Montreal psych ward horror story bonding

Last night I did the something for the first time. I actually met a couple of folks who I knew only through the internet. It was a gas, and this girl had been in a Montreal psych ward too. When I tell people I was in a psych ward, they truly don’t grasp the traumatic horrors that occur there.

First off, you are not treated as someone with an illness, you’re treated like a criminal. For another thing, I think they take some kind of course in destroying the last traces of humanity, empathy, and compassion. Personally, I think a lot of the psych ward workers I met, particularily in Emergency, were probably the Gestapo in their past lives. You look into their eyes and it’s completely cold and soulless.

Then there’s the restraints. It doesn’t sound as violent as it really is. I’m all for consensual bondage, but when you’re put in restraints it’s really fucking scary. Usually it’s used as punishment for minor infractions, in my case I wanted to use the phone during nap time, and instead of having a rational discussion about why they had some rule against using the phone, I was drugged and tied down for three and a half hours.

Then there’s this absurd idea of medical care. They do not care about their patients. Drug em, feed em, let them watch television, that’s your life and it won’t get better until they decide to let you out. When I got first degree burns on my hands they didn’t give me proper medical attention until two days later, even after I went to them saying my hands were burned. My hands were in agony. Finally one of the few nice staff brought a doc to see me. So they gave me this special cream to put on my hands to heal them. Later, when I went in again, I still needed the cream, but of course I didn’t have a chance to get it before going to the bin a second time. I kept asking friends and family to go get me this cream, but they thought I was a delusional nut, so instead they brought me hand lotion which didn’t do shit for my poor burns.

That’s not the only instance I saw of poor medical care. A homeless man who came to the hospital had gone walking in snow and ice in bare feet in montreal. His feet were pretty cut up, and looked frostbitten too. No one did anything for him until I got mad at my shrink and pointed it out.

They don’t care about protecting patients from other patients. There was this gross old man who wanted to gang rape me and even though I protested, they put me in a small ward with him and a handful of other male patients. As a rape survivor, this totally triggered off a whole host of things, none of which helped calm me down and bring me to this mythical state they call normal.

Finally, they have a fucked up attitude towards anglos. If you’re an anglo and you end up in a montreal bin, they will not provide you with interpreters and they are adamant about not transferring you to an English speaking hospital, of which there are a few. Actually, not just anglos, I take that back, anyone who doesn’t speak French is left to try and make sense of arbitrary rules. There were a few people who obviously spoke very little French OR English, and I have no idea how awful that must have been for them.

Anyway, now I have a friend who actually understands how truly soul destroying a stay in a Montreal psych ward is. And that makes me feel a lot more relieved, less alone about the whole experience. I sometimes get so furious about how casual certain people are about my experience in the bin. I have no obvious scars from the stay. But I am a psychiatric survivor.

One day I hope to transcend from being a psychiatric survivor. I think that day is coming. It’s taken a lot of really hard honest soul searching, writing, crying, and most notably, coming back to life. I feel I died in the psych ward. But my own personal ressurection and living has made me a stronger person.

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  1. Just found your site through a google search. I have a survivor site as well and I am trying to build on it. I hope you are still around, as this post is dated 2005.

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