Tag Archives: psychiatric ward

Free Resources

The first installment in what will become a growing library of resources on my website is for people who learn a friend or loved one is in a psychiatric ward or clinic. This can be a confronting situation, and sometimes people are not sure how to react. This page contains suggested topics of conversation and gift lists to help make that first visit seem less overwhelming. Enjoy!




Filed under Out

Snippy and Scratchy

Oh bloody hell, I’ve done it again – the dearly beloved’s left for work with the sting of my irritability in his ears.

I tend to wake up snappy these days. Usually it’s not a problem, because I time my waking (6:30) to coincide with his leaving for work, so I can be sweet and loving as he heads out the door. Today he lingered for an extra half hour. I think that’s what undid me. I can manage niceness for a short snatch in the morning; no longer.

It’s not that he did anything wrong, really. He just made lots of noise and kept talking to me and wandering around picking things up and putting them down, as he prepared for work. He didn’t deserve my attitude. Unfortunately, I think he’s used to it. 

I used to be a true morning person. I’d wake up and instantly be me: on board with my plans for the day, cheerful, energetic, tolerant. This changed about ten years ago, perhaps a little longer. It’s my morning intolerance I find hardest to live with. I just want things to be easy in the mornings, as I shake myself free of sleep’s web and orient myself towards the day. I don’t want to put up with stupid questions, noise, unnecessary movement.  Did my worsening depression cause my morning scratchiness? I don’t know. Perhaps it did: the timeline’s about right. Or maybe I’m some sort of super-long-cycling bipolar, with a decades-long cycle! 🙂

When I was spending so much time in hospital last year, I developed a short phrase: “No conversation before calories!” which was my shorthand way of telling people not to bother sitting at my table or trying to speak to me until I’d eaten. Really, the eating was just a mask to ensure I’d downed sufficient cups of tea to make myself presentable to the world. Three’s the magic number, apparently. As not too many people on the ward were in the habit of getting up as early as I was, the populance was mostly safe from being snipped at.

Whatever has caused it, I’m sorry, and I wish I wasn’t this way. But, for goodness’ sake, don’t bother speaking to me until after my third cup of tea, unless you want your head bitten off. And as for the dearly  beloved – well, sometimes I apologize, and he hasn’t noticed I’ve been mean to him. I hope today’s one of those days. 


Filed under Out

Black Psych Ward Humour: Songs

My spirits need a lift this evening, so I’ve taken the top 10 songs from JJJ’s Hottest 100 and had a bit of fun. The original song titles are on the left, the ‘tweaked’ ones on the right. Please feel free to add your contributions in the comments section below:

1. Riptide Downslide
2. Royals Doctors
3. Get Lucky Got Unlucky
4. Do I Wanna Know? I Don’t Wanna Know
5. Drop The Game What’s My Name?
6. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re Low?
7. Young and Beautiful Split and Bountiful
8. Resolution Desolation
9. Is This How You Feel? Is This How You Really Feel?
10. Strong Not So Strong


Filed under Up

Black Psych Ward Humour: TV Shows

Just back from visiting a friend in hospital, where we entertained ourselves coming up with psych-ward-flavoured TV show names. I’ve had some time on the way home to enlarge the list. Enjoy! And please feel free to add your own shows in the comments section below:

  • Desperate Inpatients
  • Crazy Housewives
  • Perfect Zap
  • My Ward Rules
  • The Biggest Crazy
  • Home is Away
  • Neighbours Roommates
  • Who Wants To Be An Outpatient?
  • Wheel of Medications
  • The Good Nurse
  • CSI: Kitchenette
  • Law and Order: ICU
  • A Current Affair
  • Scooby Dopamine
  • Happy Days 
  • Doctor Where-are-you
  • Star Trek: Introspection 
  • Two and a Half Xanax
  • CHarmed
  • Sedation Street
  • Med Key Hunters


Filed under In

Black Psych Ward Humour: Lightbulbs

How many Clinical Coordinators does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. That’s what student nurses and graduate nurses are for.

How many clinical psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Well, they’ll be able to change it quickly and efficiently, once they’ve figured out the correct DSM-V diagnosis. Until then, how do we know it needs changing?

How many Unit Managers does it take to change a lightbulb?

None: no lightbulb is going to stop working on my shift. (lightbulb quivers fearfully)

How many Nursing Shift Supervisors does it take to change a lightbulb?

It depends on the amount of paperwork waiting to be done: little, and they’ll do it; heaps, you’ve got no chance.

How many hospital maintenance staff does it take to change a lightbulb?

Just one, but they can only do it once they’ve received the correct work order in triplicate signed and countersigned by the appropriate authorities, three days in advance. (Or immediately, if they’re bribed with chocolate.)

How many group therapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. Group therapy doesn’t change anything.

How many psychotherapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

One, provided the lightbulb is fully compliant with all components of treatment. Otherwise, it’s the lightbulb’s fault that it doesn’t get changed.

How many depressed psych patients does it take to change a lightbulb?

Who cares?

How many manic psych patients does it take to change a lightbulb?

One. No, two, because I can’t hold the ladder and climb it myself. Actually, three, because if two people lift me up on a chair, we won’t need to fetch the ladder, but the other two will have to be really strong people. Or perhaps four – we could make a special Lightbulb Changing Device from matchsticks in the Art Room. But we’ll need five, so one can [response cut short here]

How many bipolar psych patients does it take to change a lightbulb?

Two: one to rise up the ladder, and one to stay stuck at the bottom.

How many psych nurses does it take to change a lightbulb?

If you get the right psych nurse, just one, who’ll say  just the right thing at just the right time, and the lightbulb will virtually change itself.


Filed under Up