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What disadvantages are there to inpatient treatment?

(9 Posts)
TheProvincialLady Sun 31-Mar-13 17:56:29

I am suffering with anorexia (again) and it is very bad, not so much in terms of low weight but the way it is affecting me. I have been offered in-patient treatment as a possibility by my psychiatrist but I am not sure. I am mostly worried about the impact that a stay at an eating disorders unit might have on my career, insurance etc. Am I likely to be discriminated against because of it? Or am I already stuffed by having out patient treatment anyway?

Does anyone have any wisdom or knowledge? I feel overwhelmed. I am astonished they even raised it as a possibility.

nenevomito Sun 31-Mar-13 19:14:34

I had an inpatient stay last year and it was the best thing for me as I was removed from all of the stressors that was making it difficult for me to get better.

I still have a job and a family and everything else. I think the thought of it is worse than the reality.

Dancingqueen17 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:05:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffydressinggown Sun 31-Mar-13 21:07:45

TBH the thing that affects things the most is a section, so going in informally when it is suggested might be the best thing. It is also the least restrictive thing in terms of leave etc.

I have been IP a lot this past year and I am currently IP, although not for ED. I am sectioned at the moment but have been informal in the past which was much better. Would the hospital be a specialist ED unit?

I think it is up to you how much you declare if you go into hospital informally, I was always told that I didn't have to declare it but I would investigate that. Rethink can be useful for information.

I think IP can be good, it is a supportive break. You are encouraged to be responsible for yourself but with a lot of support (if that makes sense?) It can be boring sometimes, today I have watched TV, played Scrabble and done a jigsaw. The nurses are nice but it can be quite busy sometimes.

I suppose you need to weigh up what is right for you (no pun intended). Can you maintain things at home much more? If not it will affect your career anyway because there is a tipping point at which whether you want it to it has an impact on your life.

I am happy to answer any other questions you might have if that is helpful. I am so sorry things are so tough for you.

TheProvincialLady Sun 31-Mar-13 21:29:20

Thanks so much both of you for your replies. It's a relief to know that life, career etc goes on. I already have life insurance at least.

I am a bit worried about the other patients too, for similar reasons you describe Dancingqueen17. I have already encountered other anorexic patients in the outpatient waiting room and I do feel competition with them. Which is idiotic I know. Also, as I mentioned, my weight is not really that low (BMI about 16.2 but not stable..on the way down), whereas I think the unit is mainly used for people whose weight is critical. So I am anxious about being the largest one there. I do want to get better though.

I am also worried about what you actually DO there. And what I would be allowed to do - reading, internet, family, friends etc? I have no idea. And no idea how long I would be going for. It was just an idea that was mooted. Does it feel a safe or a scary place to be? And do you sleep on a ward or in a room of your own? What happens if you don't like or just can't face the food they provide? I have a lot of worries about it.

Babyheave I do feel that getting away from stressors would be helpful, but I feel so guilty about it too. I have a husband, children, job, etc etc. How will they all cope without me? Though in all honesty I am barely 'there' anyway a lot of the time.

Thanks so much again.

TheProvincialLady Sun 31-Mar-13 21:35:24

Oh thanks Fluffy, it took me so long to type my reply that I didn't see yours in the meantime. That is really helpful. Yes, it is a specialist ED unit and it would be voluntary. I will contact Rethink (not heard of them before). And yes you are right, clearly things are already in a bad way or I wouldn;t be at this point anyway. Family, home and work life are just about struggling along but it wouldn't take much for this to change - I have been in A&E twice in 6 weeks and although I can just about do my job at the moment it's only because I have been making a super human effort to eat. It could change at any time.

I'm going to have to go to bed now but I can't tell you how much your replies all mean to me, thanks so so much. And I am sorry about your own struggles. It's just hell isn't it.

Fluffydressinggown Sun 31-Mar-13 21:42:38

I can't answer about food because I actually don't eat the hospital food but I don't have an ED so it is different.

Every unit is different so I can answer for where I am smile

I have my own bedroom, it has a bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinet, a chair and a sink in it. Most things are 'anti-ligature' which means there are a lot of curvy surfaces and the door knobs are a bit odd! There are showers and baths, the showers and activated by motion sensors as are the sinks and toilet flushes.

My door locks behind me, which means it is safe whether I am in or out of it! Obviously the staff can override the lock (as they can for the bathrooms etc). They check on your regularly, including at night (they just look through your door, they don't wake you up). Your observation level can change depending on how you are, at the moment I am on constant obs which means I have someone with me all the time, but most people on the unit are checked once an hour. They can increase your observation levels at your risky times, so for example if it is an ED unit they might observe you more closely or ask you to stay in a communal area for a certain amount of time after meals.

I have my own laptop and a dongle here (but does depend on the unit), I also have my phone. You are not allowed chargers in your room but they will charge things for you in the office. I have a Kindle, colouring in, puzzle books, magazines... I also play Scrabble, cards, do jigsaws, crafty activities, sometimes with other patients, sometimes with the staff. There are specific staff who organise activities, but weekends can be quite dull. I watch TV a lot! There are lounges to sit in and tables and chairs if you want to do something at a table.

There is a laundry here but my husband takes my washing home for me. I have my own towel here and can change my bedding whenever I want. There are always fresh towels and linen available. I have all my own toiletries and make-up like I would at home. Razors are usually supervised but you can shave your legs etc.

I am sectioned and have quite limited leave (time away from hospital), so my husband mostly visits me here. He comes every day and they are pretty flexible on visiting. My friends have also visited me. Sometimes I find too much visiting a bit overwelhming so be aware of that! People here have their children visiting them, or they go out to visit them.

I self harm which has some similarities with ED, with other SIers I have to be very very aware of it becoming a competition. One girl here started to copy me which really upset me. You have to try really hard to focus on yourself and your recovery.

This is crazy long sorry! I hope it is helpful.

Dancingqueen17 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:43:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffydressinggown Sun 31-Mar-13 21:48:52

Oh and one last thing. It can be scary and it can be safe.

I think being IP (especially informally) can be what you make of it. It can be easy to get sucked into other people's drama, I am friendly but choose not to share my phone number etc with other patients. Use it as a time for recovery and space.

I am on a general unit so there is a wide mix of people so it can be noisy and a bit intimidating at times, I would imagine a more specialised unit to be a bit more peaceful. I have got used to it and the staff are very supportive and make me feel safe. I have to confess I have had the odd shouty moments (at staff blush) but I don't think I am scary!

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