Did this happen to me?
When I went into Hospital, I was very ill.
I was seriously depressed. I was heavily medicated, and 100 per cent dependent on my parents.
The only help we could find was a hospital bed, miles from home.
We jumped at it, to be honest.
No-one knew what else to do.
I was relieved to be offered help.
The hospital was an old building, but well maintained.
It was clean, lit up at night, and warm.
There were no dark corners, and I was glad to be around people.
There were young people there, who were friendly to me.
They would share make up, and take me for coffee.
However, once I recovered from the Depression, I began to have problems.
I could not do the Therapy. It was intense, and very hard.
I was shouted at a lot, and I began to fear the Staff.
Patients around me were disturbed, and tried to commit suicide.
It was a stressful environment.
So why do I want to go back, even years later?
One reason is I live with mental illness alone. I was never offered supporting services when I returned home.
I have to find the answers inside myself.
I feel that I live without a safety net.
I miss the ‘security’ of a hospital, the sense of Doctors and Nurses around.
I was there during my formative years, and so I developed the same dependency on the hospital that teenagers develop on their parents.
I still believe that a hospital is the wrong place for a teenager, but I cannot change current policy.
I wish teenagers received better support in the Community, and did not need to go down this road.
I was there too long, and I forgot how to catch a bus, live at home, all the little things.
Those everyday things are important,..going to a Supermarket, cooking dinner. People do all this without thinking about it. But if we are in a hospital, we begin to forget.
I think, in my case, I did become institutionalised. I forgot how to live in the World. I became dependent on the Nurses. I struggled to regain my footing in the real World when I returned.
Also, some things are so easy in hospital. We do not have to work or study, we can do nothing all day if we want to. There is tea and coffee laid on. At night I could have Hot Chocolate, and a treat before bed.
When we go home, we have to do everything for ourselves.
Some hospitals are like a Hotel.
It can become addictive to stay there. I used to soak in a bubble bath every morning, before getting a full fried breakfast of bacon, eggs, all the rest and toast.
One hour later, there was tea and pastries.
This can seem a luxurious lifestyle, especially as when we go home, we no longer live this way.
I still think of the hospital, and part of me wants to go back.
I believe that I did become institutionalised.