Hospital Visit: Psychiatric Prison


The EMS arrived at my home and got me to start talking. They sympathized with me and gave me all the attention that I needed. One of the paramedics actually gave me a lecture about life which was comforting at the time. The two paramedics promised that I would get the help that I needed. I arrived at the hospital on a stretcher but thank God they didn’t strap me down. All of the nurses were starring at me and whispered amongst each other. I expected that though-due to the reason I was I was being hospitalized.


Lol, that’s my “whatever face”! ——> BACK TO MY STORY.

The paramedics rolled me to the emergency room and they had to literally hunt down a nurse to help them with me. Now this is where the trauma begins. I noticed how every employee at this hospital were walling around aimlessly and they looked confused. When the nurse came into my room, she connected me me to a heart monitor, blood pressure monitor, and an oxygen level monitor. This nurse left then, after about 45 minutes to an hour, two more nurses finally came in. The registered nurse was not attentive and she did not show any concern for my medical need. She asked me a million questions while this “GOTH” nurse stabbed me over and over to put in an IV. I had previously advised the nurse that I have very small and rolling veins-she kept trying in the same spot. My emotional state continued to lower. I was feeling even more depressed as time went on. It seemed like I was being punished for being sad.

I continued to sit alone in that damn Emergency room. They wouldn’t allow any visitors and they took all of my belongings, including my phone. (Oh hell no) I sat in the middle of of that bed and cried so hard, my entire face was swollen. I could barely see! I finally went to sleep and when I woke up—I was still alone. No one had come to talk to me or anything. I started to panic, I requested to sign myself out but the “Ratchet Registered Nurse”, advised me that I had been committed. She said the doctor signed my life over to the state of South Carolina. I was not allowed to step foot out of that hospital room without permission or with an escort. They noticed how angry I was becoming so they decided to let my fiancé to come sit with me and that did calm me down. My fiancé and I sat there and talked for a while and cuddled-then finally the counselor arrived. The counselor looked depressed himself. His shoes were very old and worn out and they were leaning on the sides. His shirt appeared to be stretched out and his face was flushed. I could tell that he did not want to be there. (Hell, neither did I ) The counselor started asking me the same questions that the nurses had already asked. His tone was very demeaning and robotic. He told me that they aren’t here to make me feel better, they are only there to keep me safe. (Wtf, Thank God I wasn’t really mentally ill) He also told me that he had been to prison. I told him that they were treating me like a prisoner. He then decided to let me and my fiancé know that they were planning on keeping me there in Psychiatric holding for 72 hours or until the mental institution accepts me. (I had no say in any of this)

I requested outpatient help and the counselor denied my request. He felt like I would be better off at Patrick B. Harris mental hospital. I was pissed at this point. They made my fiancé leave then they escorted me to the psych holding area. The holding area was small and unfortunately it was a Co-Op unit. There were all men and 2 women in this unit. There was also 2 nurses, 1 nurse in training, a useless security guard, and a nurse practitioner. That night everyone had to go in their rooms which meant that I was not allowed to use the phone until the next morning at 9am. I cried myself to sleep in a very small room with this hard plastic chair, a small cot that only had one very thin sheet, a very thin blanket, and a plastic pillow. There were two cameras in my room as well.

The next day, I got up with another swollen face and when I realized where I was, tears began to fall again. I tried asking for the phone, a nurse, or just anybody to speak with me about my situation. After I stood hopelessly in the doorway with a blanket around my shoulders-another social worker and nurse finally came to speak to me. In my mind – I knew I had to do anything to get them to discharge me immediately. I told them how much I do for and with my community, how happy I really am and that I just hit a bad spot and got a bit too stressed. They told me that they would have to discharging me. They told me to be patient. HA, YEA RIGHT!


I could not continue to sit in that “cell” so I decided to go and watch TV until the “Psychiatric Correctional/Parole officers” came back. As I made my way into the TV room I noticed a man walking up and down the hall spontaneously laughing and talking under his breath. At one point I thought that he was talking to me- when I said huh to him he said that he was just rapping a song. I kept my eye on him-moments later, he came into the TV room with his blanket. We started chatting and he kept thinking that he knew me. I assured him that that he did not know me. l left the TV room to go use the phone to call my fiancé. Every time I sat down to use that damn phone, some of the patients would come out and say they needed to use the phone. As soon as I would hang up the phone, the patients would grab it and just press buttons. They didn’t make any real calls. I decided to give them some time so I went back into the TV room. The man that I mentioned above, that talks to himself, came into the TV room and sat really close to me. I decided to try and communicate with him. I asked him why was he in the hospital, and to my surprise he was well aware of his illness and his need for medication. He told me that he is a Schizophrenic and he hears voices. He said that someone put something in his drink at a club and he hasn’t been the same since. He stated that since then, he finds himself wandering the streets-and most recently someone gave him a ride and he asked them to take him to the hospital. He knew that he needed help. Then out of nowhere, he started rubbing my back. He kept saying that he knew me from somewhere. He continued to rub my back and I noticed that he was playing with his penis. I told him to stop and he told me that he needed a hug and a kiss. Then I heard him talking to the TV. I asked him if he had heard a voice and he said the man on the TV told him to stop touching me. He also said that the man on the TV called my back his. “He said I can’t touch your back cuz he said it’s his back”! (Confused? ) The patient finally got up and said that he was going to go brush his teeth so that he could give me a hug and kiss. As soon as he walked out of the TV room, I hurried to use the phone. I called my fiancé and started crying-telling him what had just happened and how important it was for him to help me get out of that damn hospital. They wouldn’t even allow the women to wear their underwear. The men were allowed to wear their underwear though. I felt naked and weak. I even saw the nurses and the security guard watching the housed patients on camera and they were laughing. I felt so vulnerable. The people that were there REALLY needed help! They were not trying to leave or beg to go home. Those people were so helpless and no one in that hospital gave a shit. That is ultimately why I chose to share my story. There is no REAL help out there for the problems that we face in life. There are only placebos and millions dollars worth in medications that alter the brain. That hospital and it’s personnel has great potential to ruin lives, they didn’t even ask me or talk to me about the cause of my dismay. They immediately decided to medicate/SEDATE me and ship me somewhere else for someone else to deal with me. Fortunately, I was sent home that day – I think they realized that the option that they chose would probably increase my chances at losing the rest of the mind that I have left.

A few days after I was discharged from the hospital, I had an anxiety attack. I googled counseling agencies and even a crisis line. The agencies were costly and when I called the crisis, it rang for about 50 seconds. It came to a voicemail that told me to call back or call 911. So my question is, WHERE TO NEXT? When you have things going on-who can you turn to for help? (YOURSELF OR GOD IF YOU’RE SPIRITUAL)


Lacey C Riley


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