my experience being hospitalized for depression
January 25, 2015
i finally have enough distance and the abilify they gave me has stopped clouding my brain, that i think i can write/process my experience of being involuntarily committed to a psych ward.
now. the ‘involuntary’ part isn’t quite as bad as it sounded. my family doctor (who filled in the form) let my partner come and get me instead of calling the cops, which was a big blessing. bc cops… yeah. do not want.1
the entire experience was generally dehumanizing and degrading, especially from the perspective of a trans woman. why? bc literally everyone (except most of the nurses in the psych ward) misgendered me. or used my dead name. like… for some mysterious reason, in the emergency room, when i gave them my health card which has both my new name AND the gender marker ‘f’, they managed to dredge up my deadname and call me that. which sort of set the tone for my stay.
i think the thing i struggled with most, the first day especially once i realized i wouldn’t be allowed any electronics with a camera, was the isolation and boredom. like…. wow. it is also super bizarre because a lot of the literature around depression and mental health will stress the importance of having a social support network… but being in the psych ward basically isolates you with strangers. and if u have a certain amount of social/agoraphobia like i do… this basically amounts to solitary confinement. i spent most of the first day (before my bf was able to visit and bring my gameboy and paper books) sleeping or just… idk. wallowing in my depression and truly wishing i had just never said anything to my doctor at all.
when i did see the psychiatrist he… also misgendered me. and then was SUPER INTERESTED in my gender despite me repeatedly saying that it didn’t really bother. and it doesn’t. what bothers me about my gender is the way that ppl like HIM can’t seem to respect it and treat my like some inhuman monster bc of it. like… sorry, buddy, that i didn’t have some tragic trans woman story to titillate ur prurient interest in my genitals, but can we focus on the issue at hand?
also fun was the way he dismissed certain things happening in my life which have been so stressful and anxiety inducing that i’m having panic attacks (again) for the first time in years. he kept saying “these things are just stressors, they won’t last” and i’m like…
(unless it is chronic)
SO IS DEPRESSION.
i’ve been depressed before. i know, intellectually, that it doesn’t last forever.
HOW DOES THIS STUNNING INSIGHT HELP ME THIS EXACT SECOND WHEN I WANT TO DIE AND AM THINKING ABOUT ACTUALLY MAKING THAT HAPPEN?
why is psychiatry fundamentally based on a principle of ‘it gets better’.
as far as i’ve been able to tell from my life experience, it doesn’t ever get better. yes. things will cycle so that for a few blessed months, i’ll feel great and outgoing and engaged in the world only to crash into another major depression
(sound like bipolar II to you? me too…. but apparently the psychiatrist i was talking to considers bipolar I to be the only bipolar)
day two, of being in the hospital, the daytime nurse kept asking me if i was leaving… like every other hour it seemed. which made me feel guilty for taking up space/time/resources that might be better allocated to ppl in more dire situations than mine. oh. the psych ALSO triggered my excessive guilt by saying he’d be mad/disappointed if i left early…
i eventually decided to leave when my bf was late to visit and i was feeling unloved and unimportant and disposed of. when i finally managed to get ahold of him, he agreed (independently) that being in the hospital was worse for me than staying.
i think i finally have given up hope that there’ll be any help from the medical system.
i don’t care anymore.
here are the things that i know:
- no one cares about me. not really. i have ppl who love me and are invested in my well-being, but most of them are really far away. and that’s cool. but i’m realizing that this… distance poses certain problems for support and, even more importantly, pretty much everyone i know is disabled themselves and… i honestly want them to take care of themselves before caring about me. so this isn’t a ‘fuck u, u don’t care about me, i blame u for everything’. i get it. i approve of it. but there has never been anyone who took care of me (who was in a position to do so). no one wants to or is able to. and… i think i really need to make my peace with this. i thought things would be different after i got into a relationship, but i’m realizing that i was… idk. hoping for too much. i’m not important or lovealbe enough to actually be the sort of person ppl support or care about. and. once upon a time i understood this and was ok with it. and so i will be again.
- bc no one cares about me, i’m not sure why i thought that random strangers in the health care system with two fucking bachelors degrees (doctors) would actually give a shit about me. they don’t. and they never will unless i’m paying them directly, out of my own pocket, which might be somethng i need to do.
- i’m giving up on the medical system. i was thinking about trying to get an ‘official’ dx for autism, but what is the point? i’ve reached a point, esp. after talking with the first psych two weeks ago, where i realize that no one is going to help me re: disability. bc… like, the only thing i was ever really good at was school and this means that having obtained success in that one, specialized environment, no one is willing to concede that i could struggle in a different, less artificial, environment. – i’m human garbage and… soon enough everyone will dispose or abandon me. – and when this happens, that will be when i kill myself.