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Help! I'm being admitted to a general psych ward and I'm scared!


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Hey :) I had a meeting with the eating disorders team in my area and it has been decided that I am going to be doing a planned admission into the psych ward at the hospital in my city. There are no specialist units near by and they are not happy leaving me to try out patient anymore. I am really scared as while I have been to a residential program before it was a private Christian one and I have never been admitted to a general psych ward. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced it and could tell me what to expect please. How long do you think they will be likely to keep me there for? I don't have a lot to gain but my eating habits are pretty disordered (I binge and throw up a lot). Are there things I can do that will help me get the most out of it? I am scared that I will loose sight of my desire to recover and just cling more tightly to the bulimia. If anyone could offer me some reassurance that would be fantastic! Thanks so much! Libby :)
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I've never been in a general psych ward but my good friend has multipul times. She wasn't there for an ed (it was self harm/suicide) but she told me that most of the people there were really negative and the other patients she was around gave her ideas of more things to do and kinda discouraged her from recovering.

I hope that it's just the psych ward near me, and I'm not tryin to scare you. That's just all I know. I wish you the best of luck, and that your experience there will be spectacular. I think it will also have to do with your attitude, (my friend's was bad.)

Anyways, I'm praying for you and your recovery! (I hope that's not weird for you.)

Hey :) Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I think it's pretty unlikely it would be the same one especially since I live in New Zealand so that's good, but yeah that is what I am really scared will happen. I so want to get better and I am scared the whole environment won't be condjucive to that. Hopefully I can keep my focus regardless of whatever is going on around me. Thanks for your prayers to, I totally don't find it weird and just appreciate the support. Thanks again! Libby :)

This is a time for you to really try to focus on you with the help of professionals.  Remember that the other people in the ward will have their own problems and issues that have nothing to do with you.

If you were channeling "Little Miss Sunshine" that would probably be an additional worry.  I sincerely hope that this experience provides you with the tools that you need to work on your recovery.

At the least, it should give a bit of a rest, at the most possibly your feet on the path to a full recovery.

Good luck!

Hi Libby,

You say you've been in a private Christian recovery facility before - in which case this may be relevant to you.

While you are in the ward, or before, have a look at the story of Peter's vision of food in Acts 10. It occurred to me that a lot of ED sufferers are making their own dietary laws, and that vision says to Peter that no food created by God should be considered unclean. Maybe you can use that passage as another thing to beat ED over the head with.

Also praying for you

Mark

Original Post by iris_316:

I've never been in a general psych ward but my good friend has multipul times. She wasn't there for an ed (it was self harm/suicide) but she told me that most of the people there were really negative and the other patients she was around gave her ideas of more things to do and kinda discouraged her from recovering.

I hope that it's just the psych ward near me, and I'm not tryin to scare you. That's just all I know. I wish you the best of luck, and that your experience there will be spectacular. I think it will also have to do with your attitude, (my friend's was bad.)

Anyways, I'm praying for you and your recovery! (I hope that's not weird for you.)

 Why respond with this about your friend having a negative time when the OP is being admitted already? How is that supposed to help?

Anyhow OP I have been in a psych ward before and it helped me as much as a residential ed place that I had been like Renfrew. I met caring people and also saw the wide range of mental issues people face. Really I feel it is less a program and more what you are willing to do. I am in the US so I know things are different though. Even in ed residential places there are patients who form clicks and self destruct. You have a choice not to do that though regardless of where you go. If you focus on why you are there and that right now your life is unmanagable. Focus on what the program can do for you and not what it will be lacking. Use your voice and tell the staff if you need help or something is bothering you. Try to look at all mental illness has sharing a common bond which I feel they do because they impact one's life in a negative way and learning to cope together can really help.

Good luck to you and I hope life begins to look brighter

Hey :) Thanks so much guys! Yeah you are so right, people are free to make there own choices, some will choose well and some won't. I am responsible for my own choices and ultimately only I can determine if I will live in a way that is helpful or harmful. I can't shut myself of from all negativity in life and just have to learn not to let it effect the quality of my decisions. Abbi333 - thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel like a complete freak having to be admitted so it's nice to know that there are other people out there who have experienced the same things. Mark - thank you for the encouragement and scripture. It is a great passage you shared and I will definitely try to remember it when things get tough. Any ammunition against the Ed is great! Smw - thanks for the encouragement you are right as much as I am terrified and don't want to go there is a part of me that is a little relieved that there will be people helping me fight this for awhile as I am tired of trying and failing myself. Thanks again everyone! Libby :)

You are not a freak. Can you try to look at it as a person who knows their limits and is trying to better their life and get in control? That shows strength and determination. You should be proud of that. I'm not saying this is a positive thing needing to go into a psych ward but it is positive getting help. Hopefully this can be a turning point for you and that you can then work towards a better future outpatient? Remember though inpatient is not the cure it is the starting point to getting to a better place. You will have a lot of work to do outpatient but hopefully will be in a healthier place when you are discharged and also will have a strong outpatient support.

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I'm currently in a general psych hospital for an eating disorder.Its a private hospital though so I don't know if that makes a difference? but in general it's ok. The nurses are really supportive and there to talk to if you're having a hard time or what not. I got put onto a mealplan by a dietitian here, so I don't know if you'll get that? but that was really helpful.I have a lot of freedom with food though, having to remind the nurses that it was time for snack and that I needed certain foods that were locked up so you do have to be a litle bit motived and pro-active.

Original Post by abbi333:

Original Post by iris_316:

I've never been in a general psych ward but my good friend has multipul times. She wasn't there for an ed (it was self harm/suicide) but she told me that most of the people there were really negative and the other patients she was around gave her ideas of more things to do and kinda discouraged her from recovering.

I hope that it's just the psych ward near me, and I'm not tryin to scare you. That's just all I know. I wish you the best of luck, and that your experience there will be spectacular. I think it will also have to do with your attitude, (my friend's was bad.)

Anyways, I'm praying for you and your recovery! (I hope that's not weird for you.)

 Why respond with this about your friend having a negative time when the OP is being admitted already? How is that supposed to help?

Anyhow OP I have been in a psych ward before and it helped me as much as a residential ed place that I had been like Renfrew. I met caring people and also saw the wide range of mental issues people face. Really I feel it is less a program and more what you are willing to do. I am in the US so I know things are different though. Even in ed residential places there are patients who form clicks and self destruct. You have a choice not to do that though regardless of where you go. If you focus on why you are there and that right now your life is unmanagable. Focus on what the program can do for you and not what it will be lacking. Use your voice and tell the staff if you need help or something is bothering you. Try to look at all mental illness has sharing a common bond which I feel they do because they impact one's life in a negative way and learning to cope together can really help.

Good luck to you and I hope life begins to look brighter        My intention wasn't to be negative, and if that is how it was I'm sorry. I was simply stating what I knew of psych wards, which is what the OP seemed to be asking. I was trying to warn her that if she isn't careful it could be bad, but she seems to be motivated towards recovery.     Once again, sorry.

 

Hi just_amy, I've been in a general ward before (for people aged 13 - 20) and i have to say i had a nice experience. I found these wards lacked the 'competition' generally found in specialist units, and the other patients were kind and very interesting!

The only negatives i can think of is that the competition i mentioned can increase if more eating disorder patients are admitted, and my ward (obviously every ward is different!!) focused mainly on weight gain and family relations, so no hard-core therapy for anorexia (mentally)

I hope you don't feel too scared, it won't be forever and if it helps you get your life back it can only be a good thing!! Good luck :)

Hey, I spent some time in the local hospital's psych ward. :) I found, like loopydingdong, it was alright because I was the only ED'ed patient there so it def lacked the competition. Though when one girl in particular was admitted and started displaying ed habits, it was hard.. no doubt about it but you have the choice in the end- let it affect you and go with the competition triggers or pull yourself away (which can be hard in places surrounded by people).

Any advice? if you can, bring things to do- if you are crafty bring scrapbooks and anything like that. I really got into it when I was there, I did collages, a lot of writing, lots of crafty stuff that was recovery related to keep me motivated and helped keep my focus on recovery. And just keep talking and being honest with the staff, they are there to HELP you so please lean on them when you can :) I really wish you all the best and if you have any questions etc, feel free to ask away. Don't be scared though- this is a good step forward- the beginning. Just use the resources and the help to your advantage, be selfish and focus on yourself. xxx

Hey :) Thank you so much for all your kind replys it means a lot to me! It really is reassuring to hear of other people's experiences and you all gave such great advice! I like the idea of taking craft things, the last place I was at didn't let you use scissors so crafts were pretty limited, but if I can this time that would be fantastic. I hope I can keep my focus and not get distracted by the issues of others though I am already freaking out about being to fat ect, ect. I know that is stupid though I am not even being admitted because of my weight so what's the big deal. Shut up Ed, I am going to be free! Thanks so much for all your imput I so appreciate it! Libby :)

You sound more positive which is great and so important in recovery. Even if you don't feel it 100 percent if you can try to positive self talk it really can help to move forward. Maybe right some goals for the future and what the ed/mental struggles has taken away.

Though may make it harder I feel others behaviors for ex if someone is restricting or b/p inpatient as a reason for another person to not stay strong is an excuse to self destruct. In life there will always be triggers or reasons to engage in an ed. You can choose to not engage in the ed or self harm. Part of recovery is learning to do this. When I was ip I was the only one once who completed all her meals 100 percent. That was the reason I was there and because other patients chose to self destruct did not mean I should. Am I making sense?

I agree about the arts and crafts,stationary,journal,blanket/pillow of your own,comfy clothes,slippers,robe,etc make sure though to ask what you can/can't bring

 

Thank you :) and yes you are absolutely correct, it all comes back to personal choices. I can choose to engage in self destructive behaviors or not, and I can't let anyone else's choices influence mine negatively. I like the idea of focusing on the future as well. I really want to finish my degree so I might take a course catalogue with me to remind myself what I am fighting for. Thanks so much for your advice! Libby :)

Hi, I have bipolar disorder and have been on psychiatric wards (usually involuntarily) many times up to now. Some stays have been OK, others slightly less so but, in general, take advantage of the help that staff provide, try to eat as well as you can and make friends if possible. Above all, don't listen to other patients being negative - that's part of why they are there as patients! Mental health problems can manifest as physical problems as well so watch how others affect your mood and if you are feeling down, talk to a member of staff, go for a walk, do some art or occupational therapy - anything you enjoy or which gets your mind off any bad stuff. Though I'm in England and you are at the opposite side of the world some things are pretty much the same. By the way, one of my friends is a psychiatric nurse in NZ and she says the standard of care is very high. Take care and try not to worry, Roger

#17  
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Hi Libby,

I used to work on general wards.  On the teen units, there were usually several people with ED. On the adult units, you will find a diverse group of patients, from young adults to middle age to elderly, each working on their own issues. For therapy, there may be group therapy sessions, short individual sessions with doctors and sessions with your assigned nurse practitioner, plus nutritional, occupational and art therapies. As for any negatives that other people have related, being in crisis for anyone is frightening and sometimes people react defensively and are resistant to treatment. Just as in eating disorder clinics, there can be an "us vs them" attitude toward staff and this hostility affects the comfort level of people on the unit. The benefit for you is that you won't be surrounded by other people with ED, so there won't be a group to possibly sign on with, actively encouraging you to be resistant around eating issues. Impulse control, controlling stress, improving a healthier lifestyle, dealing with emotional issues, these are all things that you will have in common with other people on the unit who don't have ED.  Though it may not seem pleasant to be staying in a hospital environment, it is a safe place where your nutritional intake can be professionally monitored and you can be supervised to prevent purging, returning your body to better health. As far as how long you may stay, usually general hospitalizations are short term to get people out of crisis and back into a better sense of control over their lives.  Best wishes for you as you continue with your treatment. Jen 

#18  
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Hi Libby,

I used to work on general wards.  On the teen units, there were usually several people with ED. On the adult units, you will find a diverse group of patients, from young adults to middle age to elderly, each working on their own issues. For therapy, there may be group therapy sessions, short individual sessions with doctors and sessions with your assigned nurse practitioner, plus nutritional, occupational and art therapies. As for any negatives that other people have related, being in crisis for anyone is frightening and sometimes people react defensively and are resistant to treatment. Just as in eating disorder clinics, there can be an "us vs them" attitude toward staff and this hostility affects the comfort level of people on the unit. The benefit for you is that you won't be surrounded by other people with ED, so there won't be a group to possibly sign on with, actively encouraging you to be resistant around eating issues. Impulse control, controlling stress, improving a healthier lifestyle, dealing with emotional issues, these are all things that you will have in common with other people on the unit who don't have ED.  Though it may not seem pleasant to be staying in a hospital environment, it is a safe place where your nutritional intake can be professionally monitored and you can be supervised to prevent purging, returning your body to better health. As far as how long you may stay, usually general hospitalizations are short term to get people out of crisis and back into a better sense of control over their lives.  Best wishes for you as you continue with your treatment. Jen 

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