What can I expect from hospitalization? - Action on Postpar...

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What can I expect from hospitalization?

raspberries profile image

I'm meant to be going into my local psychiatric ward today when a bed becomes available, I'm a bit nervous and don't know what to expect, its a volutary admission as PP getting worse but I won't be able to leave until my psychiatrist says so. What should I expect from the ward itself in terms of general facilities and care?

15 Replies
JonesieB profile image

Hi raspberries,

Thanks for your post, it's a positive sign that you are able to articulate so clearly how you are feeling.

I completely understand why you are feeling nervous, that's very natural when preparing to go in to hospital. It's a big step. Whilst being admitted is tough, trust that it is the right thing for you so that you can be given the care and treatment you need. After the initial fear of being in hospital, I remember also feeling relieved, that I didn't need to fight anymore and I could just allow myself to be unwell and let professionals help me get better.

The psychiatric wards are all so different, it is tough to generalise about the facilities that will be there. The hospital I was in was very nice and the staff were fantastic. I felt very safe there and I was able to get the much needed rest I was so desperate for. Perhaps take in a few bits from home, to make your surroundings familiar, like a photo for example.

Well done for taking this brave step and allow yourself to recovery slowly, in the best hands possible.

We are all thinking of you and post anytime you want to chat.



Naomi_at_app profile image

Hi raspberries

Well done for choosing a voluntary admission. It is a very brave and difficult step and I too totally understand your worries about what it's going to be like.

I went to a general psychiatic ward and it was a positive move, even though the environment at first seemed quite bleak and depressing. Many of the staff were so caring and encouraging, and in time talking to other patients helped me to find things that helped with my own recovery.

Hope this reply isn't too late but admission day can be tough. You may have a lot of waiting around and then your bags will be checked for safety before you are settled in to your room. I hope you're through this bit now and staff have taken a bit of time to familiarise you with the ward.

For the first 2-3 days you will probably have staff regularly popping along to observe you and you may not have any leave to go off the ward. Try & use this time to rest and recuperate and chat to staff whenever you need them. Ask if there's a ward info sheet you can read so you know meal times, when ward rounds are etc.

After your first few days you should be able to negotiate leave to see your family - when you're ready for short periods maybe to walk in the grounds or have a coffee. You should also get leave to be able to go to OT (occupational therapy) if it's not provided on the ward. I found OT very helpful as it passed the time and I could make gifts for my kids for when they visited.

Hospital days can be extremely boring, so it's worth asking family to bring things you enjoy whether it's music, books, crosswords or knitting. After the initial time of just resting and getting my meds settled I found it very helpful to arrange short visits from friends to punctuate the day. One friend would come and take me to KFC in the evenings (!) and even though I felt crap it was lovely just to be in her car, eat some junk food and just 'be'

Thinking of you loads as you make this brave move. Today is the first day of getting you better, finding yourself again and returning you to your family with the energy for full recovery. You will feel that love for your kids again - but it's the right thing to do just now to let yourself be cared for and to take time to mend.

Naomi xx

Thank you for your replies, I arrived at 1 and was settled in my room by 3, all I've done since is cry my eyes out, after 5 weeks of being emotionless all of a sudden I miss my home, my kids, my partner, everything. My meds won't be changed for 4 days, and I can't help but feel I'm just waiting around for that, I feel like I'll be here forever and although I came voluntary, I feel I won't be able to leave if I wanted. The atmosphere doesn't help, there's people who came for just a few days and have been here months, there's people screaming constantly and I just feel I made a huge mistake coming. I've been crying for about 5 hours straight and I'm so scared. I've been away to a respite care home for 8 days a couple of weeks ago but it was less hospital like and it was totally my choice when I left. Now I feel I've given up my freedom totally. I just don't know what to do with myself.

EmmiLou profile image
EmmiLouVolunteer in reply to raspberries

Hi raspberries

I am sorry to hear that you are finding it hard on the ward. Please don't be scared as you are going to get better on there. Everyone here is thinking of you loads.

Have you got anything with you to do like books or magazines to keep you occupied?

Can your husband and children come to visit you tomorrow?

Try and get a good nights sleep if you can.

You are going to get better. You are being so brave.

Emma x

Naomi_at_app profile image
Naomi_at_appAdministrator in reply to raspberries

Hi hon

Can really understand how this first night feels. It's scary I know. It's ok to cry, but don't feel you have to be alone. Try and talk to staff if you can.

It's tough going in just before a weekend as like you say you won't see the drs til next week. Is there an OT room or gym where you can pass the time a bit over the weekend?

My heart really goes out to you. I know you will miss your family terribly but I've been where you are just now and it will be ok. Really. You will get better and be back home.

Have you had some supper tonight? Try and rest if you can hon. If you don't have them ask family to bring some earplugs when they come and maybe a soft blanket for the nights. I had one of my baby's blankets to cuddle.

Hold steady, this hard time will pass. Sending love xxx


Lilybeth profile image

Hello raspberries

It's very hard dealing with all your emotions. It's upsetting to hear that you have cried but in a way it does release some of the tension you feel. I think general psychiatric care varies doesn't it? I was in a similar hospital to the one you describe many years ago, hearing women screaming was heartbreaking. It didn't seem to worry me at first as I wasn't as aware as you are. I was sectioned and not a voluntary patient.

I think as you're a voluntary patient you will be able to leave. Will your partner be able to visit you? Perhaps he can approach the care team to let them know how distressed you are? Is it possible you can go to the respite care home instead?

As my family were not keen on the hospital I was sent to, my mum especially voiced her concerns and I was eventually transferred to another smaller nerve hospital. It wasn't an MBU as they didn't exist in those days but I was allowed to have my son with me there.

I can well remember being scared, in a strange place, away from home. I'm sure your partner will make sure you leave with him if you are so distressed. You do have rights and I'm sure will not be kept there against your will.

I'm really sorry it's not the best place for you. I suppose that's the difference with MBU's in that it's a specialised unit where you would meet other mums, rather than a general psychiatric hospital where there are many suffering with a variety of issues.

Thinking of you tonight. I know it will be hard but try to rest and perhaps tomorrow you can discuss how you feel with your partner?

Take very good care of yourself.

Sorry to hear your recovery has not gone to plan. Most of us have been in your shoes. Try not to worry about getting stuck in hospital.

I'm in Australia but I assume it would be a similar situation in the UK.

I too went to a general psychiatric ward mostly voluntarily. If you want to leave you can. Especially when you have others to advocate for you. As my husband said at the time it's more work for them to keep you there.

Obviously you see the need to be there at the moment which is an important step to recovery. It's easier for your medication to be established while on the ward as they can adjust it more quickly as needed.

Being on a general ward can be very distressing as you are there with people that can have chronic mental health issues. Fortunately for you PP is very different to this as it is a short term (relatively speaking) illness. You will not have to live with feeling like this for long. We are all examples of women who have been where you've been.

As others have said keep yourself busy. I personally found talking to other patients quite a good distraction but I know other patients found that quite distressing.

Good luck.

Naomi_at_app profile image

Hey raspberries

How was your night? Hope you managed to get some sleep... Did the ward quieten down overnight?

Bronsyd makes a really good point about PP compared to what some of the other people on the ward are going through: PP is an acute illness which is very treatable with a really good prognosis for full recovery. You won't get stuck in hospital for months as the staff know you have a young family and will want to do all they can to build your strength and confidence back up for being reunited with them.

Here any time you need to chat


JonesieB profile image

Morning raspberries,

There is such an enormous hug coming your way over cyberspace. I wish we could all be there with you, we are right beside you in spirit. I remember the tears so well, I too cried and cried and cried during the early days in hospital . I felt so sad about what I was going through. Let the tears come, it's all part of the illness and getting over it. As the others have said acceptance and distraction are your friends right now. Accepting this is the best place for you to be and try to distract yourself with whatever you can manage to do.

Try not to feel trapped, you still have your rights and no one should feel imprisoned by hospital.

I made a good friend in hospital, she was there for depression, we shared how we felt and it helped me just talking about it all with her and the staff. I remember a wonderful Irish nurse who would sit with me and just listen. There are some great people close at hand who you'll be able to lean on.

Hopefully today you will have some visitors, some rest, try and eat if you can and perhaps a walk. My husband brought in my laptop for me and some headphones so I could watch box sets and escape a little. Maybe that's an option?

You will start to get better very soon and it really won't be long before you are with us, looking back and remembering rather than being in it. We have all been where you are, we understand and now we are better. Hang in there strong and brave raspberries, we are all routing for you.


JonesieB x

Hi Raspberries,

After reading through your post and the replies, I couldn't help feeling emotional myself: I spent time in a general psychiatric ward after the onset of PP, and I remember how tough it can be. Hang in there - it's the best place for you to rest and recover, and the fact that you're so aware of what's going on makes me think you'll be able to start discussing trips home, walks, visits and other activities really soon. Take care.

Ellie_at_APP profile image

Hi I just wanted to write saying I am thinking of you too. I don't have much advice to give you any different from the above, and I wasn't on a general psych ward but a mbu. Just want to say you will get better and that yes the tears may be a good release and an important step in your recovery...thinking of you loads, I hope you can rest and recover and that you are meeting some good people who will support you x

Hi Raspberries,

I`ve just read your posts and want to send you some words of encouragement. Just want to say you haven`t given up your freedom although being on a general psychiatric ward does feel like that. When I think back to when I was in a similar situation I was very scared and felt it wasn`t the right environment. I now realise I was in a safe place. It didn`t feel like that at the time but now I know it was the safest place. I thought I would never be discharged but I started responding to the medication and gradually things improved. My heart really does go out to you. You will get better although you may not think that right now. You will get there, stay strong and hope you can get some rest. If you feel frightened or want to ask anything we will try to help. Sending you big virtual hugs and each day you will be closer to going home. Take care, Sarah.

Naomi_at_app profile image

Hi raspberries

Thinking of you often. How was your weekend? Hope that you were able to have some visitors and that you have found members of staff who you click with.

We are here if you need to chat or just for a virtual hug any time.

Naomi xx

Naomi_at_app profile image

Hi raspberries

Hope you are still able to have internet access on the ward. Just thinking of you and hoping things have settled since admission day. No need to reply if you're just exhausted - we are any time you need us.

Naomi xx

I came out after 3 days and went to a mental respite home for a week instead, I'm now slowly coming off my quetiapine, and I'm at home. The hospitalization was a wake up call and I found if I acknowledged the thoughts they were worse, so I stopped acknowledging them and felt lots better, I've been discharged from my mental crisis team and feel more in control of myself now.

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