Thursday, January 15, 2009

Half an hour as an "inmate" on a mental institution - Repost

I wrote it in April, 2008 and felt like posting it again. I'll never forget have being restrained for no reason.

I’ve remembered this “story” yesterday and now I have to tell. I went to a psychiatrist of a mental institution that is in front of my house. He changed all my prescription. I looked at it and said to myself “-This is not a good idea!” But we trust physicians more than our instincts. Now I know I have to trust my instincts more than physicians.
He took away 200 mg of Seroquel and reduced the Efexor dose and changed something I cannot remember.
I’ve spent three days without sleeping.
On the third day I felt terrible. If I spend 1 day without sleeping I feel as if I was drunk. I don’t function normally and with all my energy.
So I went to see the psychiatrist. I was crying and feeling terrible. He looked at me and said “-You have to be hospitalized. I’ll try to find a bed for you.”
He didn’t say why I had to be on that place. He just said I had to spend 3 days there. I’ve said I had a dog… lol as if he cares.
He finally found the bed and I was taken to the ward by a nurse. I don’t mind and have good relations with people who are on mental institutions. They talked to me with respect and asked “-What are you doing here? What’s your disease?”
I don’t know.
I smoke and after 20 minutes I felt like having coffee. I went to the door that separate normal people from crazy ones and it was half opened.
I asked with a calm voice: “-I would like to have a coffee.”
There were two people who were sat with their back towards me. They didn’t reply.
I asked again, and again. They didn’t even look back. I started to feel nervous and angry. I said in a louder voice: “-I want to have some coffee.” No reply.

They talked to each other and it seems to me that they were saying something like “-These crazy people are such a bore!” I started to hit the steal door with my ring and I said that I wanted to have a coffee…

It was when one of them said; “-You cannot go out. You’re an intern now.”

I beg your pardon! ?

I hadn’t signed anything claiming I wanted volunteered psychiatrist treatment. I started screaming that I wanted to have the coffee.

All of a sudden a woman appeared. She was a giant for me. She restrained me from my back. I said: “-Wait! I’m not crazy and I’m here…” not a good sentence when you’re on a mental institution ward. A patient said: “-They want to use her as a guinea-pig!” I remember it quite clearly, even the voice. She saved me! Also my dog for I kept remembering she was alone.
So I said I wanted to talk to the psychiatrist that had made a questionnaire after I was put on this ward. She had asked me if I… heard voices. That was the first and only time a psychiatrist asked me this question and it gave me the exact measure on how these psychiatrists knowsnothing about anything. You can tell by a person way of expressing and so many other signs whether the person is a psychotic or a neurotic. I can tell! How can it be that a psychiatrist cannot distinguish after years working with these diseases
? I can even tell when someone is playing crazy. Yep! There are people on this street that behaves as if they were crazy because of the two mental hospitals we have here. They do it to ask for money.

After the giant finally stopped restraining me – I can tell you that it’s one of the most invasive ways to treat anyone and you feel terrible, you feel as if you are nothing - I’ve got my cell phone and said I was going to call my lawyer.
After three minutes the psychiatrist who asked me if I hear voices appeared and I told her I wanted to get out of that place.
She said supper was on the way and I don’t remember what else for the door was opened and I went straight home.

I’ve cried, and I’ve cried and I’ve cried… This is such a terrible experience to be restrained. Jesus! If they did it to me because I asked to have a coffee I cannot imagine how they treat people who are passing trough a crisis.

The psychiatrist who told me I had to stay there didn’t appear. I met him for a second time after being put on the ward.

He told me: “-you’ll have to stay here for 2 months.”

I beg your pardon! ? Wasn’t it 3 days?

I took my old prescription and things got back to normal. I slept and felt fine again.

I still see this psychiatrist and I never asked him about it all. I’ve just talked to him when I was feeling fine and went to talk to the psychiatrist who asked me if I hear voices.

I acted like a lunatic. I told her I hadn’t signed anything; and the whole thing was a bad use of power;… I don’t remember…; told the parent with a daughter to be careful with that hospital because… I was very angry to be in a mental institution…. and she got nervous because she knew that it was a huge… mistake? Can we say it is a mistake?

The next section I reported the psychiatrist who had the brilliant idea to put me there. He apologized. At least he apologized.

But I have no idea why all this has happened and it makes me wonder what happen to those people I use to visit on this ward when they are not having sun.

I’ve reported it to the government.

Of course I’ve got no reply.


Radagast said...

Most things are a matter of perspective, but there are a couple, even by my reckoning, that will cause anxiety, even to the best-prepared. Your experienced included both, in this account.

The first is to be ignored. Completely. I think this is because one has an objective in mind, which requires the co-operation of another, and when that other refuses to co-operate; won't provide an alternative; refuses to interact; revels in the power (s)he has to cause discomfort, (s)he is saying, in effect "you don't matter". The second is to be treated as though one's anger at being ignored is unreasonable, and that one is behaving "unpredictably and violently," when anger following ignorance is the most predictable thing in the world, as far as I can tell!

No, the nutters are not the inmates of these places. The nutters are the ones who have lost all empathy, and these people should be pitied, because they will do what they're told is appropriate, and never what simple logic tells them is the proper course. And they will never permit themselves to learn something new, either, because they have lost the ability for independent thought. I have met many of these people, in my life.


Ana said...

"The first is to be ignored. Completely."
It hurts like hell. I believe that many of us who are here daily have this feeling. I believe that if at least one of the numerous "problems" we are reporting was considered we would have some relief.
I have to find a way to cope with it. Perhaps going back to therapy. I don't know.
Have you seen "The Brave One" - terrible tittle - with Jodie Foster?
I've been seeing this movie. She says "You become someone else, this stranger."
In some way I feel the same.
I envy "Erica Bain" because although she has been through hell she could name what was done to her and other people could know what has happened to her.
It's not a great movie. But I'll see it once again. LOL
I'll just skip the part she and her boyfriend were beaten.
The nutters are great.
I go there and talk to them from time to time.
The second is to be treated as though one's anger at being ignored is unreasonable
Now you're making me see that I've experienced that in my family.
I don't think I have to go back to therapy. LOL
You're helping me seeing things.
Funny because I was telling myself today:
"I guess you're shifting the problems you had with your family and putting the blame on psychiatry."
"Always the family" someone should say.
But I had problems. Still do but it doesn't affect me anymore. I was not even aloud to be happy.
But how can you aloud someone to be happy if you're miserable?
They all feel miserable. It's amazing.
Thanks the Lord I'm not like them.

Kass said...

Wow. That is utterly crazy. I'm glad you were able to get out of there pretty quickly. That's pure BS.

It is really difficult to find a good psychiatrist these days. I know they're out there but still. Bad ones like these also contribute to keeping people from getting help. I haven't been restrained but I've seen others restrained and it's just simply terrible. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Radagast said...

You must watch K-PAX (Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges), because it's just a great movie, on every level. Dr Mark Powell (Bridges), starts out by arguing *against" Robert Porter/Prot (pron: to rhyme with "boat"), played by Spacey. This does not work as a methodology. Ever. All it achieves is that one party may eventually beat the other into submission.

At one point, Powell continually tries to find a hole in Prot's reasoning, even when Prot is simply explaining a different viewpoint, and one which he claims works for him. "Mark. Mark. You're not really listening to me, are you?", says Spacey.

Anyway, I've no idea where I'm going with that, so I'll get back to the point. Being ignored is a global issue. People will ignore others for any number of reasons. Out of habit. Because they can. Because they don't believe the other is important enough for them to respond to. Because the other represents a threat to their own mindset. And so on, and so on. As such, I don't think you're taking your family issues and projecting them onto your shrink, necessarily, although the ignorance shown by your family may have created a trigger, which the shrink set off, at a later date. I wouldn't know, and naturally, because I'm not qualified to give an opinion, I won't.

It could just be that being ignored is a genuine factor, not a matter of perception. Why would that be? I've no idea. Perhaps we're designed to communicate, and anybody who refuses to communicate is aberrant. The irony being that we can never know why a person won't respond, because they won't respond to our questions! And at that point, we must walk away and find our own solutions, or else go mad.

Which is why I try to encourage people not to try to communicate with Pharma and its adherents. There are billions of alternatives to Pharma's solutions, and we should find them, because the only interest they have in us is as consumers: the benefit is all one-way. As long as one believes that they are the only ones with the answers, then one will be in thrall to them. And that is just a state of mind.


Radagast said...

Oh, yes... If one is brought up in a certain culture (a "miserable" culture, in your case), then one will adopt that culture as normal, because one has been given no alternative model to work with (you may understand how easy it is to create/indoctrinate suicide bombers, at this point). But you're right: if I were miserable, it would be impossible for me to make you happy, because I wouldn't have the tools to make you happy; I wouldn't be doing "happy" things; I wouldn't be conducting myself in a happy way.

Sadly, even if a child realizes that this model for life doesn't work terribly well, what authority do they have to change things? Your parents, no doubt, experienced the same issue. But, then, they didn't have me around!


PS I cried all the way through K-PAX.

Sunshine4Shadows said...

Oh my gosh, that is just horrible what happened. I wanted to cry just reading it.

Ana said...

This is the best psychiatrist around here. He has his office and works at this public mental institution and is a researcher.
I know he cares a lot about his patients.
Sometimes I don't think they know what they are doing.
It was a real blessing that I was restrained and got out of that place.

I've spend 20 years in therapy.:)
It has helped me a lot because I've found the right person.
My family's issues are very difficult to explain. I've reached a place where I don't even know what to say about it anymore.
I cannot say that I'm free of it's influence but if I hadn't been on therapy I'm not sure I would have overcome some issues.
Sometimes I look at my friend's life and I can see that most of them have followed their family "tradition", so to speak. This kind of "model" you said.
The question: "If I had a different family how would my life have been affect?" is always on my mind - I know it's not very constructive but I do it.
Not because of ontological or emotional problems but the social, cultural and even economic opportunities that being part of a family gives you.
I had to move on when I was 21 years old. Living with my mother was impossible.
But this is ancient history. LOL
K-PAX is on my list.
I love Jeff Bridges and I have already seen a part of it but I don't remember quite clearly.
I'll follow your advice and have the Kleenex box on my lap.
"Mark. Mark. You're not really listening to me, are you?"
I really want to see it.

Ana said...

"Which is why I try to encourage people not to try to communicate with Pharma and its adherents."

I understand it. But I'm hooked to Seroquel, Effexor and Klonopim.

It's hard not to think about them.

Ana said...

Dear Sunshine,
Thank you for the support.
It's very kind of you.

soulful sepulcher said...


Mark Krusen said...


I am sorry for your experience at the "Cuckoo's Nest". I spent 3 or 4 days there twice myself last year.
It is sad the complacency and lack of real empathy on the part of many of the staff. You quickly become just a note on a report. Just a stick figure on a count sheet.

Your compassion for others comes through in your comments to other. Keep doing what your doing with your visits it does make a difference.

Chunks of Reality said...

That is a horrendous experience to go through. Scary!! I can't imagine what that would feel like. I think I would have just been scared to death. It was like a movie.

I'm glad you got out of there and I hope it never happens to you again.

Ana said...


I'm so glad you're back!
I've visited your blog but my computer has frozen. I will try to do like I do with other and download just one post.
I'm very sorry you had this experience. I remember that you've reported that your "bipolar" diagnosis changed for "unipolar" depression.
I don't understand why on earth you were put at the "Cuckoo's Nest". This is a terrible experience and I've seem many people reporting how traumatic it was.
Thank you for the saying that I'm making a difference. Sometimes we think we're not and it's very important to hear that from time to time.
Hope you're fine my friend.
You've been through a lot!

Chunks of Reality,
(I love this alias)
Being restrained was really terrible. But looking at the bright side it gave me the strength to do the right thing and know exactly what does it means to be put on a place like that.
It will never happen again.
Thank you for the empathy.

andrew said...

Really interesting posts. Suffering like we do is so scary sometimes. I have been a depressive for 25 years and recently suffered a major depressive crash. Writing about my feelings has helped, especially with the crushing isolation, despair, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. All the best.

Ana said...

Hi Andrew!
Writing is therapeutic.
I'm sorry that you're feeling this way for so long.
All the best for you.