Three Rivers Behavioral Health

Name of Facility: Three Rivers Behavioral Health

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Columbia, SC, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: I was brought here after my second suicide attempt. After being admitted, I spoke with the psychiatrist assigned to me. She was dismissive and despite my explanation that SSRI antidepressants did not work for me, she prescribed Prozac. The patient bill of rights states that anyone can refuse medication, but if you are here under involuntary commitment, refusal is counted as being non-compliant.

Throughout the stay my psych continued to be uncompromising and dismissive. The ward’s patient rights advocate also constantly sniped at me for not being cooperative enough. Said patient bill of rights also states that any patient has the right to an attorney if they choose…so I got one. The rights advocate yelled at me for it, told me it would do no good, and tried to bully me out of it.

Aside from daily group therapy and 1x week craft time, patients were not provided anything to do aside from smokers being able to go to a small outside area. Patients were not allowed to bring books or magazines because the staff said it would be too much work to check them for hidden drugs, razors, etc. This was very distressing as I and a few other patients were college students who could have used the copious free time to study.

When I got released, as this was my 2nd attempt, the rights advocate warned me that if there was ever a next time I would be “in for it.” Whatever that means.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: autism spectrum (undiagnosed at the time)

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2011

Palmetto Health Baptist Columbia

Name of Facility: Palmetto Health Baptist

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Columbia, SC

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: I was committed here for my first suicide attempt, and it was my first experience being treated involuntarily for any psych issue. I was admitted to the ward at night and I was anxious, confused, and terrified. A nurse yelled at me and threatened to “send me upstairs where the dangerous ones are.” She held me down, stripped me to take pictures of my self harm scars and cuts, and tranq’d me. I was given my underwear and a hospital gown. The next day, the nurses would not give me my clothes back even though other patients wore street clothes. I was constantly told to stop asking and that I could only have them if I was “good.”

Only one of the nurses was very kind and seemed to care and listen. The psychiatrists, including the one assigned to me, generally seemed to not care much about what the patients were saying and needed.

I was here for about a week, and to this day it’s one of the scariest and most humiliating experiences of my life.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: autism spectrum (undiagnosed at the time)

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2011

Hospital Kuala Lumpur

Name of Hospital: Hospital Kuala Lumpur

City, State/Province, Country: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: I was admitted from Universiti Islam Antrabangsa Malaysia Gombak campus’ clinic to Hospital Kuala Lumpur after doing some tests required to diagnose me for why I had a seizure. I told them this is not the first time since I had many in the past. I was diagnosed prior to my studies in this university with depression, social anxiety, and schizoid personality disorder, lost consciousness few times in the past, also had a brother who had many seizures through his life.

So the story begins this way, I had a seizure in a lecture, and the instructor called campus medics. They took me to their clinic, did some tests as stated above. Then they took me to get my passport from my hostel room -back then I did not know why the ambulance driver asked me to take it- then they took me to a psych ward or a “neuro ward ” in Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

They did tests and everything seemed normal like in the campus clinic, but then they put me in bed with saline water bag set to my arms intravenously and they were giving me valproate sodium and various painful injections. I didn’t know if they were anti-psychotics or anti-convulsants. Then during the night, I could not sleep due to having insomnia, and the room wasn’t cooled –  it just had fans and was humid.

Whenever the saline bag finished they brought another bag. I started to realize there was something wrong at that point. The bad part started at the second day in the morning, I asked why they brought another saline bag the nurse simply answered: water for electrolytes. The third time he changed the saline bag I began to remove it, then he set it to my arm again, my forearm began to swell, and it didn’t stop. While it was still swelling, I removed it for good.

They should have given me decent food instead of these saline bags and small meals. In the first day they just gave me sandwiches through the day.

I started to argue with the nurse who would not allow me to walk through the ward or answer my questions about my treatment. There is no transparency at all; the nurse said, just say stay in your bed and sleep. I said I couldn’t sleep and that I wanted the doctor. He said you will get a doctor, just sleep – I said I need him now, and I need to know what’s happening. He said, he will come in at 8:00 AM. I waited, but no one came. Then that nurse shift finished and other nurses replaced him. I tried to talk with them but their attitude and their answers were the same as the previous nurse.

Finally, a doctor came to visit me. I said, “Why I am still here? I want to be discharged.” He said if you want to be discharged you need to sign here and pay and you will not get any medication. It’s good to mention the hospital was public, by the way – I said I have insurance – do you accept it? He said I don’t know, you need to ask the accountant after you sign.

I also told him I couldn’t sleep, he gave me alprazolam before that I asked him does this have side effects he said no then I went to bed but with no sleep except a 40 minutes I don’t remember what exactly but a few flashbacks and it was not good.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Ethnic Malays

Year(s) : 2016

Palmetto Health Baptist Columbia

Name of Hospital: Palmetto Health Baptist Columbia

City, State/Province, Country: Columbia, SC, USA

Number of Stars: 2

Comment: This is my experience in the pediatric ward, I have no idea what the adult ward is like. It was a horrible experience, the only reason why I’m giving it two stars is because the recreational therapists were very nice. While I was there, they refused to call me by my preferred name, despite my begging and pleading. They are also very strict; once I was doodling on my hand because I was all out of paper, and they sent me to my room to make me wash it off, and then refused to let me go down to breakfast because of it. It wasn’t even anything bad, just a few cat faces.

I was in a room next to a seven year-old boy, and once during quiet time (where we stay in our rooms doing something quiet) I heard a nurse go into his room and scream at him for laying down on the floor. No matter how much he cried she wouldn’t stop screaming, and it got to the point where it was getting to be too loud for me.

Finally, the psychiatrist I had was HORRIBLE. When I came back the first time, she made me write a 3-paragraph essay on why I had been readmitted, and then made me write a list of 100 coping skills. Overall, a horrible experience. If I had the choice, I would NOT be going back there again.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Transgender FtM

Year(s) : Twice in 2016 (once in January, once over the summer)

Fremont Hospital

Name of Hospital: Fremont Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Fremont, California, USA

Number of Stars: 3

Comment: While it’s very clean and safe, there’s not much therapy that goes on. I only saw my doctor for a total of less than 10 minutes, and i was there for over a week. The staff kept changing and everything was disorganized. I was in the “high-functioning” unit, which had ‘special privileges’ like having longer visiting hours. No one used my pronouns and every time any of the staff referred to me they used my deadname, even if I corrected them. My doctor didn’t listen to me at all and seemed impatient to get out of there whwnever I tried to say something, he interrupted me. There was a lot of gendered language because it was a ‘women’s unit’.

They took my toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. and didn’t give it back when I was discharged. No one could get in touch with anyone so it was all really confusing and frustrating. But, it was generally pretty chill compared to the stuff that goes on in some other places.

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 and acearo

Year(s): 2017

Northside Mental Health Center

Name of Hospital: Northside Mental Health Center

City, State/Province, Country: Tampa, FL, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: I was admitted to Northside after a family member called 911 after a suicide attempt. This family member’s intent was not for me to be admitted, but to be given a physical evaluation and then discharged to stay with my therapist (which he explained, repeatedly, to the medical staff he talked to). When the ambulance and police arrived, I was told that I was going to be admitted and that I could either volunteer to go with them since I admitted to what happened, or I could go in handcuffs and risk getting a criminal charge. I volunteered to go with them.

I was first put in admissions through St. Joseph’s hospital, in their psychiatric patient center. I was there for roughly 10-12 hours waiting to figure out what would happen, and got questioned a lot in a sleep-deprived, anxiety-driven state of disorientation. After the second or third questioning I was told that I would be transferred to Northside since they were the only psych facility with beds.

The transfer to Northside was not that bad, and the admitting tech was super nice. The nurses and day techs were also nice for the most part, while the night techs took the chance to make fun of me as much as possible (especially when I would ask for my religious texts or carry a small plush animal that they let me have around). We were only allowed to go outside for 15-20 minute increments a few times a day (although one particular tech would give us up to an hour because he felt that 20 minutes was too short)… As someone with seasonal depression this worsened that by a lot.

I only met with the psychiatrist three times: once for a general history check, once to tell me what meds I’d be given, and once to tell me I was being discharged. I was not part of group therapy or any extensive inpatient activities or programs; my stay was only 3.5 days. I wish I could have done group therapy at least once but people with longer-term stays were priority for that. We were not allowed to sleep or shower except at certain times and if we didn’t eat at certain times we didn’t eat at all. The shower water was also extremely cold and gave me bruises, and the medications I was prescribed actually could have killed me. Visiting hours were also super restricted, and I got yelled at for holding hands with my husband. Healthy affection from visitors was super prohibited and I felt like that greatly hindered treatment.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: I don’t think my race or sexuality influenced my treatment at all. My religious affiliation, however, caused one nurse to better advocate for me and most of the techs to make fun of me and ask if that’s why I was there.

Year(s) : 2014

San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital

Name of Hospital: San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: San Antonio, TX, USA

Number of Stars: 1.5

Comment: This hospital is outdated and operating like lock-ups of the 70’s. The disrespect the clients discipline for not taking meds, even when someone voluntarily goes there. They keep family away from the patients as well, withholding visitation when behaviors don’t meet their idea of compliance, when it’s the family (and close friends) who are much more likely to know the needs of the patient and help calm them. STAY AWAY!

Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): 72 hour hold, inpatient, short-term program

Year(s) : 2015