while doing inpatient over the last 10 days in a local psychiatric ward, I made some journal entries. Here is the first of those entries.
“I need my bag!”
The quote from an episode of Psych flitted through my head in the most terrifying way possible.
Sitting in the stark, barren room in the emergency psychiatric ward, I heard the frantic screams of another patient demanding her purse.
“You threw it out the window on Santa Fe,” a paramedic responded.
The other patient wouldn’t, or couldn’t, accept that, and grew angry, insisting on the return of her bag.
This was the latest in a string of tirades.
She had yelled about not being allowed to go home, over not having feminine pads, over her shoes, the list goes on and on. At one point, she had taken to hitting and throwing things at the staff, and had to be restrained, then proceeded to shout profanities for a good hour.
Here I was, in the next room, just trying to stay alive, feeling like I was being punished for doing the responsible thing and seeking help.
That first afternoon and night were terrifying. I sat alone in the most empty room I had ever seen, just a bed, chair, table, and the security camera. A guard sat outside my door. I had to ask to get water, or use the bathroom. I couldn’t use my phone, and all they gave me to do was a stack of children’s mazes, a crayon to fill them out with. Shortly before I left, they scrounged up a word search book.
Though the bathroom door had an 8″ gap at the bottom, I purged every meal. They either didn’t notice, or didn’t care.
After more than 24 hours in the ER ward, I was admitted to the regular psychiatric ward, or Three West (third floor, west wing).