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To Someone Who's Just Been Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital

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Checking myself into a mental health unit because I was suicidal and needed to keep myself safe was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (including self-harm) more times than I can count. Sometimes I was forced to go and sometimes I checked myself in voluntarily.

During those times in the hospital, I felt so unloved and unlovable. I hated myself and didn’t think anyone else cared about me either. Many people in my position share these thoughts, and when that feeling grows it can seem unbearable.

So, if you’ve recently been admitted to a mental health unit or a psychiatric hospital, there are a few things I want you to know as someone who’s been there:

First of all, you’re doing the right thing. I know it may feel like you’ve hit the lowest point in your life right now, but please know it takes an enormous amount of courage and bravery to admit you need help. Good for you for recognizing that and getting the help you need.

Secondly, please know you’re not alone. There are many people who’ve done what you’re doing and there will be plenty of others who need to take care of themselves in the future. Make the most out of your stay in the hospital. It might not be fun, but it can be the start to healing. Go to groups, talk with your nurses and be honest with your doctor about what treatments are working and which are not. Take advantage of your resources — both in your community and from your family and friends. They are there to help you recover.

Thirdly, please try not to let stigma get you down. It’s hard to admit you’re at a hospital for mental health reasons. Some people might make you feel bad, but don’t let that in. You’re strong and brave for getting the help you need, and it will pay off!

And lastly, if you don’t remember anything else I’ve said, please remember you are loved! I believe you were put on this Earth with a purpose. I care about you, and I know so many others care about you, too. Take that to heart and work on healing your mind and body.

No one should feel bad for taking care of themselves.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

Megan is the founder of Jogging 4 Journals. She’ll be running one 5k every month to raise money to buy journals for inpatients at her local hospital’s mental health unit. Her goal is to deliever 30 journals every month. To learn more, visit her Facebook page

Originally published: January 12, 2016
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