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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was hospitalised voluntarily in the state hospital back in the mid sixties, I suffered from DP that was so intense and terrifiying at times that I would stay in the same chair or lying in bed in the fetal position fearful of moving because of delusions about my arms and legs seperating from my body, or my "ego" falling out of my head. I have heard that in the past this mentally induced paralyisis (SP?) was sometimes referred to as a "catatonic attack". Often I had to be physically forced to take care of my personal hygienne such as showering, brushing my teeth etc. But once they stopped force feeding me anti psychotic meds I began to gradually improve. As I have stated before I was then placed on valium three times a day. It helped quite a bit at first but didn't really stop the DP/DR. But definetly reduced my intense anxiety level. I was taking about 80 mgs per day.

I think I benefitted a great deal by my almost two year stay for a variety of reasons. Particularly feeling I was in a secure environment sheltered from many of the harsh realities of the world, it was an environment where one could just let go and be "crazy" if you needed to.

I remember reading a book some of you may be familiar with entitled "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", written a long time ago about a young girl hospitalised with schizophrenia, long before the advent of the psych drugs such as those which are currently in use. She tells in this book how she felt a sense of relief when she would be transferred to the ward for the most exremely disturbed mental patients as she could just yield to her mental illness giving up the fight for a while and no more pretexts.

I could relate to that very much. A desire to just give in to my illness, let it have its way with me. Sometimes I got very tired making any attempt what so ever to improve.

But one of the most important features in addition to experience of being able to face ones "madness" in its full intensity while in a safe environment was the daily structure the hospital provided. Meals at certain times, meds at certain times, for those capable of functioning, specific hours to engage in "on grounds" work activities, of course getting up at a certain time everyday, bedtime at a certain time etc. This enforced structure for many of the patients had a very reassuring therapeutic effect upon them. Personally I feel this arranged outer structure allowed me to rebuild some semblance of an inner structure of a self after my breakdown. I feel it was a sad day when the state hospitals were closed down in my state (California) within a year or so after I was discharged at my request.

The state had a plan to turn the mental health needs of the patients over to community mental health centers partially in part because they felt that many of the patients in the state hospital system were becoming institutionalised, but I think it quickly became clear that it was primarily an effort to save tax dollars at the expense of societies often mostly vulnerable for these community mental health centers never really got off the ground.

Before they closed the hospitals patients knew that there was a place of sanctuary from the world if things got really bad. Such sanctuaries I am afraid are a thing of the past. Particularly for those of limited monetary means.

Many claim that the new class of meds have made these public funded mental hospitals unneccessary. I disagree. Has anyone else here ever been in a state mental hospital?
While my experience was certainly no "Rose Garden" all the time, at least i felt secure and relatively safe while i was there. Particularly after the med problem had been sorted out. And being there was exactly what I needed at that time to get my life back on some sort of track.

Can anyone relate to what I am saying?

sincerely
John
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
When I was hospitalised voluntarily in the state hospital back in the mid sixties, I suffered from DP that was so intense and terrifiying at times that I would stay in the same chair or lying in bed in the fetal position fearful of moving because of delusions about my arms and legs seperating from my body, or my "ego" falling out of my head. I have heard that in the past this mentally induced paralyisis (SP?) was sometimes referred to as a "catatonic attack". Often I had to be physically forced to take care of my personal hygienne such as showering, brushing my teeth etc. But once they stopped force feeding me anti psychotic meds I began to gradually improve. As I have stated before I was then placed on valium three times a day. It helped quite a bit at first but didn't really stop the DP/DR. But definetly reduced my intense anxiety level. I was taking about 80 mgs per day.

I think I benefitted a great deal by my almost two year stay for a variety of reasons. Particularly feeling I was in a secure environment sheltered from many of the harsh realities of the world, it was an environment where one could just let go and be "crazy" if you needed to.

I remember reading a book some of you may be familiar with entitled "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", written a long time ago about a young girl hospitalised with schizophrenia, long before the advent of the psych drugs such as those which are currently in use. She tells in this book how she felt a sense of relief when she would be transferred to the ward for the most exremely disturbed mental patients as she could just yield to her mental illness giving up the fight for a while and no more pretexts.

I could relate to that very much. A desire to just give in to my illness, let it have its way with me. Sometimes I got very tired making any attempt what so ever to improve.

But one of the most important features in addition to experience of being able to face ones "madness" in its full intensity while in a safe environment was the daily structure the hospital provided. Meals at certain times, meds at certain times, for those capable of functioning, specific hours to engage in "on grounds" work activities, of course getting up at a certain time everyday, bedtime at a certain time etc. This enforced structure for many of the patients had a very reassuring therapeutic effect upon them. Personally I feel this arranged outer structure allowed me to rebuild some semblance of an inner structure of a self after my breakdown. I feel it was a sad day when the state hospitals were closed down in my state (California) within a year or so after I was discharged at my request.

The state had a plan to turn the mental health needs of the patients over to community mental health centers partially in part because they felt that many of the patients in the state hospital system were becoming institutionalised, but I think it quickly became clear that it was primarily an effort to save tax dollars at the expense of societies often mostly vulnerable for these community mental health centers never really got off the ground.

Before they closed the hospitals patients knew that there was a place of sanctuary from the world if things got really bad. Such sanctuaries I am afraid are a thing of the past. Particularly for those of limited monetary means.

Many claim that the new class of meds have made these public funded mental hospitals unneccessary. I disagree. Has anyone else here ever been in a state mental hospital?
While my experience was certainly no "Rose Garden" all the time, at least i felt secure and relatively safe while i was there. Particularly after the med problem had been sorted out. And being there was exactly what I needed at that time to get my life back on some sort of track.

Can anyone relate to what I am saying?

sincerely
John
 

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i haven't been in a mental hospital and, being honest, am terrified of the thought. my thoughts of them are down to reading one flew over the cuckoos nest, and doctors giving brains electric shocks. i honestly believe that any other alternative is better than shock treatment. maybe i'm misinformed?
however having been in hospital for a bit recently i found the routine calming. also getting back to work after the summer holidays i have found the routine helpful. re turning to work was, however, only possible because the dp was lifting. when in an intensely dped state this isnt an option.
 

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i haven't been in a mental hospital and, being honest, am terrified of the thought. my thoughts of them are down to reading one flew over the cuckoos nest, and doctors giving brains electric shocks. i honestly believe that any other alternative is better than shock treatment. maybe i'm misinformed?
however having been in hospital for a bit recently i found the routine calming. also getting back to work after the summer holidays i have found the routine helpful. re turning to work was, however, only possible because the dp was lifting. when in an intensely dped state this isnt an option.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi pdr

The hospital I was in did have a little of the quality of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest in the sense that there were various types of wards for different degrees and types of illness. Such as the maximum security wards for men or women, where one was locked up 24/7 unless one had a job on the hospital grounds or had earned "ground priveliges", then there were the open wards which which generally had an unlocked door policy during the daylight hours and were usually coed with seperate dorms for the men and women.

One of my first jobs on the locked ward was to assist with the ect or shock treatments. It was my job to help prepare the bedding where the patients were to recieve their "treatment" and also I was responsible to push the cart that held the shock machine form one patient to the next. Usually there were between 12-15 patients recieving ect layed out on the beds in a large room.

It did seem to help quite a few of them, especially if their mind had become fixated on some horrific delusion or they were practically immobile through deep depression.
Often the benefits were temporary, perhaps lasting a few months, then the patient was subjected to another series of treatments generally between 6-18 sessessions. I myself was in such psychic pain that I once requested and recieved three of them (and this was after a thorough understanding what what was entailed). When the regular ward psychiatrist returned from vacation he stopped them saying they were contra-indicated in my case.

Today it is a much less gruesome procedure as i understand it.

Sometimes todays medication make such procedures unneccessary. But it is my understanding that "ect" is still used in certain cases.

john
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi pdr

The hospital I was in did have a little of the quality of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest in the sense that there were various types of wards for different degrees and types of illness. Such as the maximum security wards for men or women, where one was locked up 24/7 unless one had a job on the hospital grounds or had earned "ground priveliges", then there were the open wards which which generally had an unlocked door policy during the daylight hours and were usually coed with seperate dorms for the men and women.

One of my first jobs on the locked ward was to assist with the ect or shock treatments. It was my job to help prepare the bedding where the patients were to recieve their "treatment" and also I was responsible to push the cart that held the shock machine form one patient to the next. Usually there were between 12-15 patients recieving ect layed out on the beds in a large room.

It did seem to help quite a few of them, especially if their mind had become fixated on some horrific delusion or they were practically immobile through deep depression.
Often the benefits were temporary, perhaps lasting a few months, then the patient was subjected to another series of treatments generally between 6-18 sessessions. I myself was in such psychic pain that I once requested and recieved three of them (and this was after a thorough understanding what what was entailed). When the regular ward psychiatrist returned from vacation he stopped them saying they were contra-indicated in my case.

Today it is a much less gruesome procedure as i understand it.

Sometimes todays medication make such procedures unneccessary. But it is my understanding that "ect" is still used in certain cases.

john
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Keep in mind that my experiences were back almost forty years ago. I am certain there have been some changes in how the more "modern" hospitals are run than they were when I was there.

On a postive note it has been almost forty years and I haven't up to this point felt the need to consider hospitalization as an option for me.

Also I take very little psych medication. Just a daily low to moderate dose of Xanax for control of anxiety and the occasional panic attack, as well as to help me sleeep. I am very comfortable with Xanax as I don't feel wierd or frightened from its effects. I imagine I will probably be taking it or something similar for the rest of my life. I hope dakotajo is wrong about permanent brain damage from benzos, actually I find that hard to believe but it may actually be true in some cases.

I have read that the neuraleptic (anti psychotic ) drugs I was forced to take initially have been proven to cause brain damage but common medical ethics feels that the tradeoff of having some sort of life made that decision to prescribe known brain damaging drugs a reasonable option.

I don't know if there has been any research done on the ssri class of drugs and whether or not long term use causes brain damage. I have read here on this site as well as other places that there are law suits pending against the manufactorers of these drugs. But perhaps that is just more media hype similar to that originally associated with the benzos. Heck, as far as I know severe anxiety and panic attacks may cause brain damage. It certainly doesn't feel as though it does anyone any good.

It is interesting, at least to me, that that segment of society found to be most actively abusing the benzos particularly valium when it first became popular were doctors. At least I have read such accounts Whether or not they are true I couldn't say for certain.

john
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keep in mind that my experiences were back almost forty years ago. I am certain there have been some changes in how the more "modern" hospitals are run than they were when I was there.

On a postive note it has been almost forty years and I haven't up to this point felt the need to consider hospitalization as an option for me.

Also I take very little psych medication. Just a daily low to moderate dose of Xanax for control of anxiety and the occasional panic attack, as well as to help me sleeep. I am very comfortable with Xanax as I don't feel wierd or frightened from its effects. I imagine I will probably be taking it or something similar for the rest of my life. I hope dakotajo is wrong about permanent brain damage from benzos, actually I find that hard to believe but it may actually be true in some cases.

I have read that the neuraleptic (anti psychotic ) drugs I was forced to take initially have been proven to cause brain damage but common medical ethics feels that the tradeoff of having some sort of life made that decision to prescribe known brain damaging drugs a reasonable option.

I don't know if there has been any research done on the ssri class of drugs and whether or not long term use causes brain damage. I have read here on this site as well as other places that there are law suits pending against the manufactorers of these drugs. But perhaps that is just more media hype similar to that originally associated with the benzos. Heck, as far as I know severe anxiety and panic attacks may cause brain damage. It certainly doesn't feel as though it does anyone any good.

It is interesting, at least to me, that that segment of society found to be most actively abusing the benzos particularly valium when it first became popular were doctors. At least I have read such accounts Whether or not they are true I couldn't say for certain.

john
 

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hi john

as far as i know in recent times there is a muscle relaxant given and ect is done under brief anesthesia. the shocks still give a 30 second seizure within the brain just the person isnt aware of it. anyway i'm glad your doctor at the time stopped you getting any more.

i'm on an ssri so hopefully it wont do any more damage than the voluntary drugs i've taken and involutary anxiety/panic/dp i've had have already done :)
 

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hi john

as far as i know in recent times there is a muscle relaxant given and ect is done under brief anesthesia. the shocks still give a 30 second seizure within the brain just the person isnt aware of it. anyway i'm glad your doctor at the time stopped you getting any more.

i'm on an ssri so hopefully it wont do any more damage than the voluntary drugs i've taken and involutary anxiety/panic/dp i've had have already done :)
 

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Dear John,
I've never been hospitalized for my DP, anxiety, depression, etc., but I will say I've had my share of odd physical ailments that have gotten me into the hospital over the years.

Retinal detachments, one eye required surgery. Bad sinus mess which required one surgery to remove my tonsils at around 38? and do miserable things on my sinus' later that year (took me about a year to recover, the guy was a butcher.)

When being "taken care of" in the hopsital, or also sometimes in the past when being in a doctor's office for a checkup even, I've felt a "calm" ... a sense of "safety". I used to go to Cedars-Sinai... all of my doctors save one were there. It was familiar, comforting, and I could "loosen up" a bit, and the DP/DR felt less. I felt if something bad happened someone could take care of me.

I understand what you're saying. And will also say the structure of all of that is important too. When I isolate myself, as I have been recently, my word, my muscles aren't being used, my brain is mush, and I feel like Hell. If I get out, find routine, structure, familiarity, I DO feel better, but it is a HUGE effort.

Also, re: "Cuckoo's Nest" ... indeed that was a very negative portrayal of the worst of the State Hospitals in the '60s. And really there are no State Hospitals anymore... as you said John... and also no decent half-way care, so we're in a mess.

In Rose Garden (I love that book) I believe she was in a private hospital, but I may be wrong. The book was "fiction" based on her life, but the private psych hospitals that exist today are very supportive, but extremely expensive. Sort of pisses me off. Very few are able to go to them.

I visited a state hospital in the 80s as part of an excellent psych class. We went once a week in the evening for 3-4 hours. We were assigned a patient, and were to interact with that person. These were the last remaining people in the State Institutions. Beyond help, beyond family, and I didn't see abuse or mistreatment. And the student program was constant, a great idea.

I remember laughing with the ladies. (We girls were on the ladies' ward, the boys on the mens'). We'd bake cupcakes, play BIngo, draw pictures. This one black woman kept talking about how she was the mother of the Osmond Brothers, LOL. Another woman, while we'd play Bingo (which NO ONE knew how to play) would EAT the Bingo chips and cigarette butts.

OIY.

Also, my mother lived in an expensive nursing home for 10 years with Alzheimer's. The best of the best. Not much $ left, but thank GOD she had that money. Though a locked ward, and as full of ridiculous carrying on as the Bingo crowd, it was a beautiful, humane place. This is the goal of hospital architects, designers, providers, as the population ages there will be more of this type of housing available.

I wish there were more/better Board and Care facilities for the mentally ill.

You're very brave John. More power to you!

Take Care,
D
Sorry for the ramble. :shock:
 

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Dear John,
I've never been hospitalized for my DP, anxiety, depression, etc., but I will say I've had my share of odd physical ailments that have gotten me into the hospital over the years.

Retinal detachments, one eye required surgery. Bad sinus mess which required one surgery to remove my tonsils at around 38? and do miserable things on my sinus' later that year (took me about a year to recover, the guy was a butcher.)

When being "taken care of" in the hopsital, or also sometimes in the past when being in a doctor's office for a checkup even, I've felt a "calm" ... a sense of "safety". I used to go to Cedars-Sinai... all of my doctors save one were there. It was familiar, comforting, and I could "loosen up" a bit, and the DP/DR felt less. I felt if something bad happened someone could take care of me.

I understand what you're saying. And will also say the structure of all of that is important too. When I isolate myself, as I have been recently, my word, my muscles aren't being used, my brain is mush, and I feel like Hell. If I get out, find routine, structure, familiarity, I DO feel better, but it is a HUGE effort.

Also, re: "Cuckoo's Nest" ... indeed that was a very negative portrayal of the worst of the State Hospitals in the '60s. And really there are no State Hospitals anymore... as you said John... and also no decent half-way care, so we're in a mess.

In Rose Garden (I love that book) I believe she was in a private hospital, but I may be wrong. The book was "fiction" based on her life, but the private psych hospitals that exist today are very supportive, but extremely expensive. Sort of pisses me off. Very few are able to go to them.

I visited a state hospital in the 80s as part of an excellent psych class. We went once a week in the evening for 3-4 hours. We were assigned a patient, and were to interact with that person. These were the last remaining people in the State Institutions. Beyond help, beyond family, and I didn't see abuse or mistreatment. And the student program was constant, a great idea.

I remember laughing with the ladies. (We girls were on the ladies' ward, the boys on the mens'). We'd bake cupcakes, play BIngo, draw pictures. This one black woman kept talking about how she was the mother of the Osmond Brothers, LOL. Another woman, while we'd play Bingo (which NO ONE knew how to play) would EAT the Bingo chips and cigarette butts.

OIY.

Also, my mother lived in an expensive nursing home for 10 years with Alzheimer's. The best of the best. Not much $ left, but thank GOD she had that money. Though a locked ward, and as full of ridiculous carrying on as the Bingo crowd, it was a beautiful, humane place. This is the goal of hospital architects, designers, providers, as the population ages there will be more of this type of housing available.

I wish there were more/better Board and Care facilities for the mentally ill.

You're very brave John. More power to you!

Take Care,
D
Sorry for the ramble. :shock:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that if i ever got to the point of feeling the need to go to a mental hospital, it would probably be the beginning of the end for me. I imagine that i would probably become very depressed that i would even have to be there.

John, so you were having delusions from DP/DR & Anxiety???

I don't know much about Mental Hospitals as a whole, but i do know the on here is free if you have insurance and the place is VERY VERY NICE. Its huge, & its more than just a hospital they have all sorts of offices & research centers. My first psychiatrist used to work there so thats how i know how the place is. It reminded me of a college campus.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think that if i ever got to the point of feeling the need to go to a mental hospital, it would probably be the beginning of the end for me. I imagine that i would probably become very depressed that i would even have to be there.

John, so you were having delusions from DP/DR & Anxiety???

I don't know much about Mental Hospitals as a whole, but i do know the on here is free if you have insurance and the place is VERY VERY NICE. Its huge, & its more than just a hospital they have all sorts of offices & research centers. My first psychiatrist used to work there so thats how i know how the place is. It reminded me of a college campus.
 

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Right after my rapid withdrawal from klonopin, I admitted myself to a locked mental ward for 24hours. I didnt want to go but I was so desperate for anybody to take the physical and mental pain away and a bed in a mental ward was the only option give to a person in my state. My doctor(same one who got me hooked on benzos) claimed it was a good idea so they could monitor my constant 200/120 blood pressure. I was next to dead(literally)..I could barely walk or talk and my vision was completely yellow. I burned from head to toe and I had anxiety so bad it was indescribable. They gave me some vitamins and told me I just needed to talk to a counselor. These people had no fucking clue! I barely had enough strength to walk and they thought I would benefit from a counselor? I had burning pain so bad it felt like somebody had threw gasoline on me and lit me on fire and they thought a counselor was going to take the pain away? I told everbody there to get fucked and I laid in my bed and listened to the crazy people scream and the clock tick on my wall all night long. I was the longest and worst night of my whole life. I knew I had to get out of that place if I wanted to maintain my sanity. I truly believe my doctor knew I was severely addicted to the klonopin and he had taken my off too quickly. He also knew I was next to a stroke and didnt want me to leave the hospital. I told him Id be leaving when my 24hours was up wether he like it or not. The only thing I wanted to see when I left that place is a mushroom cloud in my rear view mirror. The only thing that has healed me is time away from these sick fucks and their pills. Its taken me 2 full years to recover from the damage these people did to me. As long as I live, Ill never go back to a place like that again.

Joe
 

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Right after my rapid withdrawal from klonopin, I admitted myself to a locked mental ward for 24hours. I didnt want to go but I was so desperate for anybody to take the physical and mental pain away and a bed in a mental ward was the only option give to a person in my state. My doctor(same one who got me hooked on benzos) claimed it was a good idea so they could monitor my constant 200/120 blood pressure. I was next to dead(literally)..I could barely walk or talk and my vision was completely yellow. I burned from head to toe and I had anxiety so bad it was indescribable. They gave me some vitamins and told me I just needed to talk to a counselor. These people had no fucking clue! I barely had enough strength to walk and they thought I would benefit from a counselor? I had burning pain so bad it felt like somebody had threw gasoline on me and lit me on fire and they thought a counselor was going to take the pain away? I told everbody there to get fucked and I laid in my bed and listened to the crazy people scream and the clock tick on my wall all night long. I was the longest and worst night of my whole life. I knew I had to get out of that place if I wanted to maintain my sanity. I truly believe my doctor knew I was severely addicted to the klonopin and he had taken my off too quickly. He also knew I was next to a stroke and didnt want me to leave the hospital. I told him Id be leaving when my 24hours was up wether he like it or not. The only thing I wanted to see when I left that place is a mushroom cloud in my rear view mirror. The only thing that has healed me is time away from these sick fucks and their pills. Its taken me 2 full years to recover from the damage these people did to me. As long as I live, Ill never go back to a place like that again.

Joe
 

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I've never been to a state hospital. My mother visited some in the mid 70's and told me they were horrible. She told me I never would want to end up in a place like that. I've been to a different mental hospital though, once when I was 15 and again at 17. I wasn't inpatient though it was a partial day program thing. I went there instead of school from like 7 to 3. Overall I liked it. I think I felt better being around people that were just as crazy if not more crazy than myself. And the structure was good. When I was 17 I had stopped eating, barely talked, and was extremely depressed. At the hospital I was forced to eat and started to feel much better. Since then... a past psychiatrist of mine was trying to get me admitted there as an inpatient which would mean I could not leave, and I'm now an adult so I was scared of what kind of people would be there and I was scared of sharing a room, and most of all I'm terrified when I cannot leave when I want to. I've thought about admitting myself recently, but I just can't miss work and again I am terrified of being locked-up, I'd probably have a full blown panic attack and be given antipsychotics that would make me a zombie.

When you are an inpatient at a mental hospital can they give you shock therapy without your consent?
 

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I've never been to a state hospital. My mother visited some in the mid 70's and told me they were horrible. She told me I never would want to end up in a place like that. I've been to a different mental hospital though, once when I was 15 and again at 17. I wasn't inpatient though it was a partial day program thing. I went there instead of school from like 7 to 3. Overall I liked it. I think I felt better being around people that were just as crazy if not more crazy than myself. And the structure was good. When I was 17 I had stopped eating, barely talked, and was extremely depressed. At the hospital I was forced to eat and started to feel much better. Since then... a past psychiatrist of mine was trying to get me admitted there as an inpatient which would mean I could not leave, and I'm now an adult so I was scared of what kind of people would be there and I was scared of sharing a room, and most of all I'm terrified when I cannot leave when I want to. I've thought about admitting myself recently, but I just can't miss work and again I am terrified of being locked-up, I'd probably have a full blown panic attack and be given antipsychotics that would make me a zombie.

When you are an inpatient at a mental hospital can they give you shock therapy without your consent?
 
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