Herd vs lonely

Ok, so what is the difference between A&E observation unit and a proper mental hospital? Mind you those are very likey to be different for different countries or even hospitals. After I got taken to A&E sometimes last week, I got placed into Observation unit (it didn’t actually state observation is due to bad mental health, however, that how it seemed to look like). There are apparently a couple of those units there, in GWH, mine had four female beds on one side of the corridor, two males bed on the other, a few chairs, toilets with showers and a large desk for staff in the middle.

Access to the unit was controlled by fobs and there was no tea and coffee facilities there. If staff wasn’t busy we could have hot drinks on demand, but if they were we had to wait till they make for everyone and drink water in the meantime. Beds had privacy curtains and that was satisfactory enough for me. There were also two, really small assessment rooms in case someone needed to talk privately.

I really liked that environment. I don’t know, possibly it wouldn’t work for everyone, maybe I liked it because it was reminding me of my travels, when I was usually staying in hostels? But I felt like there was something else going on about it: like if by sharing a room with women who were completely different than me I really felt I’m not the only one with my problems.

Now, in the hospital, I have small ensuite room. And you see, it doesn’t excite me. This is the first room just as the communal area ends and noise is tremendous at times. So basically I have all the issues connected with staying in psychiatric hospital (noise) without having the feeling that I’m really part of an unusual community. Perhaps a community that needs help, when it also feels that help is ‘in the air’ so it’s easy to get it.

In here I feel lonely. Yes, I can go to the communal area, but it feels like it’s really not the same – people there are focused on activities, watching tv, sometimes talking and it feels like an effort I do not want to make. I want to BE between people, I don’t want to colour a mandala when they do the same.

I just want to FEEL and BE, while making absolutely no special efforts.

Once again, I bet there was no research on what works better. I’d easily give up our tea and coffee making facilities and the food we get in here (it really is good) to go back to the Observation Unit for at least a couple of days.

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