From the inside of a mental health facility

Written by Jennie Alexandros, News Editor

When you think of a mental health facility, what do you imagine? A white room with padded walls and straight jacks? Chains, evil staff, and flickering lights? Maybe even the terrifying asylum from “American Horror Story” or any other popular horror movie? Typically, most people who have not experienced being treated in a mental health facility or who do not have the correct knowledge on the topic tend to imagine it as a scary and putrid prison where “crazy” people go to keep everyone out of danger or to be punished. The stigma around mental health facilities is utterly disgusting and gives these places a horrifyingly inaccurate name.

When you get admitted into a psychiatric hospital, you are not immediately restrained and isolated for months. In fact, it is quite illegal for any hospital to restrain you unless it is necessary such as if you are uncontrollably attempting to harm yourself or another person.

Against most beliefs, the inside of a mental health facility does not look like your average American prison: it looks much like a college dorm or a hotel. Depending on the hospital, you room with another person. You are allowed to talk and socialize and share personal stories and experiences.

Being a patient in a psychiatric hospital is a lot like being a patient in a regular hospital for physical health problems. There are always staff checking up on you and making sure your physical health is up to par. Along with medical personnel, there are also therapists and psychiatrists there to assist you by finding ways that can help better manage your symptoms and emotions.

An asylum is a place where you go to be safe. Being at an asylum can help you in more ways than one if you are there for the right reasons (ie: anxiety, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, etc.). Some people could be on medications such as an antidepressant for depression, or you can simply acquire helpful coping skills such as breathing or grounding exercises.

A mental health facility is not some scary, haunted, terrible place: it is a safe place where people with mental illnesses can go to get the help they need in order to live their life to its fullest potential.