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To wonder whether psychiatric hospital 'therapy' can stoop any lower (lighthearted-ish)?

(45 Posts)
memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:07:09

I'm currently admitted to a psych ward for depression. This is my sixth admission so I'm used to how bone-achingly boring it can be.

The hospital purports to have 'therapeutic' activities, but I'd never seen anything until yesterday.....'discussion hour'....everyone huddle around a table to discuss the quality journalism of The Daily Mail. [DM sad face]

AIBU to think the staff must be trying to induce brain death in us all?

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:10:30

That does sound beyond crap. Thank goodness for MN, eh? flowers

DMHiresIlleterates Wed 27-Apr-16 19:15:01

Gosh. Hardly therapeutic!

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Wed 27-Apr-16 19:18:35

The idea behind these groups is to encourage people to talk a little. I used to try and make it nice by providing a few broadsheets, decent coffee and snacks. Maybe suggest to OT/nursing that you prefer a different paper as this feedback is actually really useful.

snowvelvet Wed 27-Apr-16 19:19:11

NHS I presume? Only because my experience on an NHS psych ward was horrific and like you say, therapeutic time seemed to consist of nothing.

It was more a case of have some meds at these times and stare at the TV. I felt awful before my admission obviously, but being informal as an inpatient made me feel worse.

I was fortunate to end up somewhere lovely on NHS overflow the next time. Whole other world and saved me.

Keep going. A sense of humour was the only thing that got me through my first stay. A very black one though!

corythatwas Wed 27-Apr-16 19:21:10

OP, is there anything about your condition that makes high blood pressure beneficial? If not, sounds bloody dangerous.

Anyway, flowers and hope you feel better soon.

iklboo Wed 27-Apr-16 19:22:22

You could play spot the hyperbole, cliche bingo, sweeping statement sweepstake etc to liven things up?

memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:23:20

Oh yes, NHS.

I'm amazed they had a nurse available for an hour to do it. Most of the time, they're either running around (with their head down as they don't have the time to stop and help you), or in the office with the door closed. Whenever they leave the office, they have to run the gauntlet of patients waiting outside trying to ask for something.

snowvelvet Wed 27-Apr-16 19:25:59

Oh Meme, you're bringing it all back in a nice way. grin

I forgot the line outside the office for anything.

To hopefully make you smile, we weren't allowed plugs on chains. Can't think why... hmm So we used the plastic bottle tops. It was a race to have a bath as the water slowly drained.

memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:28:07

I should have also added that most of the nurses are lovey--they're just clealry rushed off their feet. You can 'feel' the stress coming from them.

memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:30:41

On the plus side, there are all single en-suite rooms. I have access to the wifi through my work so I'm downloading films to watch on my IPad. And then I'm secretly charging my iPad overnight with the charger that I smuggled inside my bra grin

Can you tell I'm an old-timer blush

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Wed 27-Apr-16 19:33:10

If it's any reassurance you are aware that you are being a bit patronising. Trying to persuade a group of adults they want to do some art and craft when I am shit at it was embarrassing all round! blush. The main problem is a lack of funding and also a desire for people not to hurt each other or themselves. Again, art and craft without scissors, glass, metal, beads, pencil sharpeners etc etc was...interesting! Also see cooking with plastic utensils, and no sharp knives. We had £2000 a year to cover 18 peoples OT. That's about £2 a week!

DMHiresIlleterates Wed 27-Apr-16 19:35:51

Nice move there MaccaPaccaismyNemesis telling a patient they're patronising. hmm

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Wed 27-Apr-16 19:38:02

That's not what I meant! I meant that as a staff member you feel like you are patronising the patients offering them art and craft and crappy cooking sessions!

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 27-Apr-16 19:38:37

DM I think Macca was saying that as a nurse she was aware that she was being occasionally patronising. Not calling the patient patronising!

Missyaggravation Wed 27-Apr-16 19:41:00

Did you feel the breeze as that post wooshed over your head DM?

EverySecondCounts Wed 27-Apr-16 19:41:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GlitteryShoes Wed 27-Apr-16 19:47:37

I feel your pain. I remember being the only qualified RMN on one day - a ward of 32 acutely ill patients. One of them had died the day before. We ended up herding everyone into the Dayton to play bingo - hardly therapeutic for a mixture of psychotic and severely depressed patients. Have you access to any colouring or mindfulness stuff?

exWifebeginsat40 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:48:04

I've had a couple of stays on our local unit. no therapeutic activities offered at all, TV on 24 hours a day and no hot drinks allowed outside of trolley times!

there is no budget outside of that allocated to just run the wards. it's warehousing, and it must be demoralising for staff as well as awful for patients.

I hope you're doing ok, OP.

EverySecondCounts Wed 27-Apr-16 19:48:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hefzi Wed 27-Apr-16 20:23:24

I felt strangely cheated the first time I was incarcerated admitted, as for some reason, I'd developed the idea that OT involved basket weaving. I was really hoping I'd be able to learn, as my mum used to do it in the 70s (not on the psych ward though, afaik) and I wanted to make some new trays like the ones she wove. Turns out I was a bit misled on this front, though! I always get the puzzle pages and a bluntish pencil: I am almost envious of discussion hour - so OP, YABU grin Just keep rocking the movies!

(I like the idea of PP who suggested Jenga and jigsaws, btw - though I've never actually been anywhere with cool stuff like that: in my head, that's what you get in The Priory - though I am never likely to be free of symptoms long enough to be able to use my insurance to find out grin!)

memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 20:30:52

everydecondcounts no other activities whatsoever. Nothing. No jigsaws. No colouring. No exercise. No OT. Nothing. I've been on the ward many times, hence my surprise at the new 'discussion hour.' And my disappointment that discussion was about some Daily Mail shite.

And my reference to inducing brain death was targeted at the choice of the DM. Not the actual activity. And I also tagged this as lighthearted-ish. (The ish bit being that there is absolutely nothing to do on the ward, other than smoke, drink tea, and stare at a tiny TV. )

memememe94 Wed 27-Apr-16 20:34:43

Aaaaand while I'm at it, I noted how good the vast majority of nurses are. They're just so overworked that they can barely meet the minimum standards of keeping everyone alive.

And that's not my negative perceptions talking. It's plain and clear.

EverySecondCounts Wed 27-Apr-16 20:39:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user7755 Wed 27-Apr-16 20:40:20

The lack of plugs on chains are so that people can't drown themselves. The reasons that chargers aren't allowed is that they are a ligature risk. As everysecond alludes to, the staff are trying to keep everyone safe and working with incredibly minimal resources and restrictive practises (and people sneaking stuff in when they aren't supposed to meme wink).

I would have thought that the Daily Mail would have been a good talking point given that it's a bunch of old arse - it certainly generates lots of discussion on here so perhaps the decision was deliberate, in the hope that people would feel disgruntled enough by the appalling journalism that they would speak up. As others have suggested, if you have other ideas about what should be provided - why not tell them?

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