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injustice in the mental health system
true stories of life in a psychiatric hospital
by jane dode
6.9.10
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The writing of my new book developed over time. The idea first started when joking with my co-workers about the work we do at an acute psychiatric hospital. We joked about the patients, our staff (who sometimes were more “crazy” than the patients), and the almost daily crazy happenings at this hospital. We would talk and laugh about how great a comedy sitcom it would be; while others debated it would be better as a drama type show or movie.

I started writing down the stories and events, which I often witnessed first hand at this hospital. Initially, I was more focused on the humorous and sometimes scary events. Over time my attitude changed, as I started to write and ponder the politics involved with this hospital. I began to realize, as I wrote down the facts of the political element in the mental health system, that there was great injustice’s perpetrated against the mentally ill patients; we were supposedly trying to treat them but were far from doing so most of the time. In the end, I decided to unveil, “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” truths in the mental health system.

I had the opportunity to work on several levels, and held many positions at this hospital over several years (which included upper management). Therefore, I was privy to information which not many individuals are aware of. Also, those who are aware of what goes on choose not to say anything about it. I believe some do not say anything out of shame, while others choose not to discuss the experiences they have had at this hospital out of fear. Many individuals do not say anything because he or she has grown so cold and numb and bitter, that he or she does not have the strength or fortitude to speak up.

Either way, this book will finally expose and be a “tell all” of the truths and politics, which many choose to ignore in acute psychiatric hospitals. My hope is that these stories will not just entertain, but will also provoke changes in the mental health system.


ABOUT JANE DODE

I have two books published which are based on my fascination, education, and experience in the world of psychology. I teach psychology at the University of Phoenix and I have had over 20 years experience counseling young and old people in different settings. One of my books is under an anonymous name because I reveal the deep dark secrets of the locked down acute care mental hospitals I worked at. This is my favorite book because of the variety of humor, fright and sad stories as well as the unknown politics of the mental health system. My other book How to Get in Zone was based on my personal search of what it really meant and how to get in the zone. I studied and read the biographies of th

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COMMENTS

jane dode
6.13.10 @ 7:50a

If you have spent one day working at a psychiatric hospital the chances are very good you would have at least one funny story tell someone. However, because of the laws of confidentiality, an individual would be fired immediately if he or she told such stories to anyone. Therefore, the only outlet was to share the stories among the staff in a professional manner, which usually did not have any professional significance other than to get a good laugh. For confidentiality, I will change the names of the individuals involved with just a few of the funniest stories at this hospital.

One of my all-time favorite stories is about an individual who is a very intelligent and psychotic man, when he is not on his medications. This man was thought to be one of the many individuals who believed that he was Jesus the Christ of God. This was usually a problem in itself, when there was more than one individual at the hospital, who believed he was “the Christ” as you may imagine.

This individual was very psychotic when he came to the hospital. Like so many other individuals, who were petitioned to this hospital, he believed that there was nothing wrong with him. He would refuse to take his medications and demand that he be released from this locked unit at the hospital. He was very determined to get out one-way or another. He tried to escape several times only to be restrained by the staff. To make things worse for the staff that had to restrain him, this individual I call Charles, was usually not wearing any clothes.

One day, Charles seized an opportunity and managed to escape. This was disastrous for the hospital because he was not wearing clothes roaming through the community. The funny and bizarre part of the story is how he escaped though. Charles was just given a shot of the medications Haldol and Ativan because of an earlier escape attempt. He was sleeping in his bed because of the effects of the medication when a visitor came to see him. This man was a liaison with the community mental health agency assigned to help Charles. This liaison walks and looks like Steven Segal, and dresses like Neo from the Matrix movie. He was not prepared for the events that would follow his arrival.

As Steven Segal strutted onto the adult unit the staff encouraged him to wake Charles up, explaining what had happened earlier. However, Steven would hear none of that and insisted on waking Charles up. To Steven’s shock not only did Charles wake up but ran out of his room naked with a towel on his upper back, like a cape. Steven then decided he would leave the hospital and move on to another hospital to see a client of his. I decided that I would go take a walk to cool off after witnessing this scenario.

As I was walking back to the hospital I received an urgent call from the hospital that Charles managed to escape. I then became concerned that I would see him running by me butt-naked. However, I was fortunate enough to make it back inside the



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