Updated: Dec 5, 2019
My forced stay at a psych ward recently would have cost about $45,000 without insurance. I experienced first hand, not just once, but the other times I've been in a psych ward, two other times in my life, the same things mentioned in this article. This is not a single location problem, this is not a state problem, this isn't even a national problem. This is happening worldwide, and MUST be stopped.
At the psych ward I was put in, if you didn't eat breakfast even if you were allergic, you would be forced to stay longer. If you didn't shower daily, you would be forced to stay longer. If you slept in, even 30 minutes, past morning time, you would be forced to stay longer. If you didn't go to bed on time, you'd be forced to stay longer. If you didn't take medication, either because you didn't want the side effects, or even if you were allergic, you would be forced to stay longer. If you didn't participate in groups, you would be forced to stay longer. If you didn't act completely neurotypical, and cooperate 100%, they would force you to stay longer. If you disagreed with any staff member, you would be forced to stay longer.
Any, and I mean ANY of the above, or even if they just decided, could be used to make you stay "involuntarily", making you a ward of the state; and then? Then you're there until they decide they don't want to make more money off you.
Can't talk due to meltdown or shutdown, or just non speaking in general?
They do not and would not give me an AAC device.
If you're involuntary, they don't even give you anything to write with.
I was forced on medication that I didn't want to go on, that I react VERY badly to, that literally is so toxic they would have to do monthly blood tests to make sure my body isn't dying, simply to "control my meltdowns".
I knew from previous stays that if I didn't listen to them 100%, I knew the above was guaranteed, so it took ALL of my mental strength to do what they wanted, no matter how much I was actually suffering. I did what I could to help others that were there too, who were new to psych wards, and had no idea the shit they were really in.
There are VERY few people in my life that I would say ever "needed" to be in a psych ward, but even they would be fine with, at most, a week stay. My first two times? Close to two weeks. This most recent time was 5 days. My first two times there I made the poor choice of trying to focus on myself to actually get better, but that isn't actually what they want. They want you to be what society considers "normal", as if anything you went in with was cured, and if you can't mask, or act like you're okay?
You're put on enough pills and tranquilizers to turn you into a mumbling zombie, and either they send you out like that, or they put you involuntary because you "clearly need more help".
"This is for your own good; Welcome to Hell."