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Re: questions about inpatient treatment

Posted by undopaminergic on August 16, 2022, at 8:42:31

In reply to questions about inpatient treatment, posted by Roslynn on August 15, 2022, at 17:13:13

> Hi everyone,
> I am not planning on inpatient treatment at this time but was wondering what it is like nowadays.
> Obviously I have heard a lot of horror stories. I suppose some of this depends on the quality of the institution.

Exactly. Different institutions are qualitatively different. So are different wards that are part of the same institution.

Pretty much all the horror stories are true of different hospitals, or have been true in certain eras. They don't do lobotomies any more, for example.

In my experience, all of them are in love with neuroleptics, though Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is not popular any more. On the other hand, I did receive haloperidol for a short period.

> Do they change your meds however they see fit or do you/your doctor have any input?

I'm sure this varies, including depending on whether you have some kind of agreement on the matter prior to being admitted.

> If you take your meds in with you do they confiscate them? Do you get them back?

I only brought my meds once. I was not allowed to keep them at my room, but I got them back upon leaving.

> Would they take you off meds you've been on a long time without regard for withdrawal side effects?

Some of them definitely do. In my experience, they cared little about what medications I had been on. Once, they did continue lamotrigine at a familiar dose. So this varies.

> What would they do to treat you if you've already tried basically all meds, TMS etc.?

They choose one of their favourite neuroleptics and put you on it. OK, that's a bit of a parody, but it's partly true. Often, I did have some choice in the matter of which one of them, eg. telling them I had used X or Y in the past, or that I didn't fare well on Z. In my experience they are bad at following up on how the medications are working, except probably if you have florid symptoms that are easy to spot the presence of absence of.

> Also,
> Do they let you keep your phone or other electronics?

It varies. On my current ward I'm allowed all of the electronics, including my computer and Internet. A lot of wards don't allow it however, and one of the wards I've been on a lot didn't allow phones except in a particular "phone room" which only one patient at a time could use.

> Is it true that they lock you out of your room after breakfast so you can't stay in your room during the day?

Again, it varies. Nowhere where I've been did they lock you out for the whole day, but on one ward they said they used to do it in the 80s. On some other wards I've been, they locked you out for a shorter period of time, but it was still always annoying.

> Any feedback welcome and thank you!

You're welcome.

A couple of more things:

On some wards, they require you to do certain chores in the name of so-called "rehabilitation". This is particularly true of wards for patients who are in a relatively good shape (stable, non-suicidal, non-psychotic, etc.). These same wards are also the most open and permissive ones. And these same wards are less likely to lock you out of your room.

You may already be familiar with this from your experience with doctors in general, but most of them are not very empathic or understanding, and they don't take you very seriously. One example from my experience is when I complained, with emphasis, about choking on food from the clozapine and that I wanted to switch, the doctor just brushed it off and didn't seem to care. In retrospect, I should have refused to go on clozapine to begin with. So make sure you have an advance agreement about stopping a medication trial if you find the adverse effects too bad.





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