Welcome to the Psych Ward (It’s more like a vacation spot)

“What’re you in for?”

She asked that as I sat down at the cafeteria table where the rest of the 20 year old girl patients were sitting.

“Dammit, Kate. Could you be more blunt?” asked the girl sitting across from me. She was Kate’s roommate. Kate rolled her eyes and looked back at me.


I sunk into myself a bit.

“Well you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” sighed Kate.

“No it’s okay.” I said, because I figured I’d have to tell my story quite a few times while I was there in the psychiatric hospital.

“I have PTSD and MDD. Also they upped the dosage of my anti-depressants last month and ever since then I’ve been having suicidal thoughts.”

Everyone at the table nodded and continued to eat the questionable cafeteria food. Almost like everything I’d just confessed was completely normal…

Well that’s because it is completely normal to them.

I looked back at Kate and asked, “What about you? Why’re you here?”

Kate’s roommate, Cori dropped her fork and yelled “I hate this game. This why’re-you-here game. I really don’t want to play. Can I not? I’m out. I lose.”

Everybody stared at Cori for a minute, but then Kate turned her attention back towards me and said,

“Well I guess I should tell you since you told me.”

Kate continued on to tell her story of why she was there. I won’t repeat her story though, for it is not my story to tell. I learned a lot of horrible stories about many other patients that week. I never learned Cori’s, though.

And nobody learned more about mine.

For example,

the reason why I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Because we weren’t there to live in our past and dwell there. We were in that psych ward because we had survived the brink of death and now we were ready to look towards the future. We wanted to let the past go, so we avoided talking about it. But here I am, spilling my secrets in hopes that it’ll enlighten someone or give me courage.

News that I was in the psych ward spread quicker than I thought possible but nobody knew exactly why I was in there or what happened.

I am NOT upset or embarrassed that people know.

In fact, I wanted many of my close friends and family to know. I also wanted my darling sorority to know.

I don’t want to treat this experience like it’s this horrible secret that no one should ever hear about, because that’s not how I feel about it at all.

Soooo let me clarify a few things:

  • I’m NOT ashamed that I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital
  • I’m NOT ashamed that I have a disease or two
  • I’m NOT ashamed for seeking help
  • and I’m NOT ashamed for having issues… word on the street is that we all have ’em.

Let’s learn a bit more about my issues then (woo!),

I have PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and MDD (Major Depressive Disorder).

I only started medication to treat these diseases in September. My chemical levels have been completely out of wack because they’ve been increasing and decreasing dosages as well as switching medications.

It’s been horrible.

Sadly, some of theses medications have a super sucky side effect, suicidal thoughts. Pretty much the definition of super sucky. And before I continue with my story, I want to clarify something else,

I did NOT attempt to commit suicide. However, I was having suicidal thoughts.

That does not mean I’m condemning those who have attempted. In fact,

I find those people to be incredibly strong.

They have the strength to be alive right now even though their diseases were one shred away from taking away their lives.

No, my reason for clarifying my actions, or in-actions, is because I really… REALLY can’t have people coming up to me and asking me why I tried to “off myself” or how I tried to do it. That would probably be the least helpful thing that I could experience right now.

Well now you know why I was in the psych ward, now I’m betting that you’re wondering what it was like…

Well to be honest, I felt like I was in that movie “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” Psych wards don’t feel like an actual place…

just a dream, or sometimes a nightmare.

I basically roamed the hospital halls for five days while in a state of delirium due to my medications changing.

I was pushed to attend constant therapy sessions where we talked about my feelings and my recovery plan over and over and over again.

I was also ridded of every single possession of mine that one could use to commit suicide… including my crayons (Yeah I never really understood that one either. I mean c’mon, crayons?)

And even though I felt like a two year old who had to be constantly supervised by a team of doctors and a spent 1/3 of my time rolling my eyes at some of the ridiculous questions I was asked,

it was still one of the most beneficial experiences that I’ve ever had.

I’m not going to lie, I was terrified of the people I was going to have to meet and live with in the psych ward. We have this horrible stigma that’s tied to what we’ve seen and heard about psychiatric hospitals. Most of that stigma comes from the media. Movies and television shows make psych wards and mental health patients look completely insane and terrifying.

This needs to stop.

The people in that psychiatric hospital were the most genuine and most loving people I’ve ever met.

They wereย kind people who have been treated horribly by this world. And do you know what most of these beautiful people thought about constantly in the hospital? No, they didn’t think too much about getting better or learning how to love themselves.

Most of these patients were worried about keeping their jobs once they had been released.

They were concerned with how many friends and family were going to leave their side because they were “uncomfortable” with the mental health disease that these patients suffer from. How horrible is that?

They should be focusing on realizing their self-worth and learning to cope with their diseases rather than trying to figure out how to keep their job because their boss has a stigma for mental disorders. Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of staying in a psychiatric hospital?

This makes me so sad

People are ashamed of who they are and embarrassed because they have a disorder. That’s more sickening than the actual disease.

Even now after I’ve left the hospital and confirmed to everyone that I was there, I still see the shame people have due to their mental illnesses. So many of my dear friends and people I’ve only spoken with once have been confessing to me that they’ve been admitted into a psychiatric hospital at one point and that they’ve struggled with mental illnesses,

but they’ve never told anyone.

And this is why I’m telling everyone.

I’m not writing this for attention. I’m not writing this to tell you I’m actually crazy and that every mental health patient is crazy. No, I’m writing this for those people who are ashamed or embarrassed of their mental disorder.

Yes, I’m writing this directly to you.

You are outstanding.

You are one of the strongest people who has ever walked on this earth and you are way too special to worry about the judgements of uneducated people who are uncomfortable with mental illnesses.

You didn’t choose this life.

You didn’t choose this disease.

And you don’t deserve to be ashamed of how much you’ve overcome.

You should be celebrating the fact that you’reย still alive today and you’re still kicking depression’s ass, because that thing is an absolute monster.

And every person who you’ve ever loved should be there celebrating with you too.

I idolize your strength.

My little confession blog turned into me ranting, but that’s chill. Hopefully you learned something. So here are the main points of this post:

  • I’m not ashamed of my time in a psychiatric hospital
  • I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder
  • I didn’t attempt to commit suicide
  • Mental Illnesses patients are actual angels who roam the earth fighting a constant battle
  • We need to change how we view mental illnesses and those who suffer from them
  • We need to do that ^ right frickin’ now
  • You should celebrate your accomplishments and strength

Also, I’m so incredibly thankful for such an amazing support system. My room was covered with gifts and cards and letters and food that lovely people brought me. And thank you to all of my visitors. If I had any doubt that people cared about me, that doubt was crushed about an hour into my stay at the hospital. I cannot begin to describe how much you all mean to me.

I love you and thank you for reading this incredibly long confession/rant,

Becca Tremmel


  1. I absolutely love your blog, I’ve been writing my stories for a while and yours really touch me. please keep writing them. you’re so amazing for everything you’ve overcome and still have to face.

  2. Im so touched by your story. You have overcome so much and even though I don’t know you I feel as if I do just from reading your experiences. Continue to overcome and impress people. Thank you for sharing.

  3. not gonna lie… I read all of your post thingys and you are very inspirational…I also want to say thank you… you have reminded me that is ok to have flaws and that those flaws make me beautiful.. and that if someone doesn’t except me as me then I need to find people who do… so thank you.. very much… have you ever thought about writing a book? you are an amazing writer

  4. Thank you for sharing authentically.
    I’ve been there more than once…my experience much less pleasant.
    But those who do not know I’ve spent a night or so see me as amazing. As talented. As a role model.
    I ve been there. No Shame…I just use wisdom in whom I share this with.
    I know who I Am.
    I’m pretty great.
    Life has kicked my ass too deeply for my liking…and naturally my body responded.
    I choose love. Always have.
    Thanks for your share.

  5. First off I want to say thank you and you are one awesome girl!! It takes a lot to tell the world you have a mental illness. In high school that was a huge struggle for me. I needed to read this today and it gave me the strength I needed and I know it will give many others the strength too. I suffer from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression, and anxiety. I just started my blog with the same mission in mind you have. I would love to chat with you. You have a beautiful soul and you are so awesome!:)

  6. First off I want to say thank you for writing this! You are amazing and brave. There are a lot of people who needed to hear this. Including me. I suffer from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression, and anxiety. This gave me strength I needed today and I know it will give others strength too. I wish I could meet you! You have such a beautiful soul! My blog is posted above if you want to read and feel free to email me ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. hi! I’m so glad I came across this post ! I have struggled to check my self in because I’m terrified of who will be in there with me and what I will do all day while I’m in there! Was electric shock an option where you were treated that’s what I am really wanting to look into. I can’t find a depression medicine that works. Thanks so much for sharing! Stay stong!:) xo

  8. This made me realize that I shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed of my eating disorder or that I went to counseling (although I didn’t go where you did). I still felt ashamed … I felt judged everytime I told someone.. But now I know I shouldn’t because it’s not my fault that I have this and it’s great that I got help instead of letting my disorder eat away at me. I commend you for not feeling ashamed and getting help! Therapy helped me so much and the couseling you get sticks with you ๐Ÿ™‚ stay positive and strong. <3 and thank you so much for posting this and being the brave person you are! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Once you have looked over the edge and managed to take a step back it’s a miracle at work. But it’s a life long battle and you are the warrior who will save those around you from the pain of your absence. So sit through the groups, therapy, psych sessions, work with the meds. You have a higher purpose or you wouldn’t still be here.

  10. Thank you for being brave and writing this. Not all psych wards are created equal though. My daughter was in one. It was a very depressing place. Often people do not have family near by I was with you every step up till your room being covered in gifts and cards. For my daughter ther was no privacy or place to put anything. I could bring her clean cloths. When I brought her food she turned it down because we would have had to eat in front of all the other people who had no choice. It felt like jail.
    I am glad you had a great support system. Stay brave and keep sharing

  11. Thank you so much for your honest and thought-provoking post. Mental illness stigma is just awful in this country and I completely agree with you that it must stop. It is through open thoughts like yours that people will learn that mental illness really isn’t a choice and it is such a dabilitating beast.

    I wish you the very best in finding your way back to whole-ness. It can be a bumpy road, but it is absolutely possible.

  12. Not that you need anyone to tell you…you are brave, strong, enlightened and I am grateful to have been one to have read your feelings and thoughts of your experience and awareness! I truly can appreciate and relate to a lot of what you shared.
    Thank you sweet girl and my luv, hugs and thanks to you. Til I see you again!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I was one of those who lost their job after a psych stay, unfortunately. So many people know so little about psychiatric illness other than what they see on TV. Hopefully more people speaking out as you have will change that. Best of luck and God Bless!

  14. This was an AMAZING read. Incredibly powerful and moving and I’m so glad that you are one of the voices that is saying we NEED to change the view on mental illnesses. I applaud you.

  15. You are an incredible lady and I am so honored that I had the privilege of reading your beautiful story! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. i love this! It took me YEARS to accept I needed help because I was ashamed. And I hate that fact because I think of how many hard times I could have avoided by accepting and getting help earlier. And even after I got help it took me another year or so to own it and feel fine about it. Thanks for sharing your story!

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