Visiting the psykiatric ward was more than a night or a few days. The staff told me more than once, that I was there by my own free will, but in case i changed my mind and wanted to go home, I would be admitted by force.
It took me a few days to accept my situation, and the surroundings. I knew and accepted, that this situation was the best for me, but there is a great distance from being a prisonguard with a sparetime at a house in the countryside, and to being locked up in a ward, with limited rights, continously having to ask for permission for anything.
- When can i eat?
- How much can i eat?
- WHAT can i eat?
- Can i get my window open (not possible because of bars outside the window!)?
- Can i go and get some fresh air?
- Could i talk to one of the others?
- May I sleep in?
- Can i have a visitor?
- May i BORROW my own razor to get shaved?
It was not easy, and at the same time i received visit from 3-4-5 sometimes 6 different members of the hospital staff during the day. And each and everyone had a new reason for the visit.
I filled a bunch of questionaires, answered endless questions about things i never saw relevant, and participated tiredly but willingly in several elucidations trying to give the doctors relevant material to find the right diagnose(s).
My first diagnosis
He was very proficient this doctor. He obviously had read everything the staff had observed, at it took him only moments with the first verdict. Depression. We spoke about the consequences, possibilities and much more, and the he asked about my sleep.
Since january of 1992 i had suffered under nightmares every single night and flashbacks nearly every single day. It was the same nightmare/flashback each and every time. Not longer, not different. Exactly the same. And even though 3 different psykologists and therapist had tryed to make a difference, nothing had helped.
The doctor had no good idea on hos to handle it, except he would prescripe something to sleep on.
The following night i slept a bit better, but the nightmares was still there. The verdict: postal traumatic stress disorder.
From anxious to anxiety
I never really liked overcrowded places, and I hate to take the bus. Also I always have this feeling that any bystanders could see right through me, read my mind, feel my pain, but noone did anything about it. That feeling put great pressure on my depressive side, because if everybody can see, and noone takes action, is that cause I ain’t worth it?
Already the day after my arrival to the hospital i noticed, that a was missing a few personal items. And the hospitals toothbrush was aweful. I talked to the staff about it, and after careful considerations and definite promises from my part, I was granted 1 hour at my own hand (in a city i barely knew). I had to find a supermarked, and fast. No problem, Føtex was just 10 minutes away.
I had put on a cap, pulled it down to my eyes, synglasses for my eyes, the hoodie over my head, at earplugs with music in my ears. I intended to block out as much as possible.
I arrived at Føtex. The supermarked was rather crowded, but i managed to find the articles needed. There was just one more thing – a toothbrush.
I looked, search, wandered around shelf after shelf. No matter what i couldn’t find anything related to dental hygiene.
From anxiety into panic
And then i panikked! My heartbeat rose fast, the beating of the heart was to powerful, it felt like it was crushing my ribs. I looked up. I could swear everyone had stopped and steared at me. They saw me. Analysed me. Read my mind. My heartbeat felt like a constant increase, and i was terrified. I moved quickly to the cash register, threw my items up to the clerk, but the customer i front of my started discussing a price for something. I panikked. I looked at hun straight in his eyes, stood very close to him and whispered repressed “I think you need to go to the customer services with that. I was just a few centimeters from him. I think my hands tied into fists, and if he had stood up against my, i am afraid what would have happened.
The man gathered his things and left. The clerk did not look like someone enjoying the situation – and neither did i.
As i exited the supermarked i ran. I ran as fast as i could, without any rational thinking i ended up back at the hospital. I rang the bell, and as soon as the door opened, I walked quickly and without a work to my room, closed the door and sat down on my bed.
This was my first clear panic attack!
For the most part of the time I stayed in my room for the next few days. I was terrified of myself. Terrified of people. Terrified of my life!