I’ve been focusing on jail and prison incarceration and only, but another form is found in mental facilities. This is my account of the first time in the mental hospital.
I’ve been diagnosed with MDD, Major Depressive Disorder, officially in 2011 after I was released from jail, although I’ve been dealing with it since early childhood. I was in suicide watch in jail and the judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation when I was released.
I didn’t know how to do it, so I opened the phonebook looked up, psychiatric hospital and I dialed the first number that I saw because I was scared to go back to jail. It was to a place called UBH, Universal Behavioral Health.
I told them my situation and I was adviced to go for an evaluation with a change of clothes, just in case. I was like, “Okay, whatever.” And I arranged my things to go.
Apparently I wasn’t doing so good because I ended up being admitted and placed in PICU, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.
I arrived in the unit late at night, about 3 am. Everyone was basically asleep and they put me in a room with 2 other psychiatric patients.
I passed out, dead tired, from all the evaluation and stuff. In the morning, I was awakened by the screams of John, one of the patients, “God damn it! Why do you open the blinds every day when I’m still sleeping. Just stop!”
He was yelling at the other guy placed in the same room, Pablo. Pablo just stayed quiet and he exited the room.
John then takes notice of me and says, “This guy, he always does the same thing since I’ve arrived. I’m sleeping and in the mornings, he always opens the blinds and let’s the sun in. Pisses me off! Hey get ready, we’re going to be going to eat!”
I said, “Okay.” As I got myself up and started to get ready for breakfast. Breakfast in there was like heaven coming from jail, and you can get as many as you want? Yes please!
Second day is when I started getting the hang of things, but since I was in PICU, we’re not allowed to do much things.
Patents that were there were in there for a vast amount of things ranging from as little as anxiety to as complex as schizophrenia. The ones I was rooming with were for Depression/anxiety (John) to anxiety/mild schizophrenia (Pablo). I really didn’t notice it, except on John, his little bursts etc… But on Pablo not really.
Pablo was just a quiet guy in his late teens, John was the oldest one of us 51 years I believe, and I was 25 years old.
For some strange reason, Pablo liked to open all the window blinds every morning and get John angry. This went on throughout my whole stay, minus the last week. John asked to be moved and Pablo was relocated as well for different incident, you’ll see…
We used to get group therapies and individual as well. I also had meetings with my loved ones as part of my treatment. Towards the end, when they were talking about my release, we had a family meeting to see what was going to happen to me.
I got asked where I was going to live and my obvious answer was, “Where I’m living, with my dad.” My dad starts shaking his head and saying, “No, no. You can’t live with me. I don’t want you anymore. All you do is drink and smoke weed.” This of course was a lie because I was barely released from jail; so angry I started yelling at my dad that it wasn’t true.
Mom then says, “I’ll take him, if his dad doesn’t want him, I’ll take him.”
Mom to save the day, always does and seems like she always will.
Nights in PICU are pretty interesting, in the day we’ve had new arrivals, one particular girl got my attention though.
She got there early in the afternoon and I started conversing with her. I asked, “What’s wrong with you? Why did they put you in?” She said, “I don’t know, they just said that they were taking me here.” I was baffled, but kept talking to her and everything seemed normal.
Come night, I wake up and decided to go out to the hall, try and find a snack to eat and I bump into this woman, let’s call her Claire.
Unlike the afternoon, Claire looked out of it. She was pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… And whoever passed she grabbed and started acting like one of God’s latest prophets’ literally. She would grab a nurse or a wack and prophesy things…
As I approached the nurses desk, I was grabbed by Claire. She grabbed me, pulled me aside and said, “You are going to do great things for the Lord. He has annointed you and you will lay hands in prayer to many.” Or something like that, don’t really remember.
As she was “telling me my destiny,” I looked at the nurses and they just signaled me to let her. I was letting her and I wasn’t really planning on doing anything bad so I just made an “okay” signal.
After that experience, I found out that she had schizophrenia and insomnia. That it would come out at night, they were trying to make her go to sleep, but she wouldn’t. That’s what ended her up in PICU. She was sleeping when I was told however, she was sleeping alright…
They couldn’t make her sleep so they strapped her to the chair and gave her medicine. When I caught a glimpse of her, she was up, but barely able to open her eyes.
During the day, you always have little fights and altercations from having mental patients in one hallway all day. It’s like high school on steroids! Perfect way to describe a visit to the mental hospital.
One day, they’re talking about the release of Pablo so they scheduled a family meeting.
When Pablo’s mom arrived, I was talking to one of the nurses and she passed me by. For some reason Pablo turns back and says, “What did you say fool?” I was left confused and said, “I didn’t say anything man.” Then Pablo proceeds to get in my face telling me that he was going to beat me up. One of the nurses there quickly ran around the desk and got in between us and had nurses take Pablo away. She then said, “Don’t worry Ivan, we saw the whole thing. We know you didn’t do anything.”
Pablo ended up being moved to Georgey Boy’s room, guy with severe schizophrenia.
That was the moving of Pablo, two days before, John had had it and asked to be moved to the panic room.
I don’t recall the people that replaced Gary and John. Upon my release, I had to relocate and gather my things and move them to my mother’s house. The reason why I’m living in parents’ house will be revealed later on.
Gary was transferred to another facility in the state, and John was released. I exchanged information with John and we still keep contact, as a matter of fact, we were supposed to hang out on Wednesday.