Yet Another Hospitalization

When I felt suicidal, I called for help. I came to the hospital and was admitted to the psych floor. Once again I was on a locked ward because of depression. After all these years, after all the therapy and medications and efforts, I was still at a place where I needed to be confined.

This was highly discouraging. How can you have hope, when you’ve been in and out of hospitals over many years, when you’ve been homeless and so depressed you can’t move, when you’ve seen no progress? I wasn’t able to find any reason to hope.

So I was admitted. This hospital was somewhat less grim than the State hospitals I’d been in before. The staff seemed more concerned about us, listened to what we said. You don’t always get that in a State hospital.

I spent a month there. During that time I was treated with meds and ECT. The ECT actually helped greatly, the first definite improvement I had since my first diagnosis. At long last, I had a feeling of hope. I knew that if all else failed, if the meds and therapy just weren’t working, I could undergo ECT and feel better.

After the course of treatments, I was discharged in better shape than I’d been in a long, long time. I wasn’t elated. My memory was scrambled. You can’t pass a current through your brain without having some side effects. But it was all worth it. The memory came back. The improved mood persisted.

It’s difficult to express how much this means to me. When I felt there was no treatment that could help me, I felt desperate, helpless, and hopeless. Just the thought that nothing would ever help contributed to the depression. Now, with ECT, I had something that could help – that had helped. If all the meds and therapy still didn’t help, I knew I could have ECT and would be relieved. That knowledge comforted me and gave me the courage to continue.

For the first time, a hospitalization did more than just keep me from killing myself. It gave me hope.

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