The Psych Hospital

I’ve been in a psychiatric hospital for one week now. I didn’t come in for a rest, a break, or any kind of respite. This admission is about intensive therapy. Tackling the hard stuff.

Thankfully, today is my day off. The one day each week that I don’t see my psychiatrist. The group program today consisted of a walk that I didn’t go on. I’ve had a chat with my morning nurse, and will do the same this evening. Sundays are quiet here.

During the week the days can be intense.

To begin with there’s the 8am wake up. An announcement over the PA stating the date, time, and that morning meds are being dispensed. The dining room is open from 7:30-9am for breakfast. After breakfast I return to my room and either do some journalling or catch up on the previous night’s TV shows online. At 9:30am there’s a community meeting.

Then the groups start. At 10am there’s an ‘anxiety management’ group which consists of deep breathing exercises for five to ten minutes. Morning group runs from 11am-12pm. One of the psychologists does an assessment early on in your admission and assigns you to appropriate groups.

At 12pm there’s lunch in the dining room. Nothing exciting there. Good, fresh food, and you can eat as much or as little as you like. Afternoon group runs 1:30-2:30pm, and again, you’re assigned to a group.

Afternoons are quiet, and sometimes there’s an educational type group, a walk, or yoga. I tend to fill my afternoons and evenings with journalling, drawing, and processing memories. It’s hard work. I usually see my psychiatrist in the mornings which often means missing morning group.

Dinner is 5-6:15pm, then night meds at 8:45-9:20pm. I’m usually asleep before 10pm, but toss and turn because night staff do checks every single hour overnight.

It’s non-stop. Yes, I get time to myself in my room, but I spend that time journalling and completing homework from my psychiatrist.

I’ve already learnt a lot about our system since being here. I think we’ve done more work in six days with our psychiatrist than we’ve done with our psychologist all year. It’s useful, helpful, but gruelling.

Today I’ve done some knitting, watched two movies, and chatted to friends online. I do have unaccompanied leave, but it’s cold outside and my bed is warm and comfortable. I’m trying to rest, and prepare for another day of nurses, doctors, groups, talking, journalling, processing.

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