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Psychiatric Hospitalization: You are Neither Weak Nor Alone

May 20, 2019 Randall Law

It's 3:00 a.m. and I can't sleep. I'm sitting in the commons area of an eerily quiet psychiatric hospitalization unit while I recover from a relatively severe psychotic break. I wasn't going to blog this week because, well, the obvious. On top of that, all I have is pen and paper, no Internet access. But my wife still managed to post this week despite taking me to the hospital and picking up the slack in my absence. It is good to emulate one's heroes and I can think of no greater hero than my wife. I just wish I were a little more like her. But I have to remember that psychiatric hospitalization does not denote weakness. 

Psychiatric Hospitalization Doesn't Happen at Ideal Times

But psychotic breaks don't happen at ideal times.

I'm frustrated. Everything seemed to be coming together recently. We were getting ready to finally begin putting our renovation project back together, I started a new job as a part-time college professor, we were about to plant a pumpkin patch and we were on the verge of a new business venture teaching guests to pan for garnets. As usual, everything seemed great on the outside. On the inside, I wasn't reacting well to a medication change and my paranoia and auditory hallucinations were increasing in both frequency and severity. I started playing with the dosage of my medications on my own: never a good idea, even for a physician assistant.

I stopped taking my antipsychotic and reality became grossly distorted; I knew I needed help but I just kept pushing. My wife, ever the astute psychology major, offered to help multiple times in a myriad of ways, but I just slipped deeper. Ultimately, with reality hanging by a thread, I admitted the truth; I required psychiatric hospitalization.

Psychiatric Hospitalization Frightens Me

In general, I oppose psychiatric hospitalization on at least three fronts. First, I'm stubborn. To me, psychiatric hospitalization equals defeat. I feel like a failure. Yet, seeking help is a strength.

Second, I am a control freak. I loathe medication changes and like to be the one to initiate them and to determine what changes to make.

Third, psychiatric hospitalization is expensive. After five days in a psychiatric unit, I am improving, but the cost is like a raging thunderstorm building rapidly overhead. I've no idea how we will pay for this, despite health insurance. However, the simple reality is that I needed help, and I couldn't help my wife and children if I were completely incapacitated or worse.

My Plan to Overcome Psychosis

So here's my plan. I will put aside my pride and allow my physicians to adjust my medications without resistance. I'm going to fight the paranoia that tells me I'm being poisoned by reframing my thoughts to believe the truth. I will remind myself that this psychiatric hospitalization is the result of an illness rather than a weakness. I plan to focus on getting well instead of on my mounting medical bills. I will face each day, each hour and each minute as it comes and enjoy the opportunity to be alive. With the support of my wife and kids, I will keep fighting, dreaming, living and loving until I can't possibly take another step. Then, when all seems lost, I will pick myself back up and take another step forward anyway. 

My wife is worth fighting for. My kids are worth fighting for. I am worth fighting for. Life is worth fighting for. Never surrender, never give in, never relent and never give up.

APA Reference
Law, R. (2019, May 20). Psychiatric Hospitalization: You are Neither Weak Nor Alone, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2019/5/psychiatric-hospitalization-you-are-neither-weak-nor-alone



Author: Randall Law

Randall Law is a physician assistant, wedding cake design assistant and home renovation assistant. He is excited that this new opportunity to write a blog comes without the title of assistant. He writes because he cares about others and because it provides an outlet approved by both his wife and his therapist. Randall's wife, Megan, is the author of Mental Illness in the Family here at HealthyPlace where she writes about her own perspectives. Find Randall on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and his blog.

Kathryn Lazenby
says:
May, 23 2019 at 4:24 pm
You are truly inspiring. It can be so hard to admit when you need help. You are right though. You have so much un your life worth fighting for. Sending prayers for you and your family.
May, 25 2019 at 8:35 pm
Thank you for your kind comments Kathryn. I appreciate that you read my posts and enjoy seeing pictures of your adorable son on social media!
Jared Willmore
says:
May, 22 2019 at 10:26 pm
Your blog inspires me. I'm sorry to hear of your recent downturn but I know you will recover. You will bounce back. You are resilient. You are inspiring.
May, 23 2019 at 4:20 pm
Thank you for reading and for your comments Jared. I truly appreciate your friendship. I wish you would hurry up and move back here though!
Kelly Mortensen
says:
May, 22 2019 at 9:04 pm
Beautifully written Randall. I’m sorry you have to go through this but I am so impressed by your strength. Sending love
May, 23 2019 at 4:21 pm
Thank you Kelly! I don't feel very strong, but I appreciate others letting me know that they think I am. We send our love back and hope that you all are doing well.

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