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Debby's Story 

"So Many More"

I recently saw a TikTok that requested experiences from children’s psychiatric hospitals and the abuse they carry. I have a lot of stories to share but I will write only the most traumatic ones. Luckily, my latest few hospitalizations were in a much more appropriate environment with nurses and faculty that genuinely cared about our wellbeing.


1) We had a movie room with hundreds of DVDs, as most hospitals do. The nurses would bring in movies from the library or their houses whenever we wanted more. However, with one action movie in particular, none of the nurses watched prior. There was a very graphic rape scene in the first few minutes. Three girls had panic attacks, one was locked in her room and told she needed time alone to stop crying, the other was sedated through injection, and the last was pleading for no one to touch her yet three nurses held her down by her ankles, wrists, and waist. One of the girls was only eleven.


2) The nicest aid was a thirty-ish year old man who would always talk about his kids and help us with our homework whenever we needed. When some of us left, one of the girls found his Instagram and they started messaging each other frequently. He sold her weed, commented privately on her bikini pictures, would ask her on multiple occasions to “hang out,” etc.


3) My roommate is transgender and goes by the name A--- with he/him pronouns. The staff refused to call him the correct pronouns and name and whenever he requested otherwise, he was met with a lecture about how he has a vagina and therefore cannot be considered anything other than female. He still talks to me frequently about the effects this has on him to this day.


4) During the switch between the day and night shift nurses, we had to stay in our rooms for about thirty minutes to let them meet and discuss any important information. This one night however, my roommate and I noticed it was taking an abnormally long time. When we asked what was happening, the night nurses replied with: “You guys have been laughing and being loud all day so give us some time to relax.'' We were locked in our rooms from about 6-10 without water or use of the bathroom.


5) During dinner, a boy began having a schizophrenic episode. He couldn’t hear us and was panicking because he could see someone getting murdered on the floor screaming. The nurses evacuated all of us and locked him in the room only for him to be sedated after he couldn’t calm down.


6) I refused to eat for five days straight, fainted during art therapy, and woke up with nothing but a bottle of “Ensure” [a liquid nutrition supplement] next to my bed. They took no other measures to make sure I ate other than providing me with Ensures for the rest of my stay per meal. I refused them almost every time and was met with no consequence. Although it is much better than being forced down with a feeding tube, I lost (x) pounds during my stay of only a mere two weeks, and it certainly did not help my eating disorder.


These are only a few instances. I have so many more stories, all of which have caused me and fellow patients a great deal of pain. I really do hope that changes are made to this system.

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