My Time in the Psychiatric Hospital

escription of my stay in a psychiatric ward for depression treatment. It wasn't like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It wasn't a vacation either.My psychiatric hospital stays were not what I expected. They were unpleasant, in that being in a psychiatric ward is almost like being in jail. You are not free to come and go, the windows all have tough screens or even bars on them. You aren't allowed to have anything not approved by your doctor or the ward staff. Visitors can only come two-hours a day and, even then, only a pre-approved list of people can visit. You are not allowed any rest during the day, as activities are planned all the time.

In short, I can't recommend it as a vacation destination.

However, my stay was pleasant in that I didn't experience any of the expected "horror stories" such as in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The ward staff was pleasant (but firm, very firm!). Everyone did their best to make a bad situation as comfortable as possible.

Bottom line is, if you or someone you know, has to check in to a psychiatric ward, don't be afraid to do it. It won't be fun, but it will be what you need. And it's not as bad as popular media depictions may lead you to believe.

My later inpatient stays were each followed by a few weeks in a "partial hospitalization" program. Even though you live at home, you spend 6-hours a day in intensive group therapy. In many ways, it's more intense than being an inpatient because the pace and depth of the therapy is much more advanced. I emerged with a true grasp of exactly how erroneous my thinking was, how distorted my perception of the world.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 30). My Time in the Psychiatric Hospital, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Last Updated: June 20, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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