"During my formerly frequent stays to various psychiatric facilities in NJ, I've met quite a few characters. They've ranged from scary violent psychos, to hilariously deranged schizophrenics, to the just plain bizarre. That statement also includes some of the people who worked there. Sometimes, the staff is just on the wrong side of the desk.
Needless to say, each separate hospitalization was a truly unique experience. That's right, the hospital can be fun."
During my formerly frequent stays to various psychiatric facilities in NJ, I've met quite a few characters. They've ranged from scary violent psychos, to hilariously deranged schizophrenics, to the just plain bizarre. That statement also includes some of the people who worked there. Sometimes, the staff is just on the wrong side of the desk.
Needless to say, each separate hospitalization was a truly unique experience. With all the E/N depression threads I've seen pop up, I think now is a good time to share some of the hilarity that an inpatient psych hospital can offer. That's right, the hospital can be fun.
My first hospitalization was at the age of 18, and it was voluntary, as I was suicidal and depressed over a failed relationship (yeah yeah e/n teenage angst). By voluntary, I mean I was presented the choice of A) Sign myself into Summit Hospital, a rather decent private psych facility. , or B) Be committed at Muhlenberg Regional, which is the catch man pysch hospital for my area and not exactly the nicest of wards.
My choice was obviously Summit. Summit really wasn't that bad, as far as hospitals go. The staff was mostly friendly unless you acted out, a few days into your stay you were allowed to go upstairs to the dining hall, provided you weren't completely fucked, designated smoke breaks, things like that. But what really made Summit ok was the patients. It wasn't designed for the violent psycho outburst patients I would run into later at Muhlenberg.
My first few days at Summit were mainly uneventful. There was group therapy, I learned how to play spades, and things were cool. Then came Dianne. Dianne was as paranoid a schizophrenic as they come. She was convinced the US Govt had turned her into a lesbian nun, which was odd, considering her boyfriend would visit her throughout her stay in the hospital.
We all pretty much learned to ignore her ranting and kind of walk away from her once she got going. Apparently, Dianne did not deal well with lack of attention. One day after lunch, all the Status 2's (those allowed to leave the wing and go upstairs to eat) were returning back into the wing to get our allotted two cigs for our after lunch smoke break. As the door opens, we heard screaming, singing and laughter all at once.
It seems Dianne had decided a great way to get attention would be to run around the wing completely naked while singing opera. The wing was small, so it only took the staff about 2-3 minutes to cut her off and finally subdue her. Even after her subsequent capture and injection of Ativan (Summit’s number one choice to chill us out), Dianne could still be heard singing from the confines of the quiet room for a good amount of time.
Sometimes I dream that I'm sitting in the back of the defunct Weinermobile as it careens driverless down the highway. At first I thought this was symbolic of the powerlessness I feel in life, but then I realized it's actually the Weinermobile's dream of being able to drive again.
Three years ago, when we were burying my uncle, Cleaver and some gross lady dog (Solstice???) showed up at the cemetery and starting going at it really loudly. It ruined everything and we had to have a "re-do" the next day and it cost a fortune. I've hated him ever since for that.
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