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by our "bahavior" and our "appearance" ?


crywolf2010

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ive been schizophrenic for nearly 10 years and ive noticed that the pdocs, nurses or whoever work in the mental health system judge us how well we are by our "behavior" and "appearance". regardless what i said when i was in hospital they wouldnt listen. i would say to the nurses "im freaking out" or "im losing my mind" and the majority of the time they say "you look fine to me" "you dont look like ur losing ur mind" etc etc.

its like their fucking clueless and they have NO IDEA whats it like to be insane and have weird disturbing thoughts.

one pdoc in hospital gave me drug "x" from the time he prescribed it to me to the time close to my discharge he only saw me once and said "you're 99% better now" when i constantly said "i wasnt". its like he didnt believe me and prolly thought i was talking gibberish/nonsense.. who knows?

i dont think anyone has the ability to know how a certain person is thinking and feeling.

i feel powerless with these guys.

whatever we " say " isnt on top of their list.

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I had this experience when i was in hospital. I was unbelievably depressed and suicidal but because the first morning i was there i took a shower (they ignored the fact that a nursing auxiliary had to coerce me into taking it!) and because i was lucid and able to talk they assumed i "wasnt as depressed as i thought i was", and it was part of the reason why they tried to change my dx to Borderline Personality (not that there's anything "wrong" with that dx, it just didnt fit my symptoms), because they felt that my depression was "reactionary" and that it had gone away when i was admitted to the ward. I didnt get the help i sorely needed (and the whole reason why i had been admitted in the first place!) because they just decided to pull me off all my meds because "you dont need meds for a personality disorder", which made me manic and resulted in me discharging myself against medical advice.

I think too many health professionals have their own preconceptions as to how a mentally ill (or even physically ill, i have a friend who has M.E. and runs into the exact same problem) person should look, and anyone who doesnt conform to that look isnt as ill in their eyes.

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I haven't been to the hospital yet for my SZA (knock wood), but, I get this from my tdoc and pdoc all of the time. They keep saying 'you look fine' and I'm desperately trying to explain that I'm hearing voices and I think people are out to get me. I think because I take showers and keep up with my appearance that means I'm 'ok' to them.

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I have been through a very similar experience, both in a psych ward and in a normal hospital. A lot of the nurses think they know best for one reason or another. It can leave you feeling really anxious and upset.

The worst culprit was my first GP, when I started experiencing problems years ago. He candidly said to me "there is nothing wrong with you. It is in the interests of mental health professionals to keep you feeling sick". Man that made me angry.

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I've also noticed this. I suffer from major depression. Sometimes it's all I can do to just do some basic hygiene so it's very difficult for me to do grooming. I come in, and they see my disheveled appearance and think that I am worse. One day, I will muster the energy to put on nice ironed clothes and from that - from that one fact - they deduce that I'm doing better. No, that's not what it means. It means that I just did the laundry yesterday. They then tend to devalue what I tell them.

I hate it when so-called medical professionals use trivial criteria to deduce a person's state of mind. How about talking to the patient and finding out what's going on?

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I have found that with my doctors, a candid discussion of my overfunctioning capacities has always been helpful. I am able to let them know the difference between how I'm looking and how I'm feeling. It usually involves me saying "Yes, I look like this, and this is what is going through my head right now, and this is what I'd like to be doing if I weren't in front of another human being, etc." kind of gets the message across.

That said, I do choose my own outpatient docs. I have had bad hospital experiences with medical professionals not listening to me, and the results are usually rather disaster oriented. I really prefer to only be in hospitals that my personal pdoc has been in charge of. That's really the only super duper hospital experience I've ever had..... otherwise, it's been a bit difficult.

And don't even get me started on hospitals in Tucson. I swear to christ, I even get hospitalized again, I'm driving to Phoenix, Not kidding.

Anna

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I completely agree with you. I am very articulate and have been since I was 15 (when I was dxed) and I shower regularly and put on clean clothes even when I'm really super crazy. I'm also a small white girl who comes from a "good family." So when I get checked into a hospital I'm immediately judged to be one of the more sane ones there and probably shouldn't even be there. Even when I'm hearing voices, suicidal, manic out of my mind, or dissociative beyond belief. Unfortunately this means I don't get taken seriously. Like, you don't really need to be here. I've used this to fake my way out several times. You know, say what they want to hear so you can get the hell out of the hospital. Which is only ever detrimental to me, but seems like a good idea at the time and if anyone knew what was going on and could stop it, I'd be better off. One time I jumped out of a second story window because I was hearing voices- I was out of my mind and got out of the hospital in 3 days (luckily I hadn't broken anything in the fall). The only reason I'm remotely okay now is because my mom wouldn't buy my bullshit "I'm better." She believed me when I said something was wrong and wouldn't stop until I got help.

The moral of this story is doctors should really talk to us and find out rather than just look and assume.The "normal" looking girl in the corner who can hold a lucid conversation may just be out of her mind nuts but you'd never know unless you asked the right questions. Looks can be deceiving, right?

What I got out of this: I frickin hate hospitals.

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  • 2 months later...

When I was hospitalized at one place I had a random guy come into my room at 2AM and my room was right in front of the nurses station. I screamed and the nurses told me that there was no reason for me to freak out. Then my doctor wouldn't show up until 11:30PM or midnight to talk to us and they always drew blood at 2AM.

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Inside I can be panicing, calm on the outside, Inside ready to end my life, outside joking and laughing with the best of them. My ability to "fake it til I make It" Has saved my butt more than once but also stopped me from getting the help that I need. People see what they want to SEE not hear what we want them to HEAR

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I am usually smiling, so the staff all think I'm awfully happy. Even my Dad, a retired surgeon (of much smaller patients) thought I looked good and therefore should be happy. Almost everyone in the ward showered every day or night or both. We each saw a pdoc every day and spent most of the day with therapists of different sorts. We all knew we were crazy because we talked about it in the smoking room. It was about 8X10 and we sat on the floor to smoke our two cigarettes. We'd talked about the pdocs and tdocs and decide which ones were crazy themselves. Our appearance ranged all over the place. Those that were admitted with just the clothes on their back dressed shabbily or used the washer and dryer more often. Those of us who brought several changes of clothes just showered and put clean clothes on every day. No one could guess the crazies just by how we looked.

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