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true stories of life in a psychiatric hospital
a funny story
by jane dode

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 hospital without any such incident. I asked the staff how he managed to escape and could not believe what they told me.

The following events are what led to his escape after me and Steven Segal departed from the hospital. First, Charles went back to his room and was pretending to be sleeping. Next to his room is a door that leads to rose garden, where construction was working. The construction crew was working on the roof where there was a leak. They had a conveyor belt in the garden, which was used to bring heavy loads of material and shingle to the roof.

According to staff, one of the construction crew left the rose garden and did not lock the door like he was suppose to. Out of nowhere, Charles burst through the open door without clothes, and surfed up the conveyor belt to the roof. The last that staff saw of Charles was his backside as he ran across the roof to the other side of the building. To this day, the staff does not know how he managed to get down from the roof but he did.

Needless to say, it was another embarrassing moment trying to explain the events to the police who we had to be called to try and apprehend him. With the help of the city and county police and the police dogs they were able to catch him running naked through the back streets of the community. As Charles arrived back with the police he had the biggest smile I had ever seen from him. He thought it was the funniest thing ever, how he got one over on us while never giving us the details of how he got off roof or we he was for several hours.
Another Funny Moment


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

more about jane dode


teymur roshdi
6.13.10 @ 1:20p

Well David,everything is good when it makes us laugh,but why does a mental institution hospitalize always people who pretend being someone else? What's wrong with that,we live in a 'democracy' and we all have the right of 'pretending who we like to be',LOL!The funniest thing I noticed in a movie (movies are my only source of information),that if someone talks about a scientific issue like 'time and space',or 'the disturbance of the timespace', or the 'time travel' the mental institutions hospitalize that person,exactly like what happened to 'Stuart' in the film 'Kate&Leopold'(which is my next short story I'm working on),in fact he was an amateur physicist,why when something is not comprehensible by the 'majority', a person who talks about is taken for a fool,mad,crazy,or a mental case?Some people 'see' things which are not explainable 'rationally', why should be they kept in 'cages' like circus animals?Anyway your work is a great one,congrats!

jane dode
6.13.10 @ 2:08p

You make an excellent point! I will never forget the day this man looked into my eyes and said, "Dave, how would you feel if you were a christian and you told your family you thought God was speaking to your heart and the next thing you know they petitioned you to a hospital. Then, you don't take your antipsychotic pills there and they shoot you up with all kinds of drugs which make you crazy?" I did not have an answer for him but realized what I wondered to myself so often. How often does this actually happen to people? I then started noticing that it probably happens quite often with many types of individuals who are made to take drugs which actually make him or her psychotic.

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