Hospitalized for Depression at VA...

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 8/4/2007 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
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)

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/4/2007 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   


I have been hospitalized 3 times for depression and other things in the past and totally understand.  I hated being in there while it happened, but didn't realize how much it helped me till I got out.

I am glad that the hospital stay went well even with shortage in staff, if could have been really chaotic and negligent.

I wish you well in your recovery, and hope you get stabilized sooner than later.  This is a tough place to be and a place you have to work hard in.  So hang in there and know I am cheering for you.

Moderator, Bipolar
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
Dx:  Bipolar 1,  PTSD,  Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell:

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/4/2007 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Vet,

Hi, this is Kitt.  I understand about the VA cutbacks as I have heard that our own Minneapolis VA has gone through cut backs.

I know we are receiving PTSD patients here too and I hope they are able to get the help they so deserve.

I wish you peace and a huge thank you for being a veteran. :)

Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter


Another Day
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 8/4/2007 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Vet,
I'm glad that you knew that you needed to check yourself in for treatment.  Some times people don't know their limits.
I know a 23 year old  young man, much younger than my own daughters, who hasn't been back from Iraq even a year yet.  He has been trying to drink it all away.  He lives next door to me and I had been trying to watch out for him.  His father had told me a little bit about it.  This young man was ordered to keep driving when a little boy ran out in front of their vehicle.  The only way he knew how to deal with it was to turn to alcohol.  He had a pretty bad wreck a couple of weeks ago, he's o.k. and there was no one else involved.  He is in a 30 day alcohol treatment program.  I so hope he gets what he needs there as far as therapy.
He's a great kid.  I knew he was sad, but I didn't know how to reach him and I certainly wasn't going to divulge anything his father had told me.  I've never tried to help anyone who has been through what he has been through.  He has a deck on the back of his house and seems to take pride in it.  I potted several pots of flowers and set them on his deck.  He seemed really happy with this.  I could tell he really liked it when he arranged them the way he wanted them.  He had a nice landscaped area that he did last year that didn't have anything in it.  I asked him if he would like me to take care of that for him.  He couldn't believe I would do that for him.  That last week or so, he seemed so sad.  I know he can't afford a lot of expensive food and I knew that he liked shrimp, so I went and bought him some steaks and shrimp that he could cook on his grill and my granddaughter and I took it over to him.
Vet, in my own way I was trying to let him know that I cared.  Please tell me what else I could have done for him.  My heart breaks for this kid. 
I hope you continue to feel better.  Take good care of yourself.

Epilepsy, severe adult onset asthma, allergies, GERD, depression, hypothyroidism

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 8/4/2007 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Vet:  I am glad that you are feeling a little bit better.  You have always been an inspiration to me as you have been very caring and thoughtful in the advice you give in your posts and in chat.

I hope that you continue to make progress and if there is ever anything we can do for you please remember to ask.  I know that I would like to give back for a change.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 8/5/2007 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vet
I think the idea that they are cutting programs for the most important people in our world is just sickening.
I am so glad that you were able to get help and share your story.

Please stay strong

Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Off of all meds at this time...woohoo!!

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/5/2007 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, I am glad you went for help. Be strong...fight the good fight...keep the faith adn keep the light on, Annie  

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 8/6/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your kind replies. They meant a lot to me.
All Good Thoughts,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 9/1/2007 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Vet - I've been looking for've been on my mind so much. I'm very relieved to see you're still posting. I had no clue what you have been going through and am glad to know you're doing better. I can see there are so many who care about you, please count me among them.

Be well,
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