TRIGGER WARNING – this blog post may be upsetting to those who are triggered by discussion of inpatient services, restraints and self-harm.
After two weeks of being on an open unit, I have now been transferred, which I am very upset about. Despite the fact that I’ve been doing alright over the last few days, a Nurse took me into the Low Stimulus Area and told me that I was about to be moved to a PICU, which obviously made me very angry and upset. I had to stay in the LSA and wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to anyone before they took me out the back doors to a van. It’s made me really sad because I have actually been making small progress and I didn’t want staff touching my belongings.
On the way to the new unit I did some word puzzles with a Nurse from the open unit, but once we were at the PICU she had to leave me there and I was escorted into a meeting, which was horrendous. I ended up being restrained onto the ward, having my physical observations checked when I was calmed down, and then being taken into a ‘Quiet Room’. Everything has escalated so quickly and this is a horrible place.
Possibly the only good thing about this unit is that the beds are comfy – I didn’t want to get up this morning. It’s ridiculous – I’m allowed absolutely nothing in my room, so I had to go to the Nurse’s station and ask for a toothbrush and toothpaste (what the hell would I do with that) and have someone pick out an outfit, and then give my smelly pyjamas back in. It’s ridiculous.
My hair is greasy as hell and I probably really smell but I have no energy to get in the shower and there’s no time in the morning, plus I really value my time in my bedroom. I’m becoming really anxious about the onset of my period and being on 1:1, but at least here I’m on line of sight for the toilet, rather than someone being fully there.
The staff here are really firm, there is barely any furniture and all the walls are blank. The manager is especially strict, she came and lectured me about the need to cooperate with staff. I really don’t like it here and I want to convince my tribunal that a different unit might be better for me.
The physical health lady came back and examined my bruised head and basically said that I need to go to hospital because there’s too much fluid on my head. I was taken to minor injuries first, but then we were sent to A and E where I had a CT scan. My eyes are really blurry and everything hurts.
Today has been a tricky one. I woke up early to get in the shower, which was awkward because I got naked into the shower, only to realise that it wasn’t working, so I had to tell my 1:1 (fully naked) that the shower wasn’t working, so then had to put my clothes on, and walk down the corridor to have a shower in a spare bedroom. It was worth it because now I don’t feel so disgusting and my hair is no longer greasy as hell.
I had an incident after breakfast so I was taken back into my room for a bit. My face is actually looking slightly better this morning, although I have been getting some blurriness and some double vision.
They let me have my colouring books and pens for a bit but I ended up having a massive lapse because my 1:1 left me alone in the bathroom. I’m fighting so hard but the opportunities are too much to resist, so I’m angry I guess, but also happy. I then demanded to talk to Mum, smashed my head in the phone booth, was taken out of the booth to ‘calm down’, before being finally allowed to talk to Mum and tell her how shit everything is here. This place is making me ill – the level of support is just stupid. I feel like I am absolutely losing it.
I also had no lunch and no dinner today as I didn’t even see the menu, so nothing was given to me. I then asked if I could call my Mum (to complain about not being fed) and they were like ‘no phone calls at meal times. You can’t rely on your Mum all the time’.
Mum and Dad came to see me this evening and they were not very happy about my treatment, and were adamant to see a Nurse. One came and basically told them that I need to cooperate and communicate more with staff, which I am going to try really hard to do.
My head is BANGING. From the top of my hairline to the middle of my skull, it feels like it’s being compressed by a heavy weight. I don’t know. At least its numbing everything else.
I’ve been pacing up and down all morning and I’m quite scared because when I saw my reflection in the big bathroom mirror I looked pretty vile.
Some patients have been playing JustDance on the Wii, but others were playing basketball IN THE LIVING ROOM which was really quite irritating because the constant banging kept jolting me. Eventually everyone got so worked up that two patients broke down the door to the seclusion and office corridor, and had to be restrained back.
I’m really tired and my head really hurts.
I went down to Education this morning and it was actually alright. The teacher dude said he was going to get in contact with school and get them to tell me what extra work I can be doing. It’s going to be hard continuing my A levels because we only have 2 hours of Education per day. One teacher was moaning that he was being made redundant because they needed a qualified maths teacher.
I refused to go to Community Meaning because I was really upset and everyone was shouting really loudly. However, in the afternoon I went to Occupational Therapy group.
I haven’t cooperated very well today and I’ve had two major incidents which involved being fully restrained. Another patient was dragged to seclusion with about 10 staff, and one patient threatened to beat up another because there was an argument about a missing stress ball.
I hate every fucking thing about this stupid place. I want to die and really do not give a shit anymore. I absolutely do not care about myself and the only thing that is making me slightly rational, is the thought of my Mum. Why is this place like a prison?
Staff aren’t even nice most of the time. I don’t need to be here. I don’t want any of these people laying their hands on me.
I stayed in bed for ages this morning because a man was on my obs and it was really awkward. I find it so creepy that they just watch me sleeping. I eventually got up to go to Cooking Group, where I was faced with the challenge of cutting up a potato with a plastic knife. I had an incident and had to be taken back onto the ward.
Mum and Dad came for ward round, but I wasn’t allowed to attend which makes no sense. So I went back to the lounge and kept going to the toilet because even on 1:1 if you bang your head quickly whilst the toilet is flushing then they won’t notice because of the noise. Plus, my 1:1s aren’t very reliable and sometimes just let me go to the toilet on my own, forgetting that they are meant to watch me.
I’m really unhappy because it’s difficult for me to write to people now because all my contacts have to be ‘approved’ by the social worker. I WANT MY MAIL FOR FUCKS SAKE.
Other patients are shouting and hurling chairs around, finding bits of glass and swearing.
I don’t like who is on my 1:1 so I’m going to go to sleep now.
I am so annoyed. My period started last night so I asked a Nurse discreetly for a sanitary towel, and she started off on some ‘risk assessment’ bullshit. WHAT THE HELL. After contacting the on-call Doctor (for fucks sake), she eventually gave me one thin towel. MATE. What an absolute cow.
I woke up again this morning and could barely see because my eyes had puffed up so much. However, I still went down to Education and then was taken down for a gym assessment. This involved a 20 minute interval session on the watt bike, crunches, sit ups, planks, squats and activities involving the exercise ball. It was tiring and pretty difficult to do sports activities without a bra on (risk assessment, again).
I was asked to sign my care plan, but it was a load of bullshit and had no input or consideration for what I had said, so I refused. My head is hurting so much that I’m actually crying from the pain.
I saw Mum this evening and she passed on messages from my friends, and asked if I wanted to write to them.She also cried because she said that the best day of her life was the day I was born.
Everything kicked off at dinner time, so the rest of us had to go and sit in the middle lounge with our dinners. We were in there for so long that some of the patients fell asleep.
Also, I’ve finally spoken to some of the patients properly. Everyone is shocked that I am 17 because they presumed that I was 13 or 14. They seem really nice, but everyone here is really unwell.
This documents my first week on a psychiatric intensive care unit. This again was a very difficult time, and thankfully it all goes up from here. I hope you found this article interesting and insightful.