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MiaB

Access to the internet while inpatient

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Ive been IP twice and neither had internet access or allowed cellphone usage.

The first place only allowed two 15 minute calls per patient, per day. The second had 2 phones in the day room. Friends and family could call it whenever, between 9am and 9pm and patients could use it whenever to make local calls and 3 long distance calls per week.

I never had a problem with their being no cellphones allowed. Too many things could go wrong. It could end up lost or stolen, or worse someone could use it to snap pictures and post them online.

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It seems that some people can have internet access and it would be helpful to them -- or at least not harmful. But how are you supposed to enforce selective internet access? You can have a terminal, but then staff has to police the terminal. Who has access and for how long and when is someone going to pick it up and throw it across the room? You can let people have their cell phones if it's safe for them, but how do you prevent them from sharing it with others? What if it's stolen? What if the staff decides that it needs to be turned over and the patient refuses? If I were administering an IP program, I'd really question whether the benefit it provides to a few people (and being entertained is not a benefit) is worth the risk and the staff's extra time.

 

i have private care options so that likely makes a difference. the times i end up in general first, no, absolutely not. so that's why i mention that the time it happened i was in a private hospital. even when i start out at general i'm not in a communal area though. i'm in a locked room until they identify and transfer me. and then when i'm in private care i'm often on room restriction for a good amount of time so, again, not communal as much and there's no stealing that i've been involved with...they can turn over your room in a snap and i'm not really the most social person so there's not a lot of patient interaction when i'm in the hospital so not lots of opportunities for theft. but that's my experience and i can well imagine others' have very different ones.

 

i don't know what to say...i'm glad that my psychiatrist advocated for me to have it the time that i did and that it was worth their while because it maybe made a huge difference in my life.

 

but as far as what they do if you refuse or lash out. restraints. plain and simple. they don't use it as a threat--not to me....though i'm sure that happened back in the day and likely happens somewhere to someone still--but they do tell me firmly to return to room, to do xyz; they inform me clearly of what they're about to do and what the consequences are if i cannot lower my voice, stop cursing out staff, etc, etc, etc. and yeah, there are definitely ways of getting patients to keep their shit together or gather it for us. i don't know how many times you've been hospitalized, but throwing things, shouting at others, shouting at staff...it definitely happens, but there are consequences and you can be put into isolation and it really is *isolation*.

 

true, it is an additional thing to deal with, but there's also the very real problem of bringing me out of being psychotic and what life do i go back to? the worst thing i've experienced isn't psychosis....it's insight. and that's a very very lonely and adrift feeling of overwhelming responsiblity and despair for me. if i'd had nothing to return to...i'm just saying i see why the one time i made the request they filled it provided i adhered to restrictions. and when i didn't, it got yanked away. but they did try to give me opportunities to have that level of accountability and because they trusted me that inch, i trusted them more than i usually do.

 

it's a tough thing to balance, i'm sure, but i'm glad that some are willing to look at things on a case by case basis because you already feel "processed" in a "system" so much...especially if you've been in and out numerous times...to not just be "patient #...." can offer something where there feels like there's nothing...and being listened to and treated as a person...an individual and not a patient #, was huge for me.

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[...] there's also the very real problem of bringing me out of being psychotic and what life do i go back to? the worst thing i've experienced isn't psychosis....it's insight. and that's a very very lonely and adrift feeling of overwhelming responsiblity and despair for me. 

 

Yes.

Edited by tamagotchi

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My cell phone (and kindle, since it was one that goes online) was taken away but I had access to making calls on the floor's phone, I just had to ask. People could also call me and I made a list of people who couldn't reach me in there. Not that they did a good job on enforcing that.

 

People might think their internet use wouldn't be detrimental, but as miab said, then if it's so little, it shouldn't be a problem to skip for a few days. I think missing out on TMZ for a few days would be ok. Celebrity garbage isn't a "must" in life. I don't believe people should be cut off from the world but having no internet isn't a tragedy. You can skip your emails and facebook for awhile. I can see not having a cell phone has being harder, numbers are stored in there, but at my place they let you look up numbers in your phone and then give it back to them.

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mellifluous, I don't feel it to the extent you do, but gaining insight has been hard for me.  I am still not sure about what really happened in the past and it took me awhile to be able to trust my thoughts. The voices guided me and it was hard to make decisions again.  

 

Sorry for going off topic, but I remembered something

 

When I was released from the hospital the first time my family didn't want me to go on the computer, but that was where my friends were.  They wouldn't let me on and disconnect the modem when they went out.  Even when I returned to my own house they would get worried if they knew i had been on the computer.  It was really hard for me but part of it was the controlling factor.

Edited by confused

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I find myself agreeing with miab in theory, that it's a good idea not to spend a lot of time all over the internet when IP.

 

But when I think about it more, when I've been IP (in SA) I have been allowed to keep my cellphone. I would lock it in my cupboard all day while the day program was running. The evenings were long and I would have no visitors because I was in a hospital far from where I live. That would be the time I texted my family (most of them overseas) and friends for support. One time I posted on Fb and just said I was feeling really down and would be grateful for any replies. So many friends responded (a lot of them knew of my MI but not that I was IP) and it really helped with loneliness during visiting times.

 

Sooooo, keeping in touch and getting supportive texts was good for me. I guess I'm a hypocrite and can't back up my first sentence. :)

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The last two times I've been IP, we've been allowed access to cell phones and/or computers at certain times of the day.  There were also two computers with internet access in the "common" area.

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I know people who've been IP and had it for a couple of hours a day, and a lot of sites were blocked. He used a proxy? to get onto facebook. I never had it, but by that point I was too determined to burn what I was eating rather than stare at the internet. I don't know how other MI's feel when they're IP, but as an ED IP I craved the contact but at the same time I was too focused on trying to beat it the programme, convinced it wasn't going to work. Sadly.

 

I think it's a good idea to let people check in on you, like friends etc. as it is such an isolating experience but then there's the temptation of certain sites, and then there's the issue of people having ED 'buddies' who don't really help the recovery process. (speaking from experience there the worst thing to go through is having a close 'friend' with an ED who is telling you how to cope and get around the treatment plan'. I suppose limited access is just a way of trying to deal with that.

Edited by Elsa

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Where I end up IP doesn't have computers or internet, just your common hallway phone. They confiscate cellphones, but upon it being turned over to my mother to take home, it's turned right back over to me by her because she knows I can be trusted with access to phone, internet and texting. From there on out, it's hidden on my person and only used in my private room or while outside the building (level system, once you reach a certain level you can go outside for set lengths of time). It would probably be better for the hospital TO have a computer, out in the open where nurses can see, so they could monitor its usage. Instead, we all just sneak in smartphones and browse the internet while sitting on the crapper.

 

Another place that I've been sent, a voluntary crisis centre versus IP, has a computer available for use placed in a location where workers are frequently passing by and can view the screen. Shocker: people use it to play online games or search wikipedia, nothing nefarious. It's really not so much a problem having access to the internet, it's whether or not the computer is put somewhere that makes it difficult or impossible to have any privacy with workers willing and prepared to prohibit use as necessary.

Edited by discomposed

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I would like to state with a smug sense of superiority that despite all the debate about internet access, nobody would dream of having an IP ward without a TV set running constantly.

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Over the past 20 years I have had many IP experiences, but none of them allowed cell phones, keys, wallets, etc. 

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The hospital I end up at when I have to go IP turns the TV off during the times when there are groups meeting. The communal phones get shut off during group time too.

Edited by trailmix

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The hospital I end up at when I have to go IP turns the TV off during the times when there are groups meeting. The communal phones get shut off during group time too.

 

This is something that happened when I was IP also.  Also the phones were shut off around 10 or 11 PM, and turned on around 8 or 9 AM.

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I would like to state with a smug sense of superiority that despite all the debate about internet access, nobody would dream of having an IP ward without a TV set running constantly.

 

No.  This is sidestepping my original point (although it went off on a tangent), which was that access to the internet while IP potentially opens the way for people in crisis to research their meds and diagnoses while in a treatment environment.  Unless you know of some mysterious way to achieve this via watching TV, your point is moot.

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I wasn't making reference to your research question... just noting that a lot of things that can go wrong with the internet, can go wrong with TV and they won't shut the damn thing off if you want to spend some quiet, alone time in the common area. More of an I-hate-TV-and-its-socially-acceptable-addiction comment than anything else.

Edited by ovOidampUle

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I wasn't making reference to your research question... just noting that a lot of things that can go wrong with the internet, can go wrong with TV and they won't shut the damn thing off if you want to spend some quiet, alone time in the common area. More of an I-hate-TV-and-it's-socially-acceptable-addiction comment than anything else.

 

Ok, thanks.. fwiw, I hate tv too, don't even own one, and agree with the lack of quiet in common areas because of televisions on almost perpetually.

Edited by miab

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My treatment centre that im out patient at has a tv on constantly and we don't get to choose the channel, it's in the waiting room and it annoys me immensely. It's usually bbc1 and it's boring and reminds me of my mum. I would personally hide my phone, i have got to have contact with love ones somehow. I would like to go on the internet because I'm shy it takes me a lot to interact with others so

i escape to the internet a lot so i would miss that.

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