The Truth Behind Closed Doors of a Psychiatric Hospital: By The Masked Avenger Anonymous

Author Anonymous

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of a psychiatric hospital, where the purpose is to keep patients at a vulnerable time safe from harm and well cared for with medications, occupational therapy? I am about to give my insight of the hospital from my teenage years and from various stays including the most recent last year.

Getting admitted

Firstly to actually even get admitted you are pretty much in for a fight with the mental health services, I have before begged for admission due to being suicidal in 2015 to the Kent crisis home treatment team only to be told ‘you do not meet the criteria’.

I know on a personal level just how difficult it is to get them to listen. I was age 16 when first admitted a long long time ago now. The hospital was actually run so much better back then even though it was still absolutely poor in comparison to the care you would expect to receive, but back then you were allowed to smoke in the smokers lounge ,a right that prisoners in the UK still have in some prisons. Sometimes it is deemed that you need to be sectioned as I was 3 times last year.

I felt there was no dignity at all.  I was left sleeping in a corridor on a hard rubber sofa with no pillow or blanket and woken up at 7 am to say they had a bed for me in brighton priory… the experience of being in the priory a private hospital was a different world to the NHS experience.

The Staff

I am not saying all the staff are as useless as a chocolate teapot you get one or two that take the time out of their day to sit and talk with you about how you are doing but this is very very rare.

When becoming an inpatient at Littlebrook Hospital now you are made to have your bags searched and items listed this is as much for admin purposes as it is to check whether you have anything in your bags that can harm you i.e razors , tweezers , tablets. However on all admissions last year I was able to ‘smuggle in’ items on the banned list by putting them various zip up compartments which were not checked. Very ‘thorough and safe’ indeed…

 

If they called breakfast and you were not up you simply missed out altogether meaning that you went until lunch time at 12.30 before eating, which when you are on medications is not good at all and can cause adverse effects.

 

If you requested medication to help calm you you could wait hours or sometimes they would forget altogether. I was psychotic last year and convinced I was being spied on I refused food nor was given supplement drinks for a few weeks on my first admission. I would stay in my room at meal times and nobody would try and encourage me that it was safe to eat.

Putting it bluntly the nurses simply do not care. I would punch the walls of my room a lot they would see me doing so but would leave me to it even to the point my hand was swollen so much I was taken to A&E.

 

The hospital is supposed to be a place of safety and rehabilitation but this is definitely not the case here.

At most I will call it a holding cell until the psychiatrist deems you fit for discharge.

 

The food

The food at the hospital is vile and nasty and served without care. Breakfast is fine as it is cereal and you cant go wrong with that , well unless you don’t wake up for it and lets face it at 7am when you have been given night time medications at 10pm…depending on it the nurse in charge actually starts it on time or if there is a delay from someone on the ward having an episode who is really going to be awake for it.

 

When I was in as a teenager they actually made you get up and go to breakfast lunch and dinner and offer supper too but the care seems to have drastically fallen in 15 years.

 

The lunch and dinner are to be avoided at all costs. This is an actual dinner from 2016.

Blog photo fod I looked for the budget info which was unavailable but it it is widely known that more is spent on prisoners food than a person in hospital. It was like a game of guess the meal. When you are trying to recover mentally you do not want to eat anyway so the food could go a long way in aiding recovery of the patients. You are also watched like a hawk with knives even though they are as blunt as anything.

They count all cutlery (yes even the spoons ) in and out of the trolley.

Occupational therapy

What therapy?

You would go days and days with nobody being there and they deemed that having newspapers, tea and biscuits on the ward as occupational therapy.

 

Back when I was 16 you actually had two sessions Monday to Friday that you were encouraged to attend. Now the staff are more then happy for you to lay in bed all day and leave them to sit in the office eating whatever luxury items they had brought in with them and drink endless cups of tea and coffee.

 

Pretty much the only staff on the ward where those who were on eye sight for the patients needing one to one care, this is supposed mean you are watched 24/7 but even then I know of patients who managed to cut themselves or ligature themselves whilst on one to one watch.

 

Ways out for those desperate to escape

 

There are a few ways out of the hospital without discharge some I witnessed and some I did myself while on section last year.

 

For some they literally break free kicking the fire escape doors , for others they may injure themselves needing treatment in hospital (often with items brought in; some ladies I know of swallowed smuggled in razor blades and cut themselves. I on the other hand hit my hand repeatedly but never ran from hospital as my treatment was actually pretty quick).

 

For others they bide their time and wait for escorted leave and just run off only coming back if found by the police. No matter what where there is a will there is a way out. The staff don’t care either way they just care about their wages and cups of tea.

 

Discharge

They will discharge you when they see fit and no matter what you say will change this. They have their own set agenda when it comes to discharge and pretty much always you do not get the follow up ‘care’ that they state in your discharge plan.

Its like ‘lets see who is the least at risk so we can ship them out and make way for the next vulnerable poor soul. ‘

To sum this up, Littlebrook Hospital is a disgrace to vulnerable and at risk people.

The lack of care, food and medications is astronomical and the place is worse then a prison.

You have to wait days for a review , you cannot smoke in there causing a lot of people to kick off and react as the staff are now not even supposed to give you supervised leave so you can smoke. I know smoking is no ideal but for a huge amount of mentally unwell people it calms them.

 I have been hospital free for a year and I can only hope that my mental health does not decline so much again that I have to be admitted


This was written for you by a Masked Avenger. A Masked Avenger could be any one of our regular writers, a group of writers or a guest writer. Written to bring you uninhibited truths that need to be told.


If you would like to submit an article to the Masked Avenger please email us at: the-avenger1@hotmail.com

Author: The Avenger

Independent writers from a very varied background with a shared vision of empowering stories , news and reviews not always highlighted by the mainstream media

10 thoughts on “The Truth Behind Closed Doors of a Psychiatric Hospital: By The Masked Avenger Anonymous”

  1. Thank you for this truthful insight. I hope your good health continues. I’m waiting for an urgent referral from CAMS fir my 15 year old. Waited 6 weeks so far. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your story has really touched my heart.My sister spent a long time sectioned in Little Brook.
    At first it seemed a good place but the more we visited, the more we started to see mistakes and floors.
    My sister spoke of rough handling, PRN being used far more than talking therapy.
    It saddens me deeply.
    My sister sadly passed away two years ago in another psychiatric “home” that was meant to help her.

    I really hope you are able to find some peace and support.
    Take care of yourself.

    Xx Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry that this happened to your sister and I only hope that by sharing stories like these that we can raise awareness and one day change something. I will pass your message on to our anonymous author. Thank you x

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  3. My son has had the misfortune to be a guest here on many occasions. I agree with all you say. There is no treatment/occupational therapy and little to no aftercare. As he was moved from ward to ward his doctor changed with each ward change and each doctor gave a different diagnosis from schizophrenia, pyschosis, bi-polar to personality disorder. One time, after being taken there by the police, he was beaten (he doesn’t remember if this was the police or the hospital staff), stripped naked and left in an isolation room for 18 hours until I’d kicked up enough of a stink about seeing him. He has never been violent to anyone but himself. The crisis team are worse than uselss – in fact I would go so far as to call them criminally negligent. One time they were called by the police and declared my son mentally fit. He was bailed to my custody but we weren’t allowed to leave the police station as the doctor who had declared him mentally fit suddenly changed her story to ‘he’s a danger to himself’ and had him sectioned. They thought I would refuse to have him home and he would be remanded in custody. – They would rather my poorly son went to prison than have to treat him. Because of him being declared fit at the point of the bail hearing he was charged with assault on a policeman. My son had no idea what the assault was – he had no memory of it and it wasn’t until we got to court several months later that we learned it was spitting. He has a criminal record now because he spat at the policeman who tried to stop him killing himself (no blame on the policeman, he tried to get the charges dropped but his superiors insisted on prosecuting) He broke out of Littlebrook twice – through the fire doors and no one tried to stop him. He was sent to Manchester, Ashford and several other places. I can’t hear the name ‘Littlebrook’ without seething with anger – in fact I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress after one of his stays there. I do my best to manage my sons condition at home rather than the call the people who are supposed to help and support him because in our experience it makes things a whole lot worse. It is disgusting that this place that is supposed to be there to help people at their most vulnerable makes us feel like this. Like you my son has been well for a year. May you, and he continue in good health. Wishing you all the very best xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking experience with us. It is an utter disgrace the way in which people with mental illness are treated. We all know that this kind of thing used to happen many years ago. But up until this anonymous blog was sent to me, and I heard a few other stories; I honestly thought that this kind of practice didn’t happen any more. People need to be made aware about what goes on. It is unacceptable and nobody should accept this. We have to speak out for the vulnerable when they can’t do it for themselves. If you ever wish to tell your tale anonymously or named please let us know and we would be happy to publish it for you. Many thanks once again x

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  4. They were a disgrace when I was there 13/14 years ago. I came out in a worst state than when I went in and a nurse bullied me to the point I was pyschoic and just wanted to go home. She put myself and the staff and patients at risk through her actions. I’m. It surprised its got worse. The mental health system in Dartford is unfit for purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

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