Every so often, I’m going to start posting a “glimpse” at what life is like in a psychiatric hospital. These are true stories that I have lived through. Some of the dialogue may not be word for word but will capture the events as accurately as I can remember. These glimpses will also be in no particular order…just whatever I feel like posting. Names of other patients and nurses are also changed for privacy.
In late February 2009, my first psychotic episode occurred. I had seen a psychiatrist a couple weeks previously and she had told me that she wasn’t sure of a diagnosis yet but she decided to try me on Risperidone, an atypical anti-psychotic. On the last weekend of February, I saw my therapist. Looking back I suppose that was the day that the psychosis first started to get me. The session was rough and when I left, I had strong suicidal urges. I got home and emailed my therapist, telling her that I wanted to kill myself. She immediately tried to call me but I refused to answer the phone. I was too scared to hear what she might say. She emailed me back promptly and asked me to come back to the counseling center but I refused. I told her I had to go to work.
As I drove to work, an ambulance went speeding by me. I was afraid that ambulance was for me and that it was going to my apartment to try and save me. When I got to the entrance to the shopping center that Petco was in, a police officer also drove his car into the parking lot. I was positive that officer was looking for me and was going to arrest me so that I couldn’t harm myself. I believed that all over town, police officers and paramedics were searching for me, trying to stop me form killing myself. I was psychotic. I was paranoid. I was terrified.
I got through my six hour shift. I tried to avoid the customers in the store because I was afraid that they were all undercover and would take me away if they figured out who I was and what was going on. The next day, a Saturday, I went to work in the same condition. Unfortunately, it was impossible to completely stay away from all customers on such a busy day. I don’t really remember what went through my head that day. Sunday morning, March 1st, I had to be at work at 7 in the morning to open the store. I woke up at six and knew that I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t bear the idea of another paranoid day at work. I was exhausted from constantly fearing that people were out to get me. I was not thinking clearly at all. I woke my fiance up, Adam, and told him that I wanted to kill myself…I needed help, badly. He called the crisis line at the local psychiatric hospital and they told him to bring me in to get evaluated. I got dressed and away we went to the hospital.
I was evaluated by a very kind lady, she has evaluated me many times sense. I don’t remember how this particular evaluation went. I was too disconnected from reality. I was shutting down. The evaluator called the on-call doctor (who happened to be my psychiatrist). My psychiatrist remembered me and stated that she wanted me to be hospitalized. They allowed me to give my cell phone, wallet, and jewelry to my fiance before they took me back on the ward. more…