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6 Things I Learned About Recovery From My Stay in a Psychiatric Hospital

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After my first suicide attempt, I had a serious conversation with my family and my doctors and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital. While it wasn’t always easy to be hospitalized, my stay there was very beneficial in many ways. It taught me many things about myself, about recovery and about life. It made me grow and mature psychologically. Here are some of the things I discovered and learned during my stay:

1. Recovery is never a one way trip or a straight, direct road.

There are always ups and downs during recovery, including good days and bad days. Accepting them and dealing with the best way you can is the most important.

2. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down.

So don’t count those times — you’ll only get discouraged. What matters is the number of times you get back up again.

3. Surrounding yourself with positive things and positive people is of utmost importance.

When you struggle with your mental health, your biggest priority should be your own well-being. Don’t waste your time with people that bring you negativity.

4. Taking a break from your usual life and routine may be exactly what you need.

This can help refocus yourself and redirect your life in the right direction. A stay in a psychiatric hospital may be an option offering you that.

5. A hospital stay can give structure to your life.

You may need to learn more structure and need more shape in your life. A hospitalization can also offer you this, if you need it.

6. Happiness is not always a choice.

You cannot always “choose” to be happy, especially if you have a mental illness. However, in some cases, recovery can be a choice. This is because recovery can only occur if you 100 percent want it — it will never happen by chance.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via monkeybusinessimages.

Originally published: April 12, 2017
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