So I haven’t been blogging for a while but the main reason is I made the decision to go into an inpatient facility.

At first I struggled as the NHS would not allow me to go into one even though it was what everyone around me including myself knew I needed. I haven’t been here long enough (16 days so far) to write incredible words of wisdom about it yet but I have already begun to see an improvement so I’m going to focus this blog on breaking some taboos about inpatient mental health care.

1. It isn’t prison: At first I felt a bit trapped and sometimes I still have those moments but I’m not just stuck in here. I’m allowed out escorted by nurses or friends and family and sometimes if I’m having a good day I’m allowed out by myself for short periods of time. They even let me go to open gym once a week.

2. Group therapy: this was probably the scariest part for me at first because I thought it would be like on TV. It is a bit; we sit in a circle and talk about our situations but it is incredibly helpful. It helps with acceptance, builds bonds and teaches you that you aren’t alone in your struggle.

3. It’s super clinical: I’m in a private facility so I can’t speak for NHS facilities but here it is quite comfortable, we have lounges, a gym, a restaurant, a garden and my room honestly looks like a Uni hall.

4. ‘It’s all about the drugs’: Yeah we take lots of meds but we’re here learning coping mechanisms so we don’t have to rely on the meds. I have never felt “over-drugged” like it is so often portrayed

5. There are no padded room and straight jackets and they don’t lock you up

6. The nurses and therapists genuinely want to see us get better. I find my nurses to be my biggest source of strength here. I literally cried in a nurses arms just a few hours ago.

7. It’s okay to want to be here. There shouldn’t be this stigma that being in a mental hospital makes you a psycho. I’m here for a number of reasons that I know many other people go through.

I’m going to be here for a while and I’m quite happy to say that. I’m learning and growing as a person dealing with pre existing problems and ones I didn’t even realise I had that affected my day to day life.

If anyone has any questions I’m very open to talking about what it’s like here.

Always remember sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.

Shared with permission by Stephanie M

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