How I Coped with Hospitalization for My Mental Health
My mental health caused me to visit a psychiatric hospital when I was 19 years old. I had never experienced hospitalization for my mental health, nor did I have adequate coping skills going in. In addition to my mental health deteriorating, I had just come out as a lesbian. I was searching to find my place in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. (LGBTQIA+) community. I found ways to cope once in the hospital, though. Read further to see what helped me cope during this dark time in my mental health past.
2 Ways I Coped with Mental Health Hospitalization
Mental Health Journaling Helped Coping with Hospitalization
Once inside the hospital, I spent the first 24 hours crying and begging to be released. Due to an incident of self-harm, I was told my stay would be 72 hours long. I had to divulge some of the emotions I felt surrounding this mental health crisis to cope with my hospitalization.
I began journaling in a composition notepad provided by the hospital. I wrote my confessions and thoughts in the present moment. I used this journal as a way to describe the feelings that I had bottled up. Journaling taught me to articulate my mental health needs instead of bottling them up.
Coping with Hospitalization by Finding LGBTQIA+ Support
I had entered the LGBTQIA+ community just weeks before my mental health deteriorated. I believe coming out added an extra layer of stress that my anxiety and depression just couldn't handle. Being admitted to the hospital left me much time to think about what I felt and what I needed. I had an aching need for a sense of belonging and support surrounding my recent coming out.
The hospital allowed us to go online during free periods in between groups. I was able to search out LGBTQIA+ support groups during this time. I even found LGBTQIA+ support groups specific to those of us battling mental health concerns. The social worker I was assigned to while hospitalized helped me arrange meetings with these groups. She also helped me secure ongoing sessions with an LGBTQIA+ mental health counselor. I left the hospital with 10 times more support for my mental health and LGBTQIA+ identity.
Being hospitalized for your mental health can be a scary and confusing time for most. If you are struggling to stay calm while inside, remember to search for coping skills that may help you pass the time or process your emotions.
How have you coped with past mental health hospitalizations? What coping skills did or did not work for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Nolasco, M. (2021, January 17). How I Coped with Hospitalization for My Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2021/1/how-i-coped-with-hospitalization-for-my-mental-health