Another Week in the Psychiatric Unit

When I was admitted to the hospital for the third time, I didn’t even really feel like I belonged there. I thought all the other patients were there for legitimate reasons except for me. I had really begun to believe in the reality that my voices were creating, and as long as I thought of them as real people out there somewhere, it made me think I didn’t have a mental illness. I was just telepathic, and able to communicate with these people in my head, even though I didn’t know who they were, and had never seen them. At least that’s what I thought sometimes.

The hospital was a nice, clean, safe environment, despite what was going on in my head. The hospital psychiatrist increased the Seroquel quite a bit, from 100mg eventually up to 800mg, the maximum dosage allowed. I also started taking Seroquel XR, which doesn’t make me sleepy like the regular Seroquel, although I didn’t start the XR until I was out of the hospital. I went to a few group sessions during my hospital stay, and my in-laws were kind enough to come and visit me during the week. My husband came to visit every night. I was so glad to see him. I was still paranoid and worried, even in the hospital. I could still hear the voices.

The first night I was up most of the night, lying awake, listening to them. Mostly the voices try to get me to do what they want me to do. Usually these are things that I don’t want to do. For example, they don’t want me to chant (I am Buddhist, so I chant every day, twice a day), or earn any income. I lay awake that night, listening to them try to reason with me. Fortunately, I was not convinced. At the hospital, we had morning and evening check-in sessions, and I met a few nice women during the week that I was there. At first I was doing everything I could to try to get out of the hospital as soon as I could, because that’s what the voices were telling me to do. I also assumed that it would only be a 3 day stay, because that’s what I was admitted under. I ended up staying a week, and at the last meeting with my psychiatrist, my husband John, John’s brother and his wife, we decided that I would go to an Adult Residential Treatment Center for possibly an additional one to two weeks, and then go for another two weeks to an intensive outpatient program in order to prevent relapse. We also decided that I would seek out a private therapist to see on an individual basis, once a week, as well as group therapy, all with the intention of preventing a relapse. So far, it seems to be working.

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