One day I asked a writer-friend who had read a lot of my writing what he was most interested in reading. He said, “The things about inpatient psychiatry.” The doors are locked—nobody knows what goes on behind them. I’ve been there and I’ve written about it.
I was depressed and therefore hospitalized on inpatient psychiatry at Community General Hospital, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse Psychiatric Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hutchings Psychiatric Center, the National Institute of Mental Health, Benjamin Rush Center/Four Winds, and CPEP, i.e., a psychiatric emergency room, a community hospital, a Catholic hospital, a teaching hospital, a private hospital, the state hospital and the federal research institute.
Between 1970 and 2003 I was hospitalized about fifty times for a total of about three years. The hospitalizations were always precipitated by extreme suicidal feelings.
I took antidepressants every day for twenty-six years. After I stopped taking them, I stopped being hospitalized.
Seven years removed from my last hospitalization, I am now prepared to publish the stories about what happens on inpatient psychiatry. It is not an introspective journey through the inside my head. It is a look at the space between the inside of my head and the outside of the door that locked me away from society.
Please see my new blog, “Behind the Locked Doors of Inpatient Psychiatry.” http://behindthelockeddoors.wordpress.com/ It begins with an overview of my history in the psychiatric system.