Firstly if you have found yourself in a hospital of any sorts, and believe you’ve been the victim of medical negligence, hiring a solicitor to take action against those responsible should be taken, many solicitor firms are able to help you down this route, just to start with you can try https://www.mrhsolicitors.co.uk/ to see if they are able to help you with your claim.
A while ago I was discharged from a psychiatric hospital. I was hospitalized for mania and psychosis. Of course it was a relief to go home, but it was also difficult re-adjusting to home life after 5 weeks in hospital.
I knew this from previous hospitalizations and had somewhat prepared myself, but there are some things you can’t prepare for and there are some things no one warns you about when you are discharged from hospital:
- MEDICATION REGIME AND SLEEP ROUTINE
I was on 6 different medications and in hospital they were taken care of by the nurses. I figured that being a nurse myself I would grasp my med routine quickly, but I found it difficult. I needed to make sure that I followed the instructions given to me.
The medication times and sleep routine at home were also different. In hospital I would get my first round of sedation at 9pm and then my second at 10pm, then I would go to sleep and wake between 5am and 6am. When I got home my medication times were thrown out the window because of socializing or staying up past 10pm. So when my nighttime sedation was pushed back, so was my sleep and I would wake mid-morning which is something I don’t like. I knew I had to make the decision between going to sleep early and waking early versus going to sleep late and waking late, but at 25 this felt like a decision I didn’t want to make. In hospital it was easy to stick to a regular sleep routine but with all my newfound freedom I found it very difficult. I was fed-up with the number of medications I was on and it was easy to see how people don’t stay on their medication regimes (for the record I have been completely compliant since
The loneliness during the first couple of weeks was a killer. While in hospital I was surrounded by people, but at home during the day the absence and silence was deafening. And the loneliness made me sad, really sad. I thought I would be alright because most of my friends are nurses and work shiftwork, but they had continued with their lives while mine stood still and they were still busy even when they weren’t working. The hours of loneliness ate me up inside.
The loneliness was not helped by the boredom and the boredom was not helped by the loneliness. There were certain times when I couldn’t drive due to my medications, but even if I could have driven I had nowhere to go. I was supposed to be ‘recovering’ but ‘recovering’ was fairly boring. Sure, I had presentations to prepare for and a few articles and blogs to write, but they didn’t require me to go anywhere.
- THE REALITY CHECK
Coming home to the leftover remnants of an episode serves as a reminder of how unwell I was, which is always very upsetting. After every hospitalization the reality check hits hard of how severe bipolar can be and that’s when I mourn for a life without it.
- THE FEAR OF A FOLLOWING EPISODE
Just like night follows day, I worry about depression following mania. As established, the first couple of weeks out of hospital are pretty emotional, but I second-guess every negative emotion.
I cried for a few hours because I was lonely. Is that normal, or is it the beginning of a depressive episode? I was bored all day. Is that normal, or is it the beginning of a depressive episode? I was restless today. Is that normal because I didn’t get out of the house, or is it the beginning of a mixed episode?
These questions and many more continue to fly around my head and it is exhausting! I’m constantly on the lookout of the manic-comedown, but not only that, I worry about a resultant hospitalization for depression. My biggest fear is psychotic depression.
I’m glad to say that it has been a month since I was discharged from hospital. Granted, those first few weeks were hard but I’ve gotten through them and am back to my normal routine. Although it can be difficult, if you’re just out of hospital it’s a good tip to plan an activity for everyday so you get out of the house and prevent rumination. I am still concerned about a depressive episode but realistically I won’t stop worrying about that for months, until winter is over in Australia. But overall I am happy and glad to be out of hospital.
Sally lives in Victoria, Australia. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago when she was 22, however she has been dealing with extreme moods since she was 14. Ten years ago Sally experienced her first episode of depression. Though she knew that something was wrong, she didn’t know what and was too embarrassed to get help. Throughout high school she battled depression after depression, each one getting worse. At university she continued to have depressive episodes and when she wasn’t depressed she was extremely happy, incredibly driven and unusually energetic. Everyone thought this was her normal mood, herself included and so the elevated times went unnoticed. The turning point was in her final year of university when she was referred to the university counsellor. She was diagnosed with
depression but after many failed treatments she saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with type II bipolar disorder. However that quickly turned into a diagnosis of type I bipolar disorder after a psychotic manic episode. She is currently completing her honours degree in nursing and works as a nurse in the emergency department. She blogs for The International Bipolar Foundation and has written for several publications. She also volunteers for a mental health organisation where she delivers presentations about mood disorders to high school students. Although relatively new to this world, she is passionate about mental health promotion and thoroughly enjoys writing about mental health.