I have bipolar, and I've been fortunate - very fortunate - to have been hospitalized once before in 2005. I live in a sleeply little town in a sleepy little corner where I live quietly with my Mom, four cats, snake and lizard.
In the beginning of June, I got a horrible case of stomach flu. I apparently stopped eating and drinking and became lithium toxic. I also threatened my life, which Baker Acted me.
For the first few days I was in my local hospital, in a private room with a Mental Health sitter in the room at all times. I could barely walk and had no clear idea of what happened. I had several problems. The kidneys were at 15% when I was admitted, a UTI, and more. I was also under a psychiatrist's care (though not my psychiatrist).
After I was well enough, I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital an hour and a half away from where I live. But I was ready to get the help I needed. After all, I did threaten myself and I can always learn coping skills.
I was not expecting the screaming, yelling, trying to throw things, etc. If I wasn't with a group, I was in my room hiding. I spoke to the first therapist I could.
I should point out, before I go on that I myself had no problems with the staff and they did a very good job.
Here's what really affected me and makes my heart hurt whenever it crosses my mind (which is a lot). When I got on the ward there was a young man there. He participated in groups, played three instruments, wrote music. He seemed to have everything going for him. He was released by lunch. He exchanged numbers with a couple of other patients, I wished him the best and fist bumped him. The young man with the floppy, curly hair was back to getting where he should be. I was so happy for him.
Later that evening a patient mentioned that he had been "pulled out of the garage bay." She was in the hospital when he was released so though I was startled, I chose not to pay attention...until no less than three employees walked by my room sharing more details.
I don't have a shield to protect me. Everybody has value to me. I only knew this boy briefly, but he touched me. To hear his death talked about so callously is on rewind in my mind. I can't comprehend it. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm also really that naive
I know that there is no way someone could work in a psychiatric setting and not have a profound and deep respect for people and values all life. That even if he was released, he could have been suicidal. Neither comforts me.
I did tell my psychiatrist and he explained what could've happened. Again... didn't really do anything
I apologize for the length, but does anyone have any advice on how I can reconcile this young man's death and put his spirit - and mine - at peace?