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A disturbing fact about the times I've been to the psych ward

washingtonbound

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I've had the unfortunate experience of being involuntarily committed to psych hospitals around twenty five times. It started when I was 19 and I'm now 27, my most recent episode being a couple months ago. I'm not proud to admit that especially the fact that they've all basically been induced my drug use, but anyways. What I find disturbing about this is that I've been committed all these times but have no legal record. That's a good thing obviously, but means that this has happened to me over and over again without actually being arrested for any crime. It's been either my parents or strangers calling the cops on me or even doctors doing it when I thought I was having a regular appointment. I may have been psychotic or delusional but rarely even expressed violent thoughts. I would get committed for acting weird or irritating people (I talk a lot when manic), and just saying things that didn't make sense. I'm not trying to say it's good to be out of it like that but last I checked, it's not illegal to be delusional or psychotic. So I have not broken a law but have still spent over two years of my life institutionalized. I find that pretty sickening honestly.

Again, not trying to justify being delusional or psychotic, just making the point that it really is not hard to get committed in the US, particularly in Florida.
 

Jerry Atrick

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Wow, that really sucks. I believe you mentioned in another thread that once you attain some financial independence you will try to move out of your mother's house. This may be a huge step and may not even be feasible, but would you be able to get the hell out of Florida? I don't have much advice on where you could go however it appears that FL is not a place to be. Would you be able to handle staying off the drugs that induce your psychosis without the social and financial support of your family? Do you have friends or family in a more friendly state you could be close to if you moved?
 

Nurse Ratched

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I've had the unfortunate experience of being involuntarily committed to psych hospitals around twenty five times. It started when I was 19 and I'm now 27, my most recent episode being a couple months ago. I'm not proud to admit that especially the fact that they've all basically been induced my drug use, but anyways. What I find disturbing about this is that I've been committed all these times but have no legal record. That's a good thing obviously, but means that this has happened to me over and over again without actually being arrested for any crime. It's been either my parents or strangers calling the cops on me or even doctors doing it when I thought I was having a regular appointment. I may have been psychotic or delusional but rarely even expressed violent thoughts. I would get committed for acting weird or irritating people (I talk a lot when manic), and just saying things that didn't make sense. I'm not trying to say it's good to be out of it like that but last I checked, it's not illegal to be delusional or psychotic. So I have not broken a law but have still spent over two years of my life institutionalized. I find that pretty sickening honestly.

Again, not trying to justify being delusional or psychotic, just making the point that it really is not hard to get committed in the US, particularly in Florida.
That Baker Act is a real bitch. I had occasion to meet her. Only once thank God.

Super glad you don't have a legal record. That is a plus.

I think that our family is the prime culprit for many being hospitalized. They don't understand our behavior and are really only trying to help us. But of course it only pisses us off that they meddled in our business. Our behavior is what raises the red flags and its more noticed by the people we spend the most time with. So if they pick up the phone and call the cops........they take us to the psych ward as jail is not appropriate as we haven't broken the law. Unless of course in our delusion or mania we have done something illegal. My little trip was due to alcohol. Nothing more. Got super drunk and threatened to kill myself. Was having a pity party and one of my friends took the threat seriously. The next morning ( totally hungover and sick ) the ward let me sleep it off and the attending psych Dr. cleared me for release and said it would be a good idea if I stopped drinking.

I find the whole idea of being confined whether it be jail or a psych ward extremely uncomfortable. It's something you never forget. The experience actually helped me to realize that I feared it and I vowed to never experience that again. Been jailed a few times on misdemeanors.

It worked. I would rather walk through the desert with no water or shovel snow naked than be confined.
 

moonyham

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I've never really understood how being put in psyche wards works. Like you say, locked up but without charge? Doesn't make sense to me and I'm very much level headed and of sound mind. How confusing is it for people going through actual pschye issues!?

I remember this guy.. He was off his rocker. Real character. I didn't think he needed to be locked up I just thought he was an interesting guy like me(fuck, should I be locked up? Haha).

We would smoke cigars while driving 3x the speed limit, go to strip clubs.. I didn't know much besides him being a photographer. We only used weed together. He didn't like drugs. Just weed, cigars and a little drinking.

Well he rings one day and his wife had put him in a pschye unit. He couldn't get out. Didn't seem to really know why he was there either. 'going too hard at life' is a crime? It was strange to me. But he wanted me to come and smuggle him cigars. Said he felt fine but the lack of nicotine was making him actually go crazy!

I smuggled him cigars, he was a very happy guy but I felt helpless, like he did, beyond that.

He got out eventually, maybe 1-2 weeks later. But I never really understood it, and I don't think he did either. He was a foreigner and wasn't amazing with English. To me he was just a normal guy that liked to party hard yet he was so easily locked up against his will.
 

chinup

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I've never really understood how being put in psyche wards works. Like you say, locked up but without charge? Doesn't make sense to me and I'm very much level headed and of sound mind. How confusing is it for people going through actual pschye issues!?
its for your own safety.

i'm not in the states but have also had some involuntary psych hospitalisations. luckily in my case i was able to get out relatively quickly by getting my BMI back above a threshold. not that i was offered any therapy while there to help cope with that so it just dropped again the second i got out. its not a crime to be a danger to your own self but there are safeguarding laws around vulnerable adults. most people in there have done serious self harm, either on purpose or that being a secondary effect of their mental illness (for example my case of anorexia nervosa) or have attempted suicide.

the purpose over here is to stabilise the patients mentally and physically and get them out asap, with the idea being that proper treatment (in my case residential ED placement) will start once you are out of the acute crisis. sometimes you need to have a few acute crises before you can access that treatment, which sucks.

in the case of the OP, i am not sure cos the US healthcare system is so different to the european one. i'm not sure, if the OP is living with their parents, whether that means the parents had some say in getting them committed. if that's the case that's awful, it should be based on objective signs identified by qualified individuals. OP i'm sorry you have lost so much time in institutions, i hope you don't have to go through another inpatient stint.
 

washingtonbound

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Wow, that really sucks. I believe you mentioned in another thread that once you attain some financial independence you will try to move out of your mother's house. This may be a huge step and may not even be feasible, but would you be able to get the hell out of Florida? I don't have much advice on where you could go however it appears that FL is not a place to be. Would you be able to handle staying off the drugs that induce your psychosis without the social and financial support of your family? Do you have friends or family in a more friendly state you could be close to if you moved?
Yea I definitely need to get out of my mom’s place to start. I have moved out in the past a few times but never managed to swing it for. Long periods. I’m doing my best to get out of Florida and possibly even the US, and am planning to do so quite soon as I’ve saved up a bit. I have told myself that I’m steering clear of the drugs but I know there can still be tempting situations. I’m trying to accept the fact that I just can’t put myself around it anymore, so that means cutting down on some things I used to enjoy like going to raves. Anyway, I’m doing what I can to improve the situation, moving is obviously the first step.
 

washingtonbound

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its for your own safety.

i'm not in the states but have also had some involuntary psych hospitalisations. luckily in my case i was able to get out relatively quickly by getting my BMI back above a threshold. not that i was offered any therapy while there to help cope with that so it just dropped again the second i got out. its not a crime to be a danger to your own self but there are safeguarding laws around vulnerable adults. most people in there have done serious self harm, either on purpose or that being a secondary effect of their mental illness (for example my case of anorexia nervosa) or have attempted suicide.

the purpose over here is to stabilise the patients mentally and physically and get them out asap, with the idea being that proper treatment (in my case residential ED placement) will start once you are out of the acute crisis. sometimes you need to have a few acute crises before you can access that treatment, which sucks.

in the case of the OP, i am not sure cos the US healthcare system is so different to the european one. i'm not sure, if the OP is living with their parents, whether that means the parents had some say in getting them committed. if that's the case that's awful, it should be based on objective signs identified by qualified individuals. OP i'm sorry you have lost so much time in institutions, i hope you don't have to go through another inpatient stint.
I’m not sure that being hospitalized for mania can always be justified as for your own I safety, I guess from the standpoint that you may irritate some people a lot. But in a manic state I’m usually pretty happy and don’t talk about things like suicide. It appears to me that people have a low tolerance for unusual behavior.
 

moonyham

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I’m not sure that being hospitalized for mania can always be justified as for your own I safety, I guess from the standpoint that you may irritate some people a lot. But in a manic state I’m usually pretty happy and don’t talk about things like suicide. It appears to me that people have a low tolerance for unusual behavior.

I think people are just easily scared. It really doesn't take much!

If you aren't harming yourself or others I find it hard to justify locking someone up. Being trapped is hard on the mind, so it needs to be heavily weighed up against.

Honestly bro it sounds like you are on the right track. Probably my advice is don't consider your mothers place as a safety net. If you are anything like me, or many people I know, youll do great when you feel you have nowhere to fall safely. Make failing not even an option and you'll find you don't fail that much.
 

chinup

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I’m not sure that being hospitalized for mania can always be justified as for your own I safety, I guess from the standpoint that you may irritate some people a lot. But in a manic state I’m usually pretty happy and don’t talk about things like suicide. It appears to me that people have a low tolerance for unusual behavior.
there is a difference between a manic episode and irritating people.

i'm not a dr but my guess is that firstly, having a full blown manic episode shows your medication is not working. if the medication isn't adjusted before a depressive episode then you are at risk of suicide, and thus it is imperative to get the medication fixed before then. also, i've experienced what drs in inpatient psych units have mistaken for mixed states (i say mistaken because its clear that i am not bipolar II) and was definitely a suicide risk in that state, so if there is any chance of a manic episode evolving into a mixed state, drs have a duty of care to you. so even if you're not at risk in the moment, a manic episode is a sign that you may be at extreme risk in the near future if you aren't treated.

ime people have an exceptionally high tolerance for unusual behaviour, but mentally ill people have extremely little insight into just how odd their behaviour is and when it has moved from just odd to extremely concerning.
 

washingtonbound

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there is a difference between a manic episode and irritating people.

i'm not a dr but my guess is that firstly, having a full blown manic episode shows your medication is not working. if the medication isn't adjusted before a depressive episode then you are at risk of suicide, and thus it is imperative to get the medication fixed before then. also, i've experienced what drs in inpatient psych units have mistaken for mixed states (i say mistaken because its clear that i am not bipolar II) and was definitely a suicide risk in that state, so if there is any chance of a manic episode evolving into a mixed state, drs have a duty of care to you. so even if you're not at risk in the moment, a manic episode is a sign that you may be at extreme risk in the near future if you aren't treated.

ime people have an exceptionally high tolerance for unusual behaviour, but mentally ill people have extremely little insight into just how odd their behaviour is and when it has moved from just odd to extremely concerning.
People definitely don’t have a high tolerance for unusual behavior where I live. And my personal take is that people should be left to their own devices unless they are a serious threat to others. It’s not right to babysit people because oh they might commit suicide in the future, we are adults after all. I just feel like I’m living in a nanny state.
 

washingtonbound

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I think people are just easily scared. It really doesn't take much!

If you aren't harming yourself or others I find it hard to justify locking someone up. Being trapped is hard on the mind, so it needs to be heavily weighed up against.

Honestly bro it sounds like you are on the right track. Probably my advice is don't consider your mothers place as a safety net. If you are anything like me, or many people I know, youll do great when you feel you have nowhere to fall safely. Make failing not even an option and you'll find you don't fail that much.
I am getting out of my moms place soon, and intend to stay gone this time. The issue has been in the past when I moved out I had drug relapses which led me back. A big key here is sobriety.
 

chinup

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It’s not right to babysit people because oh they might commit suicide in the future, we are adults after all. I just feel like I’m living in a nanny state.
its not that they 'might' though, its that the risk of that happening very soon is heightened because of an illness that can be controlled by medication.

either way, i think you live in a very different health system to me. i'm glad i was hospitalised multiple time against my will even though the actual hospitalisations were incredibly traumatic, i had a mental illness that carries an insane risk of death and was utterly unable to take any measures to help myself due to the nature of that disease. without those interventions its highly likely i would be dead, i have permanent damage as it is. bipolar I isn't as deadly as anorexia nervosa, so i get why you look less favourably on your hospitalisations, but if you look at research on the subject the suicide risk is almost 10x higher compared to the general population and it carries many comorbidities that lead to early death. so what it appears that we are disagreeing on is the line where mandatory hospitalisation should be, in the case of mental illnesses with significant mortality risk.

nothing that i am saying is intended to undermine how horrible it must be to live with such illness or how awful it must feel to have lost two entire years of your twenties to involuntary hospitalisation. i'm sorry you have had to go through that and wish you well in your sobriety and hope you don't end up back in an inpatient psych. all i'm trying to do is offer my understanding of why the hospitalisations might have been justified, and i'm sorely aware that i'm not a doctor and have no experience of psychiatric care in the US.
 

paranoid android

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Here in canada it's not easy to get a person committed. They turned away my mom when she was suffering from psychotic depression ffs. They only committed me because i was actually pretty violent and had gotten into 2 fights within 12 hours of me being committed. Your absolutely right though there is no law against being delusional or psychotic but sadly sometimes when it comes to being detained in certain jurisdictions you have less rights then a criminal. I don't believe in detaining people who arent a danger to others really.

Honestly id say if you can move out on your own and do what you wanna do.
 
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