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Painted Brain | How To Recover After A Stay In The Psychiatric Unit
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • admin
  • August 17, 2016

How To Recover After A Stay In The Psychiatric Unit

A stay in the psychiatric unit of a hospital is not a vacation. It is a trying time for those who get admitted because they are going through something awful and otherwise unexplainable. It is a time for healing, for becoming stable, and for learning how to remain stable once outside the hospital.

When I was admitted, I experienced fear at first, but then I felt safe. Being in the psychiatric unit wasn’t easy, but it was easier than being on the outside. On the outside I felt unstable, suicidal, and I knew that I needed help.

Inside the psychiatric unit, everything is in order. Sleep, medications, and moods are regulated and kept that way. Inside, it is calm and safe, and the mental anguish becomes manageable if not relieved completely.

Preparing to leave the hospital after a psychiatric stay is scary. The mental health professionals do their best to prepare you to go back outside, but there is only so much that therapy can do. To get back to normal, and to achieve a new normal on the outside, there are a few simple steps that can take:

  • Upon leaving the hospital, it is essential to establish and maintain a daily routine. This provides a feeling of order, of continuity, and will make daily life more manageable.

  • It helps to take your medication as prescribed, and at the same time every day. This helps you remain stable, the same as you were in the psych unit.

  • Attending therapy regularly will help you to achieve a new normal, by making your mental health a priority over worldly worries.

  • Self-care is also important for establishing a new normal. In the hospital, you are encouraged to take care of yourself, and you should continue his self-care outside of the hospital, too, in order to feel physically, emotionally, and mentally well. This includes showering regularly, taking vitamins, and getting enough exercise as recommended by your doctor.

Establishing a new normal after a stay in the hospital can be exciting and refreshing, but can also be a daunting task. Ensure that you have proper support from friends and family as you recover and discover your new normal.

Don’t be afraid to ask your support team of family, friends, and mental health professionals to help you in your recovery. There is no shame in needing help, especially when you are vulnerable and only recently returned to mental stability.

Remaining stable should be your number one goal, and by taking all of these steps upon release from the hospital, you can maintain stability and be successful in your new version of normal.

Madelyn Heslet is a 24-year-old single mother who writes about mental illness to advocate for mental health and do her part in ending the stigma that surrounds it. She not only lives as a writer, but as a loving mother, and dedicated full-time student. She contributes a weekly column to Painted Brain News

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