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Group Therapy in Day Hospital for Bipolar


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I've been going to a day hospital now for over a week now with no projected discharge date. I was wondering if anyone else out there in bipolar land has any comments on if going to a day hospital helped their mental status and if so, then how? I've had some mixed experiences so far and would like to hear about other peoples day hospital group therapy experiences.

Moggallanna

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I've been going to a day hospital now for over a week now with no projected discharge date. I was wondering if anyone else out there in bipolar land has any comments on if going to a day hospital helped their mental status and if so, then how? I've had some mixed experiences so far and would like to hear about other peoples day hospital group therapy experiences.

Moggallanna

Hi. I've been to day hospital a few times. A couple of the times it really sucked. It depends on the quality of the counselors, and the quality of the hospital and how much they care about educating patients. Most of it surrounds educating the patients, it seems. Teaching them skills to use in their life.

The important thing is how much of it sticks with you or not. Some of it has stuck with me and some didn't.

One thing that really stands out in my mind is that in order to get the most out of the experience is to have low anxiety during groups. Taking your anti-anxiety meds before you go to group will really help things to sink in!

Feelings that come out in people stimulate high anxiety in some. The talkers deal with it in all kinds of interesting and unique ways. Often it seems to lead the men to speak in even fewer words than they normally do. Someone told this and and I never forgot it: "Men think in words, while women think in sentences." I think that is really true. When a guy is depressed or anxious, the amounts of words that he speaks often get even more condensed. And since group therapy depends on the participants gaining from hearing other's wisdom, it is interesting to observe the difference in how men and women handle the higher anxiety differently .

I hope you have a good, quality experience that sticks with you for many productive years to come!

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My experiences have been great, my out patient therapy gets me through the week in a relatively sane manner. I found them hard at first, being vulnerable with people and accepting that I needed to be there, but once I got over that I found that the skills that I learn are so valuable.

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I had a very good experience in a day hospital. I was in twice, once for rapid cycling and once for depression. The first time I had some problematic life events going on, and group therapy really helped with that. Overall I found it incredibly useful just to have a place I had to get up and go to, to help structure my life.

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I agree with the fact that it depends on the quality of the therapists. I was there previously for 4 months, but was being treated for depression, as bipolar had not been diagnosed. My therapists were so-so, some better than others. Overall, yes, it helped.

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I recently spent seven weeks in a day hospital program. I have to say that I enjoyed the experience, although I don't know if it helped me very much.

It was refreshing being around people who were all so nice. The other patients were nice, and the staff were nice. People actually listened to me when I talked and didn't insult me. It was fun playing badminton twice a week and board games once a week, and I liked getting a free lunch every day, even if it was in the hospital cafeteria.

I don't really feel that I learned much. My social worker told me how much hard work I did, talking in group about my mother and kids who bullied me in junior high and guys who raped me. I did do work, but presenting it in group did not make me feel any better and I don't think I learned anything from it. I am supposed to honour the work I did, but I don't really see the point in being proud of it when it all seems fairly pointless. It's not as if I think, I wish I'd never bothered to write and talk about any of that stuff, but I guess my response to having done all that "work" is kind of a "So what?"

There were of course plenty of groups about coping skills and relationships and assertiveness and all that, and although I'm sure I picked up some pointers here and there, I was already assertive and had good relationships with the important people in my life, and I have coping skills that work very well most of the time, but then when I'm very depressed, nothing I try to do seems to have any effect (not that I can do very much then, anyway).

It wasn't as if I needed structure to be provided for me at that point in time. When I started the program, I had just finished a term taking two courses in graduate school (I had been taking four until things got really bad in February). During the program, I was still taking a course in the evening. The day after I finished the program, I started a summer job. Structure really isn't a problem of mine right now.

Why was I there in the first place? Last fall I stopped taking my medications because I was sick of them making me so tired all the time. I was fine until January, when I became severely depressed and was hospitalized for a few days. The pdoc at the hospital apparently did not believe I was bipolar, since he discharged me with a prescription for Effexor XR. I told him I did not think that was a good idea. He told me it was a good idea. He refused my requests to refer me to a pdoc or a tdoc for outpatient therapy. He would refer me to the day hospital program or nowhere. Since I did not wish to drop out of school with one term left of my degree, I chose "nowhere." Decided I'd take the Effexor XR as prescribed, what the hell, it would be fun to be hypomanic.

Took the pills as prescribed. Did not get hypomanic. Had horrible rapid cycling/mixed state issues for the next three weeks, until I wound up in the hospital again for a few days. The same pdoc (who had spoken to me on perhaps five occasions, all when I was completely at my worst and barely making sense, and who did not perform a diagnostic interview) informed me that I did not have a disease, that I have BPD and HPD and that medication would probably never help me. (The idea that I have HPD is entirely laughable, since I am practically the opposite of that personality type. I also don't think I have BPD, and my boyfriend, my family, and the psychologist I'd been seeing at my university's counselling centre agreed with me.) He refused to try any other medications, and refused to refer me to outpatient mental health. Once again, he would refer me to the day hospital or nowhere. This time, however, he actually deigned to tell me that I could wait a few months to finish my term at university so I wouldn't have to drop all my courses and waste the entire term (I did have to drop two courses, though, because during the three weeks on Effexor XR, I was WAY too sick to do any schoolwork). He hadn't bothered mentioning that before. So I said I'd do it. Once I was off Effexor XR, I became quite stable, was quite stable while I was in the day hospital program, and I have remained essentially stable to this point, albeit with some minor mood fluctuations and a few short spells of bad paranoia.

Although I was not exactly there because I wanted to be, and although I wasn't expecting any sort of therapy to work miracles in my life while I was denied medication, I did not go there assuming that it would not help me or that it was a waste of my time, and I did try really hard while I was there. I saw other people say that the program had saved their life, that they now could relate to other people better and they understood themselves better and now they knew that other people had problems like theirs (trust me, I knew that last one all along). People who used to yell at other people all the time now trying to reason with them instead. People who had never talked to anyone about being sexually abused now sharing their stories with a group of over twenty people. People who had basically not left their houses for several years coming to the city to attend the program every day. I would have liked to have had something miraculous happen to me as well, but I guess I couldn't have worked hard enough, because I didn't get any miracles.

I still would never say it was a waste of my time. I liked being there. And I have been told that some people don't notice any benefits from it until six months later, so maybe in five months I'll see the benefits.

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Again, you guys have perfect timiing--I was going to ask my pdoc about something similar when I see him Tuesday. I was in such a program a while ago--maybe 10 years (longer?) and it did sem to help. Right now, I am only seeing pdoc for medication management, and I really need something else right now--my life is a mess and getting worse, even tho my meds do keep me from cycling so fast.

So--maybe, i one's available, I'll give it a try. (If ins. will pay--)

BTW--the 2 Klonopin did notihing for the major caffiene buzz I inadvertentrly aquired this AM---and now its 4:30 and I am over this, waaaaaay over it.

Shit--no more double shots at Starbucks, damn it--

china, looney as ever

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this was my "therapy"-

we had to draw and color trees. so i drew a fall night scene (it was winter at the time, around christmas). there was a full moon, animals in the trees, a bit of snow and leaves on the ground, and the trees had no leaves.

based on my drawing, they decided I WAS DEPRESSED AND HAD TO BE AN INPATIENT!!!

so, beware! lol

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Heya,

1. Moggallanna, if it was "safe" (let's not get into that today, okay) for me I think I would benefit from group chat. I can say that some of my patients have. I think on the whole most of us do. Get it while it's available.

1a. CB is safe, and that's been helping a *lot.*

2. China, go for it honey.

3. Loon, those are the most *beautiful* trees IMHO and I've seen a *lot* of them. Winter *rocks* and is *not* depressing if you know how to look at it.

--ncc--

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