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Piano
Foie Gras For Free!
(04-23-2015, 10:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by SniperHunter

Ever since I discovered I had hardcore severe sleep apnea...after doing the sleep studies and buying the CPAP machine and using it daily since November 2014, my mental health has improved greatly. One thing is for sure, if I eat any wheat related foods, it fucks me up big time. Just last week, I ate 1 full plate of chow mein and I was an anxious mess the next day. If I stick to meat, fish, veggies and rice I am 100% good to go, zero anxiety problems.

My overall life has dramatically improved, however I wish I had discovered this 10 years ago. I am pretty sure I have been suffering from sleep apnea since grade 10 or 11, the condition really fucks up your brain big time. I feel bad for anyone suffering from this horrific and stealthy disease

Wow, I had no idea the effects of sleep apnea could be so far reaching. Did you snore? Is it possible to have sleep apnea if you don't snore?

Originally Posted by OCDChewie

Thanks for the kind words, support and comment on my avatar. I thought it looked really interesting when I found it on Google, and am a big fan as well.

Things are going better, but I'm still stuck in a huge rut and today had its ups and downs.

Ups and downs are (unfortunately) inevitable but I'm glad to here that things are going at least slightly better :)

Originally Posted by Bel Marduk

So...

I would like to check myself into a mental hospital for a few days because I'm under extreme emotional duress... only thing is, I haven't been to one since I was 15 and my parents sent me.

Will they detain me longer than that? I'm kind of scared to do it. What do I tell my job? Will my insurance even cover it?

What if its like the asylum on American Horror Story?

This has become necessary but I'm really scared.

I'm going to have to disagree with sineclamor; my experience was very different.

I've gone the in-patient route twice now and both were helpful experiences because I (a) did some research and checked myself in at a decent place and (b) I knew what to expect and what I needed to do. Allow me to explain.

The American mental health system is hopelessly overbooked. With scant few exceptions, any given metro area in the US doesn't have enough beds to treat all of those in need of mental health intervention at a given time. As a result many overtaxed mental health facilities have a constantly revolving door of patients, taking 48 or 72 hours to make sure a patient is able to stand up and basically exist before pushing them out the door toward outpatient treatment options. What option do they have? Whenever a new admission walks into the ER in a suicidal state of mind they have to find a way to take them in and due to so-so funding there is limited space.

There aren't any inpatient wards in the states that are like an asylum on American Horror Story but there are quite a few out there who will just kind of keep you for a few days without doing much, ask you if you're suicidal a few times and then let you go. Barring some sort of major malpractice the worst thing that happens is you have a strange and boring few days.

Luckily, if you ask around and research on the internet you should be able to figure out which inpatient treatment options in your area are just holding pens and which ones actually take the time to care for their patients. My two hospitalizations were in two different metro areas and both times I was able to get the low down on the best ER to show up to.

So, let's say you've found a decent place. There are still some things to keep in mind:

+You are giving up your privacy. For obvious liability and patient care reasons any hospital you check into will have you keep a close eye on you while you're there. Expect to have your things searched for any items you could hurt yourself (or others!) with and expect there to be strong limits on what you're allowed to do. Expect to have at least one roommate.

+You won't be getting tons of individual attention. There are a handful of doctors for dozens of patients so, naturally, you're not going to spend long one-on-one time with the doc past your initial intake. If it's a good ward they'll have other qualified folks check on you regularly and available to talk - mental health counselors, nurses, et cetera. The rest of your day will be filled with group activities from exercises to art therapy to discussions.

+You may get stir crazy. Between losing your stuff, being monitored constantly, having to stay in a ward, etc, etc, it's definitely not a vacation. Facilities vary on whether or not they even have a system for letting patients get some fresh air; the first facility I was at took us on walks every day, the second did not. Some people really can't stand how uncomfortable it is for them to lose control for a few days so they struggle against the system and argue and try to talk their way out. This is a losing bet; I'll explain why below.

So, with all of those hurdles why do I still think it's worth going into an inpatient treatment facility? Well, there are some serious benefits, too:

+You get to DROP EVERYTHING and focus on your recovery. I was in college during my first inpatient stint and boy did it take a load off of my shoulders to go into the hospital and narrow my focus for a bit. The facility I was at was kind enough to get in touch with my school for me and no school / workplace can ethically fault you for getting treatment at a hospital. I got to slow down the pace of my life and spent the better part of a week just doing jigsaw puzzles, drawing, contemplating my feelings, writing, and speaking with others who were going through their own struggles. The environment itself was pretty therapeutic. My only job was to think and talk about what was going on and work on making it better.

+Your medications can be changed MUCH more quickly. Both times I went inpatient a big component of my improvement were the changes made to my medications. A big advantage of being is a hospital is that, since you're in a controlled environment and they can monitor you, they're willing to move things around very quickly instead of nudging things for weeks like you do with an outpatient doctor. I was able to stop medications I didn't need cold turkey and start others immediately (at their instruction, of course!).

+You get a fresh perspective. Both times I was inpatient I was seeing an outpatient doctor but things had been getting worse anyways. It was a big help to have a new team of folks take a look at my situation and say "hmm, here's what we think is going on, here's what we think went wrong, and here's what we think you should do next."

+They can refer you to outpatient mental health providers. The hospital doesn't want to keep you forever. Their job is to stabilize you and then recommend what steps to take once you're discharged. Often this can mean putting you in touch with outpatient care resources in your area. Sometimes it'll be a continuing outpatient program offered through the hospital which makes for a very smooth handoff in care.

+You will meet some very interesting people. I don't mean that in a demeaning or voyeuristic way. I was blown away by the wide variety of people in the hospital alongside me, people from every walk of life, some of whom seemed as stable and ordinary as can be on the surface, all struggling with comparable problems. I had some truly amazing conversations with my fellow patients, listening at length to each others life stories and offering some gentle thoughts on each others' situations (remember to be respectful!). A conversation I had my first go around with a old Vietnam vet ended up influencing some big decisions I made down the road. On top of that, it can be therapeutic to be surrounded by this rag tag group of people and watch as some of them get better alongside you.

It all comes down to one simple point:

+You will get out of it what you put in. If you go in wanting to get out as soon as possible, are combative and defensive, refuse to participate in group activities and discussions, spend your time with the doctor complaining about the shortcomings of mental health treatment, etc, you probably won't get much of anything out of inpatient care. However, if you accept the discomforts of the situation, participate with the earnest intention of getting better, spend time preparing for your time with the doctor / advocate for your own cause(**), connect with those around you and keep an open mind you probably will get something out of it, provided you're in a decent facility.

**Seriously I can't emphasize how important this was for me. Ask for (or bring) some notebook paper and a pen and spend some of your free time in the ward logging your feelings. Figure out what's most important to tell the doctor in your 20 minutes and be prepared so you can make the most of it. If you have concerns write them down so you can voice them! The second time I went in I even showed up with some of the stuff I wrote from the first time and gave it to him straight away. He was kind enough to read it that evening and the next time we met he was mostly caught up on what was going on. Didn't have to waste time.

Overall, I regret neither of the times I went into the hospital, even if only because they made some major changes to my medications that really paid off. That being said you have to know what to expect and it needs to be part of a larger narrative of continuing outpatient care.

Sorry to go on so long, and as a disclaimer, this is just my experience (and those of a couple friends). I hope it was helpful and please let me know if you have any questions!

<3