Sheppard Pratt Hospital

Name of Hospital: Sheppard Pratt

City, State/Province, Country: Towson, Maryland, USA

Number of Stars: 1.5

Comment: I admitted myself due to unbearable anxiety and a lack of medication and dire need of help right now right this second, even as I knew that it was a hospital with a bad reputation.

During intake, I told them to call me by my real name (I am trans) and not my legal one, and was condescendingly told “we use our REAL names here” before I insisted, quite angrily, that I was transgender and they would be using my chosen name. I was still misgendered constantly (I use they/them pronouns) and once, my legal name was put on the whiteboard in the common room where everyone could see it, and I had to complain for them to change it. Also during intake, I was forced to lift my binder and take down my underwear, even as I was crying while they insisted I take down my underwear because I am a repeat victim of CSA and sexual abuse.

During my stay, I was also condescended to about my cane usage by staff, who decided to give me unsolicited advice on how to “get better” from my permanent physical disability because I was “too young” to need a cane. On the day I was discharged, I watched someone attempt suicide at breakfast, and the staff responded but then she was shortly released back to the regular inpatient floor, and staff never responded when she was hitting her head against the wall afterwards.

I was also given an outpatient diagnosis of “Severe Cannabis Dependency Disorder” even though I told them the reason I smoked weed was because I had an eating disorder, anxiety, and chronic pain, and I used it as any medical marijuana patient would, except that it’s not legal in this state yet. This is a diagnosis that may follow me and I’m still angry that this was diagnosed when they clearly ignored the reasons for my cannabis use.

During group DBT, the phrase “only you can let others make you feel bad about yourself” was taught and the “you can choose to be happy” narrative was pushed, word for word, and when trauma patients like myself spoke up against it, we were met with condescending and invalidating answers about how we could choose how we react to our abusers. The stay was awful and I never want to return.

Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Nonbinary trans, gay, physically disabled and in need of a cane while still being a young person

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