I find that when I am admitted into hospital I am fine mentally for 4 days or so then the paranoia sets in. I feel like staff are against me, the fact I’m mobile and independent makes people think I’m not sick, the fact I can tolerate pain well means when I say I have a pain score of 6 I get looks of really?? However this is something I am aware of and I can admit too whereas some may not want too.
I on the whole am not an overly paranoid person but I do suffer from minor issues when it comes to silly things like a friend or loved one not answering straight away or being off for whatever reason, or I overthink past conversations to the point I work myself up over it. But other than those I do to myself I wouldn’t say I’m particularly paranoid, but who knows maybe I am?!
I have found within myself and from what friends who know me really well or have spent time as an inpatient with me that at around day 4 I start to withdraw myself from conversations or refuse visits, I also begin to sleep more during the day (or is that a normal thing for hospital stays due to the sheer boredom?) This is when the paranoia sets in – certain staff start to make comments about little things like generalising my diet, my mobility (it is very rare that I am bed bound and I will go for walks with visitors, other patients ahem my partner in crime ahem and I will go see my dad who is security) and my pain levels.
Now anyone who has been chronically sick and/or suffers frequent and long lasting pain often builds up a tolerance to it and sometimes the pain relief; so when someone asks what your pain score is – I fully think it is a load of crap! My pain tolerance could be higher or lower than the patient next to me and if I or someone else is saying a higher number than 5 and you aren’t “writhing around in pain” you must be lying! Well nurse you maybe medically qualified and well done on that but pain is completely individual and shouldn’t be put on a generalised scale. Case study – my partner in crime Louise has Crohns and some other disorders her 6 is completely different to my 6 even though we both have IBD and stoma’s. I have only ever seen that girl writhe around in pain and cry ONCE in the 2 years we have been friends, she has seen me moan that I’m in pain but won’t get pain relief because I feel that I have suffered worse pain.
As Louise knows the staff far better than I do – when the comments and looks are starting to get to me; I tell her and she lets me know if she just thinks I’m being paranoid or if I am probably right. There are bad eggs hidden in amongst the gems in every profession but when they are within the health and social care sector I think is when the bad ones light up; you don’t go into the care profession for the money because there isn’t any even doctors and surgeons have to wait years before they see the benefit of their wages due to student loans.
So that is how being admitted into hospital affects my mental health by increasing my paranoia, do you find your mental health is affected whilst being an inpatient? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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