Posts Tagged ‘PICU’

I was first hospitalised just over a week after my 22nd birthday. Since then in the last 3 & a bit years I’ve had 8 hospitalisations, 1 of which was for 2 years. The 1st one was after I severely self harmed, severely enough to warrant being admitted to the plastic surgery unit. It was a voluntary admission & I was admitted to the assessment ward where I was discharged after 3 days. I was incredibly unwell at the time & upon discharge I didn’t know what to do so I walked straight to the bridge where I was arrested under section 136 & ended up being detained under section 2 of the mental health act within a few hours of discharge. I was incredibly shocked at being sectioned & never thought it would happen to me. But it did happen & from there I ended up being detained for the next 2 years. Since discharge after those 2 years in November 2011 I’ve been hospitalised a further 6 times. Twice under a section, once partly sectioned partly informal & the 3 recent informal admissions. So does hospital help? Is it necessary? What are my experiences? Good? Bad? Those are some difficult questions to answer but I will try answer them as honestly as I can. My 1st admission was like a brief introductory to inpatient treatment. I felt relief at being admitted as myself & my life was one big chaotic mess & I was severely unstable at the time. However the relief was short lived as I was discharged after 3 days. I’m not sure why I was discharged after only 3 days because it was quite clear I was very unwell. The only thoughts I have on the issue is because of my diagnosis of bpd & the fact they do not generally like to admit people with bpd except for short “crisis admissions” of 72 hours. It was a bad experience really because I felt secure on the ward & then it felt like they just chucked me out to all the shit without anything being changed at all. In fact things were worse cos they told me at my discharge meeting that my cpn had been taken away from me. I remember being so angry & storming off the ward, I was incredibly desperate & walked straight to the bridge because I saw no other option than to end my life. Luckily I was intercepted by the police & from there detained for the 1st time under the mental health act. I was admitted back to the assessment unit but this time they decided to keep me in & I was sent to the treatment unit. I was there for only 4 days & then because of a couple of incidents was sent to the low secure psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU). Little did I know at the time I would spend the next 2 years in secure units. Indeed I was told the admission to PICU was for a short assessment. Within a few days of admission to the PICU I was placed on anti psychotic medication despite never having a period of psychosis in my life. It just seems that anti psychotic medication is a catch all treatment for anyone detained in hospital. It’s more about sedation than anything else & attempting to keep you quiet. I was a very angry person while on the PICU & often flipped out smashing windows, breaking doors & furniture. I was constantly being restrained, IM’d & secluded. For that reason I definitely think it was necessary to be in hospital & in a PICU. I was very unstable at the time & couldn’t have imagined being at any other place during that time. I guess there was no other option than being there but at the same time I guess it was a bit unhelpful because the staff were very attentive & I became so used to that & dependant on it. I guess that was the start of the slight institutionalisation I’ve developed. After a few months on the ward & my consistently unstable behaviour it was decided that I would be sent somewhere for treatment long term. Obviously they couldn’t discharge me given my mental state & behaviour nor could they keep me on the PICU long term. Funding was granted & I was to be sent onto a low secure specialist personality disorder unit. However in the month or so before I was transferred I did calm down significantly & I feel the right thing to do would of been to keep me on the PICU a while longer & be discharged into the community. However their minds had been made up & I was sent on to the personality disorder unit regardless. I’d been detained for 6 months on the PICU when I was transferred & I was desperate to get out of there despite it not being such a bad place to be looking back. At the time I was quite looking forward to going to the PD unit knowing it was private & thinking I’d get good quality care & treatment to help me get better, how wrong was I! It was a horrible place, strict, confined, incompetent & disorganised. I hated it so very much & from the moment I got there all I fixated on was getting out of the hell hole. Of cause I hated being there the whole 18 months I was there but at the start it was particularly difficult, I didn’t know how I was going to cope & make it through each day there. Of cause over time I got used to the place & it became more bearable but I still hated the place so much the entire time I was there. It was a forensic secure unit & as a consequence there was many rules & regulations which I found difficult to cope with, it felt like a prison at times. In the end, after 6 months of being there it took its toll & I got significantly unwell again after being quite stable for quite a few months. It was a very low point in my life, I was probably the most unwell I’d ever been & it was caused by being in a place that was meant to be making me better. It lasted about a month & in that time I was frequently placed on 2:1 observations. After being at my lowest the only way was up & I got better quite quickly. I progressed through all the things required of me to be discharged & eventually was after 18 months of being there. Being there was a bad experience & I don’t think I should have ever been sent there. Everybody else were under court hospital orders for committing crimes or had spent years being “revolving door patients”. The other patients often said they couldn’t believe I’d been sent there on my first detention under the mental health act & that I was incredibly unlucky. I remember my very first CPA meeting there my case manager said that the outcome of the PD pathways assessment I’d had while in the PICU concluded that the best treatment pathway for me would be a community based one but that the level of care I needed was unavailable in that area so the only option was hospital. It angered me so much when I found that out because how can they jump from community being better for me to placing me in a secure unit? It wasn’t the treatment I received that made me better enough for discharge either, rather the horrible experience of being there & the overwhelming desire to get out. If I’m honest I played the game, you had to if you wanted to get out. Of cause I pissed about & had a laugh pushing boundaries & being mischievous as that’s what made the place more bearable, having a sense of humour. But when it came to serious stuff I did what was required of me although mostly I faked engagement. We were pretty much forced to do DBT which I genuinely hated so much because of the circumstances in which I did it. I never had individual psychology sessions either until the nearing of my discharge cos of an incident that happened. The occupational therapist actually told me that there wasn’t enough therapy sessions to go around & cos I had no history of abuse I wasn’t priority. I could write so much about this place but I would be here for hours doing so. So in the end I was finally discharged. I thought I was better & so did they but I think the stable environment lead me into a false sense if security within myself. I fell apart pretty quickly after discharge & started self harming again. I really don’t think I got any benefit from being in that place. I think the admission to PICU was necessary but it should have ended there. That 2 year hospitalisation in some ways made me better but it many ways it has made me worse. It has destroyed my confidence so much, I didn’t have much confidence before but it totally shattered the tiny bit I did have. I am obviously a different person due to the experience but not necessarily for the good. I feel much weaker & less able to handle even the smallest of things. Of cause there’s the slight institutionalisation I developed while being in there too & this need for a high level of care & dependency I feel unable to be able to escape from. If I could go back I’d do anything I could to make me more stable while I was in PICU so I didn’t get sent to that place. As I said when I got out I went back to being unwell & it only took 4 months until I was hospitalised again. Firstly it was a short admission of about 5 days in march 2012 which was half informal half under a section 5(2). I don’t really remember much about that to be honest. About a week after that I ended up back in hospital under a section once more. I ended up on a PICU again but a different one as I was now back in my hometown whereas before I was away at university. The PICU in this area isn’t a secure unit however, just a locked unit. I spent 3 & a half weeks there before winning my tribunal & being discharged. I spent the first 2 weeks of that admission on 1:1 observations & frequently being restrained & IM’d before I settled down. I think that admission as much as I hated it was necessary as I was unwell again at the time. I also think it was helpful as it provided some relief & stability which lasted quite a few months until my next admission in October 2012. I was totally out of it at the time after putting my head through a window & attempting to jump in the river. I was sectioned again. I was sent to the normal acute unit for my town which is the most horrible unit. I hate the place & even professionals have agreed its not a nice place. I spent 5 days there before being sent on home leave with a view to come back in 5 days in order to be discharged. It was too soon though & I was still unstable & after a few days at home I ended up being recalled back to hospital but this time sent to the PICU again. I spent a week on the PICU before being discharged. I was better by this time & managed to stay out for a few months until my recent informal admissions to ward 18. I don’t think these 3 recent informal admissions have helped one bit. I think the first one was necessary but the last 2 were not. The first 2 were positive experiences but the third one spoiled that after I felt they chucked me out & went against what I thought was the plan of a longer admission to get me sorted. So overall it’s hard to say if hospital is helpful. Sometimes it’s definitely not helpful & indeed counterproductive. Sometimes it is useful & serves its purpose though. Sometimes as much as I hate it it is necessary too. I think it’s hard to know until after if an admission is the right thing to do. I do feel that because I’ve Been admitted & sectioned in the past they more readily admit you or section you. I guess hospital is never an ideal place to be & should be avoided if possible. They say they avoid it if they can all the time but it doesn’t always seem to be the case. Anyway I hope to avoid future admissions to acute units, PICUs & secure units as often they do more damage than good. In general my experiences of hospitals have been pretty negative & the positive experiences I have had are very much overshadowed by the really awful experiences. All in all I think hospital admissions aren’t good because even when they are being useful they are being damaging at the same time. The issue of hospital is a very complex & there are so many levels to it being bad & good