I have just spent July 24th to Aug 3rd in a psych ward for major depression,recurrent. My psych doc and I jointly decided I was
severly depressed enough to warrant voluntary admission. At 48, I have had depression since my 20's. Also generalized anxiety
and panic disorder have been part of this crazy quilt. This is not all that unusual for this forum. People get in a rut, relapse and are hospitalized. Or worse we have suicidal tendencies or ideations. What makes this hospitalization fairly interesting is that I was hospitalized in a Veterans Hospital in Chicago.
In general, the VA does an excellent job. I have been hospitalized in the VA many times. This time was slightly different. Budget cuts have stripped services and care on the psych ward to the bare bones. The inpatient ward is severly understaffed, causing stress for nurses, doctors and patients. The result is diminished care for veterans.
Six or seven years ago a vet experiencing ptsd (post traumatic stress disorder) or any severe mood disorder could expect to be in the hospital for 28 days. This is no longer true. The average stay seemed to be about a week or two depending on the severity of the diagnosis. And yet, the VA staff is extremely kind and professionally qualified under these trying conditions.
We are even beginning to see Iraq War Vets trickle in. They are now becomming part of the VA system in increasing numbers.
This is not a political statement. It is rather a testament to staff and patients pulling together under trying times.
As for me? I was put on some new meds and am slowly getting better. I'm lucky to have the Veterans Administration there when I need it. I still am not quite stabilized but feel confident in doctor's choice of meds. I need a little more rest at home. Then, I see my outpatient doctor next week. This is good follow-up. I am confident that I will feel better soon.
The people on this site are also a big part of my recovery. Your posts and replies are a wonderful gift. I have learned a great deal by reading threads and replies. I am grateful to be a part of this site.My most difficult problem on this site is to be more open with you. I tend to take the focus off me.
I'm getting a little tired now. So thanks for reading this. And I wish all of us good days to come.
All Good Thoughts,
Post Edited (veteran1) : 8/4/2007 11:36:07 AM (GMT-6)