Holly Hill Hospital

Name of Hospital: Holly Hill Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Raleigh, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 1.5

Comment: Went there three times in my life.

Nurses would talk down to and insult patients, gossip about them at the front desk. Doctors would use excessive force and discourage peer support. Staff cannot take criticism and it is a major downfall. Was in one unit that had to be put on lockdown at one point because staff couldn’t effectively deal with a fight and patients started getting upset with them, so staff shoved them into walls and sedated them and locked us all in our rooms. Victim blaming is commonplace.

One nurse told me after another patient had vandalized my belongings that some people have worse problems than me. I was neglected in crisis while staff at the front desk watched me and did nothing. Disciplinary action is often given to the victims for being hurt, not to the ones who hurt them. I was once “disciplined” for having a psychotic episode, and also dealt with early stage selective mutism that they couldn’t recognize so instead resorted immediately to “quit lying to us” and were very hostile to me. It seemed like the default opinion was “the patient is being uncooperative on purpose and/or lying” until proven otherwise, and to prove otherwise you had to be in crisis practically 24/7, which presented its own problems.

None of the group therapy sessions were relevant and there wasn’t really any one-on-one therapy. You got put on medication and if it didn’t help they put you on more. No one was allowed to not be on medication. If you weren’t on medication when you came you would be put on something; if you were you’d probably have your prescription upped or altered even if it didn’t make any sense. I was on many meds that I didn’t even need and which made me feel even worse but they wouldn’t let me off of them. Was even refused accommodation when I couldn’t take them due to a swallowing disorder and the med administrator immediately blamed me and withheld them and would not let me try again until I begged.

They had a minimum few days that someone could be there before being released but people were always kept longer. Each time I was there for over a week, sometimes almost two; didn’t matter if you were doing fine. Despite this there seemed to be a pretty high turnover rate. Was once moved units and the room I was put in was excessively hot, had no door on the bathroom, and provided sheeting that could be considered minimal even for most hospitals. Heard reports both while I was there and after I left of sexual assault. Some staff asked me invasive and sexual questions, and during at least one admission strip search I was encouraged to show more than necessary.

I wasn’t informed of any diagnosis I was given throughout the entire stay or even after I left, found out years later that they’d not only completely misdiagnosed me but had included a disorder for me being blunt about the mistreatment (which fueled and validated further abuse as I remained in an out-patient psych system for the next few years). Ward sides with abusive family members over struggling patients anyday.

The few good things I can say are that the food is great, it’s generally pretty clean, and the outdoor areas are roomy, but I don’t remember going outside as much in the second unit I was switched to (from younger adolescent to older teen unit). There’s also a lot of opportunity for peer support since you have a bunch of people in one unit and lots of free time, but obviously whoever your co-patients are is a gamble.

I wouldn’t ever recommend voluntarily admitting yourself here unless you don’t mind being forced on medication and having little to do, but if you have to go I’d say try your luck with the others before you fully confide in any of the staff. It’s been maybe two or three years since I went but from what I know a lot of the same people still work there, and the negative attitudes that reign don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Staff assumed cis girl, Not openly LGBTQ+ when I went

Year(s) : 2013/2014

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