Girl Interrupted – What a fabulous movie!
I found myself relating quite a bit to it actually. And then there was the comparing – comparing it to my experiences of the psych wards I’ve been in. I also noticed that I had quite a bit of stereotypical thinking about it all. Well, before I watched it anyway.
I had in my mind that a mental hospital back in the 60’s would be horrific and dark, with poor staffing, and unfair treatments, lobotomies and shock therapies (I know ECT is still used these days with good results… but i was thinking the less ethical and humane kind). But to my surprise, it was more similar to my experiences than I had thought. It seemed to be a cross between my residential treatment at a private psych hospital, and the acute mental health units I’ve been in.
In this movie, the main character Suzanna ends up acting crazier than she was at the beginning just because she was already classed as crazy, and locked in with a whole lot of other crazies. I could totally relate to this… the reasoning goes something like this – ‘I’m already stuck under the crazy basket, being my normal self or trying to be normal isn’t getting me outta here, so I might as well let it all loose. be as crazy as I want to’.
That my friends is a very important turning point for anyone in a psychiatric hospital. That point can go one of two ways:
- You become highly institutionalised, live up to your disorder, get sicker, and more dependent on the hospital system to regulate your emotions. Aka, you become crazier. Now this is easy to do, because usually, just prior to this point, you are at the I really really wanna get outta here stage. When you realise that actually that’s not in your control, and they are going to hold you there whether you like it or not – your reaction is well screw you! You say im crazy? Im gonna be REALLY crazy, that will teach you!
- The other option of course though, Is to work the system, and actually do what they want you to do – which is essentially get healthy. So you work like mad to check all the boxes until they are satisfied, and you get out of there.
Now obviously, the second choice sounds like the much more reasonable course of action. But, it also depends on what the philosophy of the hospital is, and whether succumbing to that will actually be good for you or not.
The private hospital I went to was like a cult, and they just inserted negative thinking into your mind, and went completely against modern medical standards of treating mental health. Infact, there is a facebook support group for people who have left this place more damaged than they went in, and the amount of people who are in this situation because of this place is sickening!
Basically they worked off a ‘shame based therapy’ model – so they make you feel SOOOO bad about yourself and your “bad behavior” that you would eventually try to be as good as possible and follow by their rules so that you didn’t get hurt. Its not just me who feels this way about what they do to you there, theres LOADS.
So anyway, If you are an inpatient in hospital, and feel like you might reach this point, please please please think long and hard about where to from here. Even if the hospital you are at was like mine, I still recommend just trying to be good to get out of there and then finding some different form of help. Or do the work (if its a good place) and fully get better. Because the other option? Its only going to lead to wasting years and years of your life being the sick person who spends the majority of their time in hospitals. You may even end up in prison. And you WILL regret wasting that time.
Anyway, I’m all drugged up and probably won’t make much sense if I continue writing, so I will see you all tomorrow!!
I feel like I have far too much medication sometimes… this is just my evening stuff!