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Old 03-23-2019, 01:53 PM
lizabeth406
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lizabeth406
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Default Re: State mental hospitals?

I can only go by my own experience. The state hospital I went to nearly 20 years ago wasn't too bad at the time. The main thing, at that time, was poorly trained, apathetic staff... some of them downright mean. The prevailing attitude was that if you were there you'd done something "bad". If you were having a hard time the staff either told you to just go to your room or they'd threaten to lock you in an isolation room. I was there because of severe PTSD and suicide attempt. On admission you had to strip in the shower room and be visually examined, I kid you not. Essentially it was a human warehouse. Each unit was over 30 people, quite a few were violent, some I'm sure were sexual predators. I was thankful that I found 6 or 7 people who weren't too ill. We kept to our only little group and it felt safer that way.

The doctor at that time was pretty good, but she had do rounds for the entire hospital. Which meant rounds essentially involved her saying hi to each patient as we lined up for breakfast. One patient gave me advice that I'll always be thankful for. Seeing how passive I was, he said to pester the doctor and pretty much demand to see her, otherwise you get lost in the hospital system. I think that was one reason I only ended up staying a few weeks.

Occupational therapy was a bunch of people crammed into the craft room, but there weren't many supplies so most everyone just stood around for an hour. I remember the OT spending most of the time regaling us with stories about how staff was so poorly paid and treated. I thought, at least you can go home at the end of the day. Essentially it was long hours of tedium, no privacy, constant noise, hiding from violent outbursts. Not therapeutic at all.

I'm lucky though. Since then I've heard the place is holding nearly three times the number it's designed to hold. There was a sexual assault that made the news, which happened on the unit I'd been on. Some patients were telling a staff member to come help the woman but they didn't do anything. I can so see that happening. During my time there a few guys tried to corner me; it was horrifying, especially with me being an abuse survivor. The hospital has also been warned about it's over use of restraints and putting people in isolation for long periods of time, not checking on them, etc.

Oh, one more thing...sorry this is long, but patient transport to the hospital fell under prison transport. So patients were brought to the place wearing handcuffs with a waist chain and ankle shackles. I'll never forget how degrading and frightening that was.
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