A few weeks ago, I was involuntarily hospitalized under Florida's Baker Act, which allows medical professionals or law enforcement officers to detain you for up to three days if they believe you're a danger to yourself or other people. It wasn't my first psychiatric hospitalization — I've previouslyhad an inpatient stay after a depressive episode. That was back in 2013, and I left with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. Still, even if you think you know what it's like in a psychiatric hospital, the prospect of going is slightly terrifying because you're not exactly sure will happen. You're separated from your loved ones, you may have to share a room with a stranger, and you'll miss home fiercely.
There are things no one tells you about a psychiatric hospitalization, mainly because each hospital is different, and no two mental health units are the same. If you're facing an inpatient psychiatric stay, you may feel anxious and unsure of what to expect. Before I was first admitted, I had expectations along the lines of what Nellie Bly experienced at the asylum she infiltrated in the 1800s. Thankfully, neither of my psychiatric stays were anything like the stereotypes movies make them out to be, but there are things I wish I would've known beforehand.