I was in a Psych unit on a 5150 as suicidal - the 72 hour hold lasted only 1 night (thank GOD, that place was a nightmare - meany, cold and disciplinary nurses
w/out even trying to know anything about you, having to put all of your belongings (including shoes, socks - anything you could hurt yourself with) in a locked closet.
Nothing in the room but white (I hate white and always have). My appointed Psychiatrist came in the next day and got me into what they call "the big house" (this was/is
in Pasadena, California, one of the places where all the famous people go for drug addiction). So in the big house, the entire downstairs is dedicated to severely depressed
(that was me), and in the 3 weeks I was there, I was on suicide watch a few times, they call them 1-on-1's, where you have this shadow-nurse follow you wherever you are,
including the bathroom (oh, joy). The upstairs was for the dual-diagnosed (drug addiction and depression or anxiety or one of those things). (I personally thought they should keep the depressed people upstairs because the upstairs people would party all night).
Then there were the cottages that fit, I think, 2 people that were spread throughout the "arboretum" which is what this particular Psych Ward was in the middle of. That's where the
famous people would stay.
We all ate in the same place and the food was actually good stuff!
I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar (I have/had severe depression and anxiety only, was not bipolar), so I would sleep 16-18 hours at a time, was constipated all the time, didn't know what drugs I was taking, was on the 15 minute check, so they open the door all night every 15 minutes and, like someone else said, the lights blaring in your eyes. (Thank God the girl next to me on the other side of the curtain "got out", so I took over her bed and it was much better.
It was actually a nice place, good food, excitement when we heard "Code White in the . . . [wherever]". We'd all run to see what was going on 'cause Code White meant all available personnel, security, etc. to that part of the hospital. We saw many things. It was the place that supposedly one of the Eagles wrote "Hotel California", but I have no idea if that's true or not. It's a very lovely place and it's scary because for part of the time I did not want to leave - ever. I had 2 loving cats at home (neighbors watching them - they forgot to "watch" my expensive plants which were all dead when I got home), and this place was almost delusional. I saw people go through the electrical thing they put on their heads - even walked in one of the rooms as they were hooking a girl I got to know up to have it done (they quickly kicked me out). Anyone who went in there came out not knowing who you were, where they were - very weird and wouldn't recommend it after seeing 2 people I know go through it.
Another friend of mine (he was a famous drummer for a (yuck) famous metallic band, walked right out of the place in the evening and called his wife from the Target across the street and down a ways in his pajamas! Visitors easily smuggled booze and drugs in to the upstairs people.
I hated the groups, I waited the whole time when doing my laundry, I always kept my portable CD player with me and never had anything stolen, not that it wouldn't have been very easy to do so in this place - open door policy.
We did have a group of pre-med students come through picking certain of us to "interview". The girl I got, I'm not certain she had much life experience as she didn't seem to understand a thing I was saying; although with all the over-medication from a misdiagnosis I was on, that could be why.
When I got out, I went to the inpatient for, I think, 3 months. When I was ready to leave there (hated, hated, hated it (it hurt my bunda sitting there all day and it was absolutely boring and I learned nothing from it), they had a meeting with me and wanted to put me back into the "big house". I went straight to the director's office and said "I'm fine and it's time for me to leave here and get on with my life." He signed me out and that was that. Didn't even say good-bye to anyone, just had to get out because there was such a pull to stay it scared me.
As I said, my plants were all dead, I tried Vocational Rehab twice (first time I couldn't even read the computer screen so that was that. The second time, I didn't have enough time left on the Long Term Disability to re-school/train for something else (dang it!) I could have become a Vet Tech or something I wanted to do, too! The Psychologist I saw after the hospital, well, that's a whole different story which I explained when I first came on here under "Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty" - there was another chapter.
I'm just glad to be where I am now. An a/sexual cat lady with incontinence now! lol (Don't worry, I do rescue work and take very good care of my 9 cats, most of which are special needs. Not one flea in my house, nope!)
Anyways, That was just a bitty-bitty part of my experience at a Psych Ward. Boy the stories I could tell!