Name of Hospital: Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center
City, State/Province, Country: Virginia Beach, VA, Hampton Roads
Number of Stars: 2.5
Comment: I’ve been hospitalized here a few times but each time it wasn’t really much different. Upon arrival after initial paperwork you are forced to strip naked and looked over for bruises, scars, tattoos by nurses. This felt incredibly demeaning to the point where I cried after nurses made a snarky comment about my self harm scars. The staff on the floor were very accommodating. But, they did rummage through my stuff & didn’t let me have certain things, like my cellphone or deodorant.
I woke up from the rock hard slab I slept on where the nurses annoyed me every 5 minutes. The TV was blasting in both the common room and the group room. Patients were shuffling around drinking coffee and shortly it was breakfast time. What annoyed me about the meals was the fact that I stated my dietary restrictions and was ignored. I’m a vegetarian, I ended up eating salads pretty much daily.
We had med time and this really upset me here. The doctors took me off all the meds I was on when I came in and forced me to take new meds that I knew nothing about. I ended up having severe withdrawal symptoms from abruptly changing my meds. There was a patient with me one time that screamed at nurses because she couldn’t have her heart medication.
Groups weren’t mandatory but if you went it did gave you a chance for earlier release. The morning group was nice to introduce ourselves and talk about how we felt, we got schedules for groups that were set up the rest of the day. But in between times for the groups there was nothing to do except watch TV and talk to other patients, there was nothing enriching to occupy our time. I got so bored that I just ended up taking naps.
Afternoon groups, I felt extremely isolated here because I couldn’t relate to most of the topics. It was mostly whoever was running the group talking for a few minutes and other patients ranting for 30 minutes about themselves. I really wanted to talk to group facilitators and ask different questions but was ignored quite often. It made me feel awful being ignored and not really having a way to talk about my problems without seeming like a bother to other patients.
Something I did like was once a week we had recreational therapy. We played video games, or colored or played board games. We even had a therapy dog come in one time. The staff on the floor I was on were always really kind and understanding, none of them were rude to me or spoke harshly to me, I liked that.
My therapist was nice but not helpful at all. I had a therapist change on one weekend when my therapist wasn’t around and he was the most condescending and horrible therapist I ever had. He said somethings about my sexuality and appearance that made me feel disgusting and depressed. We were also supposed to meet with a social worker at least twice a week to work on plans after release and during one stay I was there for 8 days. I saw her once and got no support or plan to help me.
In all, while the staff and certain patients were kind to me it felt like a waste of time. I felt even worst then when I arrived. I didn’t know what to do with my life or how to deal with my problems or how to find support. I just felt alone and depressed
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient
Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Lesbian