is familiar; my family, my friends, a city & healthcare system I know.
Being alone in that hospital, with no familiar faces near me, in a strange city and bed-bound just made me feel extremely uncomfortable, scared, sad & lonely (I experience some intense emotions, man. Seriously, I have Borderline!). I think it has given me a phobia of being an inpatient (Is that a thing?) So I have been doing my best to stay out of hospital for my mental illness.
I have also heard some horror stories from individuals who have been admitted to a mental health hospital and, with reason, it just adds to my existing fear.
At the moment my mental state means that I feel a strong need for my environment and space to be familiar, calm & stable. I am terrified of the unknown. I’m not sure how other people do it. If you have been an inpatient, especially in the UK or London (as that’s where I am), please do tell me your story (if you want to of course), I would love to have an insight into life in a Psychiatric ward, as I am so insanely scared of being admitted, that it haunts me every day. How you do it or have done it? Is it as scary as I think it to be? Am I being dramatic?
I’ve had a few mental health nurses tell me that I should consider hospital, but I find myself wondering if that’s their response to everyone. The last time I ended up in A&E, the only dude in the Psych Liaison “Team” was so determined to get me to agree to being admitted, that he ended up scaring me even more. I actually burst into tears because of his insistence, but he didn’t care at all. It was shocking. He was aware of my fear but instead of trying to talk & understand, he talked at me that; telling me that here he was, offering me the help I so badly wanted and that if I didn’t stay, I’d be turning that help down by choice so it was up to me. Choice? Do mental health professionals actually think we have much of a choice?
Well, with those words, I turned it down; I just couldn’t stay, I thought to myself “I’d rather die than stay here, where this man is asking me to stay” so unless they physically force me to stay, I really don’t know if I will, no matter how scared of myself I become. But is this a wise thing to do? What is hospital like? Would I be able to continue attending my current Psychotherapy sessions? What was the process of admission? What would happen? Oh so many questions. Which I have asked out loud, but no professional I speak to seems to know the answers. Either that or they can’t be bothered to talk me through it.
For the time being, my house has become my hospital. Once I returned from Australia, thanks to being so sick, I moved back in with my mum. I couldn’t live alone right now, even if I could afford it; the voices in my head, my visions, paranoia and urges to harm myself would probably lead to fatal consequences if I was ever alone for too long. So here I am; locked in my house, where my meals are prepared for me, the sharp objects & pills are all hidden, my medication is managed & given to me by my mum, I get checked up on by my loved ones, but I don’t get visitors because I’m too scared of people & believe I’m toxic, and no Psychiatrist either, but I do get regular “supervised” leave. I’m starting to think of this time as being in my own hospital, where I get to sleep on my mattress and hide under my own covers. But should I be considering actually being an inpatient? Would I actually get more support? I’m just not sure yet…Fear is a bitch.