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Re: my positive hospital experience (long)

Posted by Mark H. on July 2, 2002, at 0:34:05

In reply to my positive hospital experience (long), posted by katekite on June 29, 2002, at 10:15:18

Katekite's beautifully written and heartfelt account of her experience relates what hospitalization for psychiatric problems is supposed to be like. Judy and others tactfully (and quite correctly) point out that it isn't always that way. Katekite's suggestion to work on a plan before you no longer have a say-so in the matter is pure wisdom!

At our local in-patient facility, the staff are compassionate, non-judgmental, grounded, helpful and genuinely interested in not only your safety but your rapid recovery and return to normal life as well.

In contrast, anyone who watched a segment produced by Helen Malmgren for 60 Minutes last year knows that there are private contract facilities run like chain-stores that are interested only in profits -- these despicable "facilities" have a vested interest in keeping you sick to increase the amount they can bill your insurance company or the state for "services." No wonder responses to your inquiry are so wildly varied!

I have to agree with the poster who suggested that you avoid hospitalization if at all possible. However, only you, your family and your doctor can know when you've reached the point that you need to relinquish some of your freedom so that others can help you to survive. Some of us choose when we're feeling well to empower others to make that decision for us. In that way, even if it comes to involuntary care, we have had a say-so in the planning stages.

Both sides have spoken the truth on these issues. For some, hospitalization is a respite and a true chance for survival and healing. For others, hospitalization is for the convenience of doctors and family who don't have time to take care of the ill and don't want to be liable for what the person suffering from the illness might do to herself or others.

Please broaden your options by working out plans and alternatives with your doctor and family members. Re-read Judy's and Katekite's responses carefully. Be an informed and empowered recipient of health care, and don't deny yourself whatever you need to survive.

With appreciation,

Mark H.




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