So about a year and a half ago, I was hospitalized for self-harm and suicidal intent. There was one specific incident in my stay that I thought, for a long time, was isolated; that it was the only thing I needed to deal with. I'm only just coming to terms with the scope of their abuse and the complete lack of competence and compassion displayed by them and others in the mental health industry. When I say "them," I'm referring to the various counselors and psychiatrists.
So at this particular hospital, we'd spend our days in about six separate but identical group therapy circles, always giving the same dry summation of our experiences to different counselors. They had a system by which one would earn more phone time etc. which basically consisted of phrasing the same dry summary in a variety of different ways. We would each have about fifteen minutes of talk therapy with a thoroughly incompetent counselor and then fifteen minutes for a psychiatrist to tell us what meds we would be taking. If I requested it, I was given a small pamphlet of woefully vague and incomplete information on the drug, written by the hospital.
My mom has bipolar disorder. Because bipolarity is moderately heritable, they prescribed antipsychotics and mood stabilizers to me. This was in complete disregard of what I had actually *stated*- I did not display bipolar mood cycles, I was depressed and I had panic attacks and I was extremely sensitve to sedation and averse to blood tests. SOUNDS LIKE I'D REACT GREAT TO LITHIUM AND SEROQUEL HUH THOSE SHOULD FIX ALL OF MY PROBLEMS. On the lowest dose of Seroquel, I was sedated until the middle of the next day. Same with Zyprexa. And I was not informed at all of the health risks of those medications; I was only told about the possible side effects.
One night, after I had been there for more than a week, I was arguing with one of the counselors about how I was being treated. She responded to everything I said with, "It's not a problem with the hospital. You aren't working towards your recovery." She made me furious. I couldn't sleep; I sat in the hallway and wrote. But apparently that's a good enough reason to have used force to place me in seclusion?
EVEN THOUGH I had requested that she not be around me for the remainder of my stay and I was told this request would be honored, the same counselor was there. And that night, I was being told to take a medication that my psych had not discussed with me. I asked for the information, and I didn't want to take it after reading it. So everyone in the room started telling me that I was lazy, that I didn't care about getting better. So I got angry and threw a chair. And then, EVEN THOUGH personnel are only supposed to use force when other methods of deescalation have been employed, and EVEN THOUGH I was shaking in a corner, terrified, as the approached me, I was thrown into restraints. Then they stuck me with who the hell knows what drugs and left me there for an hour and THAT SAME FUCKING COUNSELOR was there, mockingly telling me that I had put myself there, that I had to calm down while I was assaulted, and ignoring me when I said my had was going numb, ignoring my cries of pain. And then I was supposed to sleep there.
The next day I couldn't remember what had happened, I just pushed it out of my mind. They had stuck me in the acute unit. I just slept all day, refusing food. I was back in the regular unit the next day. They still had the same counselor there. The next day I was discharged.
I was seeing a psychiatrist after I got out, and he stuck to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and refused to listen to anything I said. He put me on lithium, even though I kept telling him that I have panic attacks when I'm supposed to have a blood test, and I kept telling him that the pills made me feel like I was going to vomit and made me so dizzy I couldn't focus my eyes. I kept telling my mom how much I hated that doctor, but she didn't find me a different one for several months, and the one I finally found still didn't end up doing anything useful. I had a psychologist, too, but she never helped, because I didn't feel comfortable talking to her - she was extremely judgmental. Eventually, I quit seeing either of them.
I've written about this several times but I just still can't understand why the fuck they did those things and how they can look at the way they operate and look at patients like me and not realize how damaging their practices are. I mean... how can you DO that to somebody and not feel horrific remorse?
I finally have a competent psychiatrist and a psychologist that I get along with, but I don't feel like I can talk to my psychologist about anything I need to (self-harm, abusive self-talk, etc.) without risking being hospitalized again, and I don't feel like I can tell her about my experiences because she works at the hospital.