Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Psych Ward

Today I went to the local psych ward as part of my summer internship. 
Let me tell you, there is a strong sense that these people are sick. Before you walk into a room all the doors are locked so that no one can get out. As soon as you enter a room the smell of urine and formaldehyde fill your nose. People in hospital robes sit in chairs and stare at the wall, unseeing.
One person who had no shoes on and whose pants were safety pinned together flagged me down to “teach me.” She mentioned that she was going to get down to a size six, and then she would be able to participate in class action lawsuits and work at McDonalds. Although there was nothing wrong with that conversation, it just isn’t the type of conversation you’d normally expect from a stranger. The fact people around her were moaning and drooling accompanied by the smell just made everything seem sicker.
Of course, there are many people who act normally on these floors, but there are also many that you might expect to see stereotypes of in movies like Shutter Island.
            To tell the truth, it was a little overwhelming. I want to be a psychologist. If I worked here, I would have absolutely no idea how to help these people. Of course, treating people with eating disorders would probably present a different sort of population, but I’m not assuming that I’ll get to choose which field I go into. My hope is that I’ll be taught what I can do for everyone before I have to go do it. 
         The other point that I wanted to make that I forgot to add is that these people don't need to seem sick. They're made to seem extremely sick by the atmosphere of the hospital. Now, I have no idea how sick anyone is, but it's just something to think about. 

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