My First Time in an Institution – personally speaking
(Dec. 13, 2013) I vaguely remember lying awake that first night in a large room with maybe twenty beds occupied by other patients. Weird thoughts and fantasies raced through my brain as I tried to reconcile events and apparent reality with my recent grasp of what I had thought “real.” I don’t know how many days I stayed in this big room.
Over the next two and a half months, my feelings about being in this place would evolve. Initially I felt trapped in a strange and sinister place. I would later come to enjoy fellow residents, both patients and staff, and the freedom from stress-causing responsibilities, tasks or expectations. I adjusted to this strange new environment quickly.
We would meet with our psychiatrists rarely--perhaps once a week. I remember my psychiatrist as being quick to smile, soft-spoken and kindly. He would try very hard to get me to clearly explain what was going on in my mind, what I might have been thinking while doing the things that had gotten me there in the hospital and that sort of thing. It was initially very difficult to answer him.
There were many patients in the hospital near my age. Often when alone with other patients one would say to me, “I’d never tell my Doctor this but…”
I would eventually realize and accept that one only gets out of therapy what one puts into it. If I wasn’t open and honest with my therapist, he couldn’t help. I’m thinking, though, that I only got good at committing to sessions as the people I was dealing with seemed to regard me more as a person to work with and with whom to engage in two-way communication rather than as a defective object.
When my planned series of treatments were over, they started making plans for my release. The prospect of returning to the world was scary. Were my mental problems over? How would I cope with everyday stress, schoolwork and such? How would my friends and schoolmates treat me after I had been in Middletown? On the other hand, I still had hopes of a decent future, though my prospects had been severely damaged and I wanted to get on with my life.
- About Us
- Legal Resources
- Get Help