From Recovery In The Bin: For More Info, Go Here…
ngd-Over the decades I have been in the mental illness recovery community, inpatient units in America have increasingly tracked the control measures of prisons, and many of them seem to believe they have no other purpose than to absolutely and completely control the behavior of their residents until the resident is no longer a revenue stream, at which point they are “discharged”. What an apt word.
I have never been in a place more indifferent to suffering than a psychiatric ward. People walking around in great distress must be so much part of the furniture that mental health nurses can walk past them with barely a glance.
A few nights into my stay a nurse found me crying in my room. “It’s good to cry” she said matter-of-factly, “But sometimes it can go on too long”. She got up and left, promising to return later when I’d calmed down. I wondered what point there would be for her to return when I was no longer in distress, but ultimately it didn’t matter, because she never came back. I had a similar experience a few days later. While I was crying in my room, two health care assistants entered and began to carry out a room search. They didn’t ask if I was OK or acknowledge in any way that I was sobbing. After they finished they smiled and said “Thanks!” brightly, before leaving the room as quickly as possible.
In both these encounters I believe my historical diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) was at play. My crying was attention seeking, manipulative and proof that I was unable to regulate my emotions. Had they spent time to get to know me, they would understand that I rarely cry, let alone sob in front of people. As someone who OVER regulates their emotions it was upsetting to have my vulnerability responded to in such a callous way.