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husband going in hospital voluntarily..what can he expect?

(14 Posts)
mrshectic Sun 06-Oct-13 20:06:49

My husband after 3 long years of depression, several different meds and having suicidal thoughts, is eventually going into hospital possibly tomorrow (depending on bed space).

Clearly, he's very anxious about this and doesn't know what top expect there at all and has been getting more nervous about the whole thing.

Does anyone have experience of this? And what can I tell him about it?

Thank you for any help in advance

Worried wife.

I did this aged 17, (with depression and suicidal urges), so might be different as it was an teenage unit but they keep you on suicide watch for a few nights (so you're in the room alone with the door cracked open a little and someone sat on a chair outside). Once that's over they 'check' on you every so often, depending on what risk they think there is of you attempting anything during the night. It doesn't normally disturb you once you're asleep though.

You get visits from your assigned psychiatrist and treatment, depending on what you're there for (I had CBT and talking therapy) and there are usually set activities throughout the day.

It was the best treatment I'd had up until that point actually and I would say it saved my life. It's very intensive treatment compared to being treated in the home or at groups in the community etc and isn't something to be scared of. I was treated with dignity and respect the whole time and that helped thanks

(and it is nothing like the bloody movies. So forget all the white wards, straight jackets and howling patients crap smile )

SnowyMouse Sun 06-Oct-13 20:22:15

I've been in a few times in the past few years. The wards I've been on, you get observed every 15 minutes to begin with, rather than constantly (this may come down to perceived risk). Food is not great. More and more wards are single sex nowadays.

mrshectic Sun 06-Oct-13 20:26:15

Thank you for replying quickly. And I am relaying all this to my husband, he too is very grateful for any advice.
His other concern that he will be surrounded by people who (in his words) have totally lost the plot and he is worried that it would be like a mental asylum u might see from a film (I suppose). Which scares him too. I hour that doesn't sound disrespectful, as it isn't meant too, and I hope you understand what I mean by saying that.

mrshectic Sun 06-Oct-13 20:27:35

Sorry only just saw your second post theorcheadkeeper!

I think everyone worries it will be like the One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest to be honest so don't worry smile

It's not a 5 star experience obviously but it does the job.

mrshectic Sun 06-Oct-13 20:42:29

Thank you. I'm just so relieved that he had Donnelly agreed to go in and get proper help. I can't help him at home anymore, we have 2 boys aged 6 and 5 plus a 4 wk old baby girl (totally unplanned obviously), and I'm the process of losing the house through financial situation as he lost his job to this illness too. I wish I could help him, but to keep my own sanity and the childrens, I have to concentrate now on them and the financial side. He needs good and proper treatment and more intense than we've been getting as he has only got worse, not better.

I can only hope he takes this opportunity to really open up and get himself sorted and not to put the mask he usually does when around others. It truly has been an exhausting 3 years, for all of us.

Thank you again.

You're ony human and you're not a trained counsellor, nor should you have to act as one for him. If he's ill enough to need that kind of treatment then it really is the best place for him and I hope it gives you some respite too. It's so hard for the loved ones around the person affected and I think that gets easily forgotton in all the madness (scuse the pun) thanks

mrshectic Sun 06-Oct-13 21:02:38

smile thanks, and I quite liked the pun.

It is nothing like TV. No sitting round in groups sharing your feelings.

It can get very boring. I always take my laptop and dongle in with me so I can internet.

Some people can be a little unsettled but you get used to it very quickly. There are also other patients you can chat and spend time with which helps. In the unit I have been in we would have film nights together.

There are usually activities on the unit, you can do as much or as little as you want.

Take roll on deoderant because they sometimes don't allow you to use aerosols unsupervised. You are not allowed leads in your room so they charge your phone / laptop in the office and then when they are charged you get them back. You get very good at making your phone battery last!

Most people smoke (outside)

Sorry that was a bit short! I hope it helps.

For me, the thing to remember is that you are there for your recovery. Don't get involved in any drama or stress. Spend time with the staff and be honest with them.

I hope your DH feels better soon.

Oh and it is not like a normal hospital, you are allowed (and encouraged) to spend time off the unit at home. It is called leave, it is worth having because it helps you get back into ordinary life.

HoopHopes Sun 06-Oct-13 23:32:00

Hi it is usually a weekly meeting with dr and team. Meant to have a names nurse to talk to but that can depend on staffing. There may be activities run by occupational health- mu advice is sign up for any activity as otherwise the day is very long and boring which I did not find helpful. I got no therapy, just a place of safety to rest and for medication to stabilise.

I had to queue up for medication, could only shower at set times of day, eat at set times. Routine like that helped. Tv was only source of activity apart from the OT groups. So take: books, magazines, anything like doing to relieve the boredom. Also take some small amount of money in case little shop on hospital for papers and coffee etc. if got an iPad, tablet computer etc make sure somewhere safe to lock things up if take it in. I had to hand over all chargers as not allowed cables etc but they charged things for you ok. Take snacks etc as horrible if hungry in between meals.

Hope it helps all of you.

Cailleach Mon 07-Oct-13 01:02:40

It's as boring as hell, frankly - sitting around watching telly and sleeping a lot because of all the sedatives they give you, then doing art therapy every now and then.

Put all alarming fantasies of screaming people in straitjackets right out of your mind. The only deeply disturbed patient on our ward was a non-verbal teenage boy who was under 24 hour supervision by two people in a locked room (he was eventually moved to another ward....I think he may have been severely autistic, possibly with other issues on top.) Everyone else was very nice, if a bit hollow-eyed and haunted...and quiet.

There was a lovely Indian lady patient who gave me head massages - I paid her in chocolate ;) - and one very sweet teenage girl that I still write to today (a recovering suicide - slit wrists, lots of stitches, awful...) Really, any very disturbed patients are generally on other wards and kept away from the rest - most of them will be just like your other half ie; rather wobbly and in need of a rest, but no danger to anyone at all.

As Hoops mentions, the day is very regimented, which helps you get into a routine straight away. No-one minded if I slept all day at first, as long as I'd eaten something. Once he's relaxed a bit, and caught up on sleep, he'll need something to do so do make sure you bring him books and magazines etc. There was a laundry room for doing your washing in... I did this rather than have my mum take it away for me as it was something for me to do!

I hope he's feeling better soon...best wishes to you both.

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