Psychiatric Hospitals: My View vs Others.

Psychiatric hospitals or ‘mental hospital’s’ as some people call them are settings where people with mental health problems go to get treatment.

These settings help people get better in my opinion. I have a family member who is currently in a psychiatric hospital and they do well to control their behaviour. My family member has dementia, with ‘challenging behaviour’. They are aggressive and can lash out physically. But the setting does well to minimise these occurrences.   They have been in a few psychiatric hospitals and I’d say the same for all of them. I think that they are places where people can get the help and support they need to be deemed ‘normal’ and ‘capable of living in society’ again. (No-one is normal, I may add!).

But I’ve overheard conversations recently, which erupted a little anger in me. I’ve heard that people ‘in there’ are ‘crazy’, that they have ‘something seriously wrong with them’ and that they ‘have a screw loose’. The family member that is in psychiatric care is none of these things in my opinion. I’ve heard that people are ‘scared of those people’ and that they ‘aren’t right’. I’ve overheard a lot more, but it really fills me with anger.

I could have been one of those people, if I hadn’t of gotten the help I needed as quickly as I did. I could have ended up in a psychiatric hospital, I’ve been told that. It never got to that point. But it was used as a scare tactic. ‘You’ll end up in there‘ was something I was told often, by people. Is there any different to hear? Is it different to a hospital where you go to get treatment physically?

Why is it that people think mental health is sinister, is something to be scared of? Psychiatric hospitals are no different in my opinion. You go there to get treatment. Some people are out-patients and some people stay in there for long periods of time, just like in a ‘normal’ hospital.

I think that the stigma has gotten so bad that even some trainee professionals are scared of mental health. I won’t say any more on that!

This all needs to change, some people are scared of hospitals, I am one of them, but I see no reason to be scared of a psychiatric hospital. In fact why call it a psychiatric hospital – it’s a hospital. We wouldn’t call a ‘normal hospital’ a ‘physical health hospital’. Why make mental health stand out?

Yes, there is stigma and I may only have this opinion as I have experience of it and have mental health problem’s myself, but isn’t it about time we see it as just the same as other hospitals?

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