Second Stay

After I was released, my life didn’t change a bit.  I went right back into the stress and strain I had always been under, although now I was medicated for the depression.  After my psychotic break, I was put in a psychiatric hospital in northwestern Louisiana. This ward operated very differently from St. Dominic’s—after the morning rounds, our rooms were locked, forcing us out into the common rooms to interact with each other.  I was on an acute intermediate ward, which meant I was around patients much sicker than I had been around in my last hospitalization.  My roommate talked back to the voices in her head all night each night I was there.  One older man suffering from dementia was there until a place came open on a dedicated Alzheimer’s ward for him; he once mistook me for a social worker and talked to me about how much he wanted to go home and would I please let him?

Again I was very hesitant about interacting with the professional staff, thinking that I needed to be that perfect patient again so they would let me go home. I did leave there after three days, but I was readmitted to St. Dominic’s immediately once my husband brought me back to Mississippi.  This time at St. D’s, I was very open with the staff, looking for some magic formula from them that would help me out of the hell I had created for myself.  I was there another week before my doctor felt I had stabilized enough to go home.

It was then that I was first tried on lithium, which worked like a charm but kept me constantly thirsty. I stayed stable on lithium until we had evidence that it was harming my kidneys—I was then but on a high dose of Abilify in conjunction with an antidepressant, Welbutrin, and the anti-convulsant Depakote.  That worked well for me, too—until the next spring rolled around.  That began a pattern that I followed until 2010—at some point between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, I was hospitalized for depressive symptoms including suicidal thoughts.

5 thoughts on “Second Stay

  1. Please forgive me for all my questions! If this is a hard one to deal with, just let me know…but could you describe the psychotic break? What kinds of thoughts were you having during the break? Do your counselors teach you to identify the self-talk running through your head?


  2. I had a similar experience of being placed in the wrong ward when in psych. My doctor said there were no rooms elsewhere and they would move me as soon as a bed became available. They left me there for 3 days. Thank you for sharing your story, It helps to hear someone who has been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was the destructive self talk 20 some years ago that drove me to seek professional help. I couldn’t shut the voices up, in my head. It took a year of trying different meds before the psychiatrist found a “cocktail” that worked for me. There was never any mention of hospitalization. I had a son diagnosed with ADHD when he was 3 and a 6-year-old at the time. My husband was out of work, and I was unemployed. I was also suffering from untreated sleep apnea (because we had no insurance), and suffering some depression from that. I didn’t get treated for bipolar until I had been on the C-PAP for a year. When the depression didn’t go away as I had hoped and my son was on Ritalin and doing fairly well, that’s when I saw a psychiatrist for the mood swings. I loved this guy. He even called my folks and talked to them about my childhood. I remember being put on wellbutrin, first. What really surprised me was the bipolar diagnosis. I had a degree in Special Ed and was still taken by surprise. I thought it was adult ADHD. The wellbutrin didn’t work for me. We gave it 6 months. I was still hearing the voices and couldn’t shut them up until he gave me neurontin. I felt relief within a month. After that I should have gotten counseling, but my psychiatrist retired and left me high and dry. My husband’s insurance didn’t cover psych services, so my doctor stepped in and supervised the meds. I’ve been on the same meds for nearly 20 years. My pastor gave me a book called “Telling Yourself the Truth”. That helped me identify the lies I kept telling myself. He gave me a lot of Scripture to counter the negative self talk, and I’m still working on that aspect of my mental health.


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