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From Marissa

My name is Marissa I am 20 years old and in 2015-2016 I was hospitalized 3 times. I went to a place called _______ in _____ Washington on two separate occasions. Both times were miserable as expected but nothing compared to when I spent 13 days at S_____ children’s hospital. During my thirteen days we were not allowed outside due to “construction”. We could see other people who weren’t in the psychiatric unit outside through the windows. As someone who heals in nature this was painful. When in group we were forced to sit all day in hard chairs that caused our backs to ache. (I have pre existing back issues that were made worse) It was a very cold environment and very sterile. I was not allowed to wear anything other than a long sleeve. We could always spot the people who cut that way. We were forced to take turns reading from a book everyday for the majority of the day. On days where no one felt like reading the staff would shame us. A staff member felt the need to tell us it cost our parents $7000 a night for us to be here and we were “wasting time and money” by putting our heads down. We were not allowed to talk to one another about our stories or anything related to our illnesses. We were separated into groups by our ages most of the time, which sucked for people like me who related to older people. I watched someone choke on a chicken bone and afterward was told that he was not doing the “international sign for choking” and that is why it took the staff a long time to do anything. I watched another patient get a feeding tube forcibly shoved into his nose. We were put on levels which was basically just a rank for how likely we were to kill ourselves. The level I was put on made it so I was never allowed to be alone. I had to have someone put their back to an open door while I changed, showered, or used the restroom. This was a problem for me especially because I was not being nourished. I was given a potato for dinner and nothing else for 5 nights in a row. Because I was a vegetarian at the time and my chart said I was also allergic to dairy they were feeding me a vegan diet. Normally shouldn’t be an issue right? For some a reason a hospital that has multiple Starbucks in it could not figure out how to properly nourish someone on a vegan diet. I did not have a bowel movement for 7 days. I was only released after I lied saying I felt better even when I felt worse. I had never wanted to leave somewhere as much as I did. I’m sure this only scratches the surface of what goes on in these places. All I know is to this day I have a fear of medication and the mental health field. I am still trying to find a way to cope with whatever it is that I struggle with. I feel like I have been let down over and over again.

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