News Articles on Anderson Health Services

Name of Facility: Anderson Health Services

Location: Marshville, NC, USA

Articles:

Charlotte Observer, Teens in NC psych center were choked, zip tied, faced ‘imminent danger,’ state says,” June 2018: “Newly released state records and investigative reports obtained by the Observer detail allegations of physical abuse, faulty treatment and failures by Anderson Health Services since it opened in Marshville in September.”

 

Chicago Lakeshore Hospital

Name of Facility: Chicago Lakeshore Hospital

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Chicago, IL, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: I was admitted to Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in 2017 based on an unfounded belief by a family member that I might be suicidal (which I in no way was). I have a 30-year history of chronic, treatment-resistant depression (without a single suicidal incident). The episode that resulted in my hospitalization, however, was an isolated occurrence of distress based on a situation with my wife earlier that week, which turned out to be groundless and was completely resolved earlier, after which time I was, if anything, feeling better.

Nevertheless, the family member I mentioned above felt it necessary call the police (who approached me as I was calmly enjoying a donut and coffee in front of a local donut shop), resulting in my being hauled off to Northwest Community Hospital for evaluation, and based solely on a phone call between the Psychiatric Liaison and the psychiatrist on call. I was sent to Chicago Lakeshore early the next morning and placed under the “care” of another psychiatrist. I was never suicidal nor was I having any suicidal thoughts.

In spite of my insistence that the whole affair originated from a short-lasting episode in which my depression played no part, throughout my week-long stay at Chicago Lakeshore, the psychiatrist remained doggedly fixated on it, raising the subject at every one of our daily meetings, fiddling with my antidepressant medication dosage, which was already being well-managed my regular psychiatrist, who had been treating me for some 14 years and who has my complete trust. Yet the psychiatrist persisted in treating the actual precipitating incident as irrelevant. After 30 years of coping with depression, I could very well discern the difference between it and a very short-lived situation, which, unlike depression, does not abruptly evaporate the moment the underlying cause is resolved.

The hospital offered daily group therapy sessions, which I declined, since, again, the precipitating incident had been completely resolved. Virtually all of my other time at the hospital was spent lying in bed in a state of growing rage over my situation and the doctor’s incompetent and negligent handling of it. My hospitalization was the result of a total disregard or misinterpretation of the facts of the incident and caused me significant emotional distress and difficulty interacting with my family.

If the various hospital personnel involved had taken care to perform a competent evaluation of the situation and take subsequent action based on the facts rather than supposition and unfounded assumptions, it would have dispelled their notion that I was a suicide risk and avoided a completely unnecessary, traumatic and ultimately harmful week of involuntary hospitalization. The overall effect of my hospitalization, far from being therapeutic, was to leave me far more distressed, enraged and agitated – resulted in a deepening of my depression – which continues to the present day along with a deep sense of rage at the harm it has caused.

Considering the facts, how any competent mental health professional could find a rationale for requiring hospitalization of someone who has neither displayed any behavior nor expressed any thoughts indicating an intention to attempt suicide totally escapes me. But hospitalized I was – either because the Psychiatric Liaison took poor notes, was not paying attention to my comments when she interviewed me, did a poor job of communicating her information to the psychiatrist on call or because he misinterpreted the information provided by the Psychiatric Liaison, I have no way of knowing.

I only know the result: that he ordered me hospitalized based on a serious or at least superficial understanding of the facts of the situation or based on a lack of a complete understanding of those facts. The end result was an utterly unwarranted order for my involuntary hospitalization in a psychiatric facility, a hospitalization that would prove to provide no benefit, protect me from a nonexistent risk, and ultimately cause me considerable distress.

The doctor at Lakeshore visited me daily throughout the week, again fixated on my depression as my core issue. On Wednesday (I believe) we had a discussion of the dosage of the antidepressant I have been taking for many years. I told him that until sometime the previous November I had been taking 40 mg. per day, but around that time I began to experience something like panic attacks, and my regular psychiatrist reduced the dose to 10 mg., after which the problem ceased.

He expressed the opinion that a 10 mg. dose was too low and told me he would me increasing my dose to 20 mg. The following day, however, he informed me that the admissions people had (incorrectly, obviously) recorded my current dose as 40 mg., but despite my insistence that this was clearly an error during the admissions process, he then told me that he was now going to increase my dose to 60 mg. He had clearly not referred back to his notes from the previous day before making this decision.

Friday of that week arrived, and I spoke briefly with the social worker assigned to me , who indicated that there was no reason I could not be discharged as soon as the doctor signed the discharge order. Late in the day, I encountered the social worker  as he was about to leave work and asked him about the status of my discharge. He informed me that the psychiatrist had simply failed to sign the order before leaving, with the result that I would remain confined to the hospital until Monday.

On either Saturday or Sunday (I do not now recall which), the psychiatrist on call for the weekend visited me, and I explained the psychiatrist’s confusion about my antidepressant dose, resulting in it’s being reduced again to 20mg.

The time I had to dwell on my incompetent treatment and separation from my family, far from being therapeutic, left me in a far worse mental state after leaving the hospital than prior to my admission. My rage, for all the reasons I mention above, continues to fester within me to a degree where I frequently become too agitated to do anything productive or interact with others.

If you should ever have to deal with either of these psychiatric “professionals”, do yourself a favor and insist that they not be involved in your “care” so they will not have an opportunity to inflict the same damage on you that they did on me.

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

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: Gross disregard of the facts related to my situation

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2017

Bellevue Hospital

Name of Facility: Bellevue Hospital

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Manhattan, NY, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: Let me start by saying my experiences outpatient, non psych, were always very good at Bellevue. But inpatient psych is a neverending nightmare.

There is no respect for the patient as a human being with autonomy. I checked myself in voluntarily, but as soon as I walked in they made it involuntary, which is standard. Then the nightmare began. It took about 4 hours to get to the first interview. Then I was in another area for another six hours. It was freezing cold and there was just a vinyl couch and you could have a sheet for warmth.

Once they brought me into the actual observation area, it took THREE DAYS before they placed me in a ward. Three days with bright fluorescent lights that never turned off. On cots in the hallway with nothing to do- thank God I brought books. I had brought my medication but they took it away. I needed it at 7 PM but they kept saying the doctor was coming to talk to me. I asked about every hour for my medication. It really really messes me up to not take it. By 3 AM I really was crazy, screaming for my meds. Finally at 4 AM new staff came on who told me the doctor had gone home at ten. The previous staff had just been lying.

A pattern I saw at Bellevue was that they wanted to give you the opposite of what you wanted. For instance, I could not sleep and wanted to. The next cot over, the woman did not want to sleep. They forced her to sleep with an injection of Haldol. I begged for one as well, and they refused.

Once I got to the ward I was put in a room with a roommate. Thank God mine was really nice. A person addicted to coke who had tried to commit suicide, ours was an unlikely friendship, but there were so few people there capable of rational discourse it was a godsend that we were together.

The staff had the hobby of setting people off. I was not sure if I was right about this till my nurse sister did a three month tour of another much better psych ward, and was shocked by the sadism.

First of all, THERE WAS ZERO THERAPY. Yep. None. It was a holding tank. Second, you could NOT see a doctor. There was a psychiatrist who would come in at a run and race through the unit once a day, as we all ran and tried to ask our questions~ when can I leave? My meds are wrong? Etc. He slammed the door in our faces. It must have been a requirement that he physically enter the space, which he did for less than 5 minutes. I was trying and trying to get his attention about my meds and he would not talk to me. I finally got so frustrated I sat down and started hitting my head against the wall behind me. I was carried to my room and he actually came in. He said if I was going to act like that, no wonder he would not see me. I said actually it worked the other way.

My sister, a nurse, visited me after three days. She saw me and ran out and I heard her screaming WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SISTER?!?!? They had drugged me so I could barely talk. Turned out they were mixing up my day vs night meds. She got that fixed.

Meds were humiliating. When it was time for meds, we each had to stand at our room doorways. We were not allowed to sit on the floor. We were not allowed to move our chair to the doorway. We just had to stand and wait. This was about an hour and a half twice a day. When they made a mistake with my meds they would not review with me. They simply refused to give me any of my meds and wrote that I had refused. They started me on Risperdal without my permission, and I have not been able to get off of it since.

After that roommate went, I made friends with the only other intelligent life force in the ward. He was a punk rocker with a long Mohawk and lots of tats. Again IRL we had nothing in common but you cling to the humanity you find, and we talked and talked. The staff hated this. They hated him. Well, they hated all of us, but hated him vehemently. They would try to separate us from talking to each other, for no reason. I do not recall what they gave as an excuse, but they forbade us to talk in the common area. We were not allowed in each others rooms of course, so there was just the hallway to talk in, outside my room. Again we were not allowed to sit on the floor or bring the chairs out.

One time we had sat down and a custodian came through and made a racial comment to the rocker. He and I screamed back at the man. The staff came and several of them closed in on him and gave him a shot he did not want, to calm him down; and basically carried him away. I needed something to calm me down. They refused, even though it was on my chart to give me ativan as requested. Another example of doing the opposite of what patients want. I begged for hours. They gave me some six hours later.

The outdoors access was a space on the roof with a basketball hoop and a picnic table. It was enclosed in chain link fence which covered the top, too, like an aviary. If we were “good” we could go out for 20 minutes three times a week. I started to climb on the chain link fence- what else was there to do- and they did not let me out again.

My sister brought me some purple nail polish and they let her put it on me (she could not leave the glass bottle). Then my punk rocker friend wanted it too, but as my sister was putting it on his three inch nails, the staff made her stop. It was not appropriate. No reason.

After a week the doctor told me I was to go home. I knew I was still not safe. He had barely spoken to me but he decided I was able to leave. Then my boyfriend asked me to go to Europe with him. So I wanted to go. Suddenly the doctor changed his tune and said I had to stay. Always trying to make patients as unhappy as possible. I thought I was going to have to sue for my freedom. My outpatient psychiatrist afterwards told me there had been a big debate on whether I should be allowed to go to Europe. NOT whether I would be healthy or safe. Whether I DESERVED to.

Why doesn’t anyone have oversight about psych wards? Some agency needs to pro-actively come in with questionnaires for everyone; and there should be good patient advocates. Why do they allow psych wards to have no treatment? What other medical condition can you go inpatient with and receive no care?

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

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: None. Cis white girl

News Articles on Heritage Oaks Hospital

Name of Facility: Heritage Oaks Hospital

Location: Sacramento, CA, USA

Articles

News Articles on Mercy Springfield

Name of Facility: Mercy Springfield

Location: Springfield, MO, USA

Articles

 

News Articles on Sharpe Hospital

Name of Facility: Sharpe Hospital

Location: Weston, WV, USA

Articles

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Name of Facility: Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Chicago, IL, USA

Number of Stars: 3

Description of Experience: In March of this year (2017) I voluntarily admitted myself into the inpatient psychiatric program (More so my ex-boyfriend [who I was still living with] and my family (mostly) my mom coerced me into doing so. I had had a manic episode, had not slept in at least 72 hours (plus I had huge bouts of depression for at least a month before that).

I checked into the ER, saw multiple nurses and doctors, then a psychiatrist, and finally was told they thought it best I was admitted. I then waited forever! From the time I got to the hospital, to the time I actually got into the psych ward was 12 hours- I don’t know how I made it.

When I got there, I hadn’t slept in over 80 hours and was completely delirious. I was forced to strip naked and have every nook and cranny of my body inspected. Then every single one of my belongings was taken away from me (apart from my underwear, bra, socks, leggings, and shirt) My boots had laces, so I couldn’t keep them and my hoodie had a drawstring. This one very rude man took away EVERYTHING else, including all my makeup and even my chap stick. I told him I had very dry lips and I needed it but he refused to give it to me. They took away my birth control and refused to let me have any (for 2 full nights) until a doctor THERE prescribed it… which gave me extreme anxiety (oh yeah, but they forbid xanax there, so I couldn’t even take anything to help me out with that).

It’s the middle of the night, so I sleep thru the morning sessions and wake up for lunch. The food there actually wasnt terrible (not great, but definitely better than anticipated). I then attended a group therapy session (where I made my first friend (over my uncontrollable laughter about a pun he made)). So I became friends with him and this other dude (I was told “hey you’re the second normalish-person I’ve met yet, hang out with us!”). So that was cool until the nurses gave me some drug I’ve never taken before (without explaining anything to me) and suddenly was unable to form a coherent sentence or think clearly, so I staggered to my room and went to bed.

Next day: everyone is supposed to receive a folder with an itinerary, articles, worksheets, and you are supposed to be assigned to a certain group. Guess what?! Nobody told me anything about who my regular nurse would be, who my social worker was, or what group I was in. The staff was SO unhelpful- those front desk employees won’t even look at you if you have a question. They treat you like you are an animal and have no respect for you whatsoever, SO I just went to whatever meetings the friends I had made attended.

I had my own room, which was super nice.. and it was really big and a good escape between sessions just to rest or contemplate. The beds were very uncomfortable though.

My social worker was very nice (but it took me 4 days to see her and then I only saw her the second time when I was leaving).

I had maybe 6 nurses while I was there because my primary nurse was on vacation so they kept alternating them. Ya know, It would be great if the hospital would assign you a nurse that was actually there, instead of one that would be there 5 days after your admission.. just sayin.

I also had 3 psychiatrists: my primary, the weekend coverage, and a sub when my primary was out sick. I think that’s way too many psychiatrists for 1 week. Hospital policy is that Xanax is not tolerated, but I had been taking 3mg daily for 2 years. After 2 days I experienced severe withdrawals, but no one would listen to me. I was sweating, then freezing, couldn’t hold a cup of water due to the shakes, could not think straight, was laughing deliriously, had severe insomnia, started hallucinating- thinking the plants from the painting in my bedroom were coming out as demons trying to eat me alive. It wasn’t til a weekend day when I couldn’t take it anymore, I approached a man in a white coat and asked him if he was a psychiatrist. He said “yes, but what’s your name? … I’m not yours but Dr. so-&so will be seeing you later today”. I told him anyways what was going on and he pulled thru, told the other doctor, and she immediately put me on some Klonopin. Thank god, because I literally thought I was dying. It was so irresponsible to cut me off of benzos cold turkey in the first place, but at least I eventually got helped.

The substitute psych was a real “pleasure.” I was told I could go home in 5 days (pending approval from your doctor) and it had been 5 days, so I asked her about it. I had been waiting all weekend and was excited to see my assigned doc on Mon, but when I saw it wasnt her, I started crying a bit. She got pissed off with me and told me “even doctors get sick you know.” and then prescribed me Zoloft (which I have taken before with HORRIBLE results… she clearly didn’t read my charts). After I talked with my nurse, this doctor prescribed me another SSRI that i had already tried with HORRIBLE results. I refused, and my nurse was very understanding and didn’t make me take it.

Oh god, I feel like I have a million more things to say but I’ve already written so much. I CAN say that I met some amazing people there, and formed bonds that I will forever remember.

There was some AWESOME staff, and there was some TERRIBLE staff, but the other patients there made it bearable for me. I HATED not having my cell phone, but after a few days it didn’t bother me too much and I actually liked where I was. I definitely feel some nostalgia.

The facility itself is beautiful (it’s like a really manicured prison.. likely much prettier than your average psych ward.. including a pretty nice gym and lots of yoga mats too). They also have a machine for coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated), but they’re lying because they’re both decaf.

I hate that I was here, and I hated so much of my time here, but by the end- I felt pretty content and came out a better person. I saw my regular psychiatrist a few hours after my discharge, and he told me this was the best/ most optimistic he had ever seen me ( so I guess something something worked!)

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient (7 days)

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+:

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2017