I'm a 16 year old patient treated here for "Self harm", though that's not even what I admitted myself for.
The staff you first see when you get there seem likable enough (and the outside + waiting room look luxurious, my first thoughts were "Oh, this reminds me of church camp! Maybe this won't be so bad..", But it was very bad.
The first night went okay, aside from the necessary strip search and blood test. But the first morning was the worst. It may be different in the adult unit, but if you love your child do not send them to bridgeway.
The first day I had 4 panic attacks, was yelled at by the weekend staff for unintentionally doing so and was sectioned off to the back rooms for three days because of it. His exact words were "If you're going to keep acting like that, you'll stay back here". I was alone with one other person who kept picking paint off the walls. We hyperventilated practically in sync.
I didn't even get to see the doctor until the next day. And even when I did, even when I told him I was recognizing faces on the walls and my vision was constantly clogged by hallucinations, he said nothing. Actually the only things he did say (Other than asking routine questions) was a correction of a word I used at 7 am. Like my grammar is my biggest problem..?
Anyway, The first thing we did that morning was write our own obituaries and eulogies. Yes, even the ones who were committed there for attempting suicide... Actually, especially the ones who attempted suicide, making them write down the specific dates of their attempts... Morbid, Right? He said "This is probably the best thing I've ever thought up"
He was proud of this.
The daily trip out to the rec room seemed okay enough. Until I met the woman who apparently "Knows what [she's] doing". A person my age had a seizure and because she was not convulsing on the floor she found it fit to force her to continue what she wanted us to do and made fun of her. I had a panic attack a couple days later, started disassociating and I could not collect myself at all. I asked if I could have someone help me back to the main building so I could lay down and she told me to keep walking because there "Wasn't enough staff" to come get me. I eventually I had to sit down, and the only people who cared were the other people committed, asking every time they came around the room if I was okay and what was wrong and if they could help. The staff there did not take 2 seconds out of her time to even look at me.
Not a single person the entire time payed attention to me singularly, other than the nurses who might have been the only people there capable of empathy. The only things they recognize as conditions that are 'important' are self harm and suicidal ideation. In fact, despite my self-harming habits, the counselor assigned to me spoke with my mother with me in the room and told her there was nothing wrong with me, and I didn't need to be there.
They don't treat you like you're human.
I had nightmares for 2 months after I left, of being stuck there, being stuck in some sort of labyrinth that my brain recognized as a hospial. This experience is not something I would like to relive, and definitely not one I would recommend you put yourself or your child through just because they act bitter towards you.
October 02, 2014