Today I walked into our hospital/clinic to go to a routine lab appointment.
The smell of the hospital reminded me of the time I was very sick and associated that hospital smell of being a safe place. This was before I had any experience with being inpatient. I deemed it a safe place because I hoped such a place would keep me safe from myself.
My first stay at a psych ward wasn’t perfect. I was scared, shy and uncooperative. Eventually I opened up and it was very beneficial to me. I stayed over a month and then was released.
But, because of the type of disorder I have (BPD) I would soon learn I would be discriminated against. I was a problem patient, a repeater, some thought I only wanted attention. I couldn’t be helped.
One hospital wouldn’t take me back and I still to this day think it’s because of my diagnosis.
Other places would take me, but you could tell the stigma was there. On some occasions I actually wanted to kill myself while on the psych ward because of how staff treated me.
I no longer see psych wards as safe places. Don’t get me wrong. They are incredibly with helping people through their struggle. But, they are not very equipped to deal with people with some of the more stigmatized disorders.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I last was hospitalized and I hope and pray things are changing.
I’m also very thankful that I was able to recover (mostly), lead a life I can be proud of, and try to help others too!