Home » Blog » Podcast: Visiting a Psych Ward as a Guest after Having Been a Patient

Podcast: Visiting a Psych Ward as a Guest after Having Been a Patient

Recently, Michelle had to take a friend to the hospital because of her friend’s thoughts of suicide. This was the first time Michelle had experienced the mental health system from any viewpoint other than that of a patient. In this episode, she describes everything she experienced and how it made her feel.

For many people living with mental illness, being committed to a psychiatric hospital is one of our deepest fears. Even people who aren’t mentally ill fear psychiatric hospitals – something that is on public display during Halloween.

Our hosts, Gabe & Michelle, have discussed their experiences as patients in a previous episode titled Ep 6: Were You Ever in a Psych Ward? WE WERE! Stories from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic. But they’ve never discussed what it was like the first time they visited a psych ward as a guest, advocate, or as someone who wasn’t a patient.

Listen to this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast to learn more.





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Highlights From ‘Psych Ward’ Episode

[2:00] Michelle shares a story about taking her friend to a psychiatric hospital

[4:00] Specific things that triggered Michelle while at the psychiatric hospital 

[6:00] Gabe’s experience visiting a psych ward

[10:00] Frustrations and experiences with psychiatric hospitals

[14:00] Michelle’s most triggering experience

[20:00] Discussing the problems with mental health care


Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Psych Ward’ Episode

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.


Narrator: [00:00:07] For reasons that utterly escape everyone involved, you’re listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

Gabe Howard: [00:00:17] Hey you’re listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. My name is Gabe and I am the bipolar one.

Michelle Hammer: [00:00:23] Hi, I am Michelle. I am the schizophrenic one.

Gabe Howard: [00:00:26] I like how we always start our podcast like so cheerful and happy and then we like delve right into something like scary or triggering or worrisome or depressing.

Michelle Hammer: [00:00:38] That’s very true, we definitely do do that.  Start all happy and then get really deep and gray.

Gabe Howard: [00:00:44] Yeah if you’re a fan of the show you have like a roller coaster ride of emotions. Oh my God do you think the show is bipolar?

Michelle Hammer: [00:00:53] Maybe it is. I think it is. It has bouts of mania. Yes it does.

Gabe Howard: [00:00:56] It has bouts of mania and extreme sadness.

Michelle Hammer: [00:00:58] The show stays up all night and spends tons of money. I’m sure the show does.

Gabe Howard: [00:01:04] Both of those things are absolutely true. The show costs bank to put on and it is it is totally expensive. Michelle?

Michelle Hammer: [00:01:16] Yes, Gabe?

Gabe Howard: [00:01:18] We did an episode, I don’t know, awhile back where we talked about being in a psych ward.

Michelle Hammer: [00:01:24] Yes we did.

Gabe Howard: [00:01:25] When we had that episode we were talking about our experiences being in a psychiatric ward. Recently you had a friend need your help  And you took her to a psychiatric hospital took her to be evaluated and it I believe if I’m not mistaken this is the first time that you entered a psychiatric ward not as a patient but as an advocate.

Michelle Hammer: [00:01:51] So the whole thing was that I found my friend in a compromising situation the same day I went with my friend to go see her psychiatrist. And from speaking with him and things that got on that day we decided that we should be bring her to the psych ward and we went to the hospital and we found the psych unit.  We had to a buzz a million times to finally get in. And they said okay we’ll take her but visiting hours aren’t for another half an hour. So I let her in there and I just went to the waiting room and I was just like really freaked out about the whole thing I was just not okay. And then you know I waited and then I met up with her sister and then we went like into the psych ward when at visiting time.  And we’re in there. And kind of like seeing the people walk around. And at one point there’s this guy just starts screaming and screaming and screaming from another bed like in a room. And it took me a second and then I realized what was going on that the guy was totally tied up to the bed screaming and that’s why he was yelling so much. And that was like total flashback because I’ve been tied up to a bed screaming. And you know they like to ignore you when you do that. So I was just like. OK flashback memory. Kind of scary.  Really hope I didn’t I wished I didn’t hear that or just like maybe that guy should’ve been moved to a different unit or something because they because this was the emergency intake they told us and then they said if you have to be staying there then you get moved up to the the other floor where you’re there for more time.

Gabe Howard: [00:03:27] Hang on a second, Michelle, this is this is the challenging part

Michelle Hammer: [00:03:31] Yeah.

Gabe Howard: [00:03:31] Of all of this. You know one of the things that you said and you can tell it was very much patient Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:03:36] Yes.

Gabe Howard: [00:03:36] You know you said they they like to ignore you and I mean it’s not really a fair thing.  They like it like like there’s just a whole bunch of people that apply for a job at the psychiatric ward because they enjoy watching people suffer.

Michelle Hammer: [00:03:50] I don’t know it’s it’s like I don’t understand why somebody has to be tied to a bed. What what do people get out of. What why is it necessary to tie a person up to a bed because they’re being dangerous.

Gabe Howard: [00:04:03] Yeah because they’re a danger to themselves or others because if you let people lose they could get a hold of something. And I know that’s that’s that’s so traumatizing.  I mean being.

Michelle Hammer: [00:04:12] I was not physically dangerous I was not being dangerous when I was tied up I would they said they just didn’t like my behavior and they told me that they wanted to give me a shot because I wasn’t behaving and if I said no that I didn’t want the shot they would just tie me to the bed and give me the shot anyway. And I said I didn’t want it. So then like. Three nurses just tied me to the bed and gave me the shot anyway like I didn’t deserve that I didn’t deserve to be tied to a bed just because I refused the shot I wasn’t hurting anybody it wasn’t danger and nobody I was just mad I was just angry and I wanted to leave. So like I know like I was just screaming and everything but I was also thinking like you know does he really deserve to be tied up like that. I don’t know what he did but it just I was thinking about that and also I’m him in there and there’s a woman or girl I don’t really know how old she was but she was very obviously schizophrenic I could tell easily that she was schizophrenic she was just like pretending to read books talking to herself walking around talking to herself. She even went over to the pay phone and was pretend talking to people on the payphone. Then I was like oh my goodness I definitely have that mannerism as well. So you know I’m in the psych ward we’re looking at a schizophrenic girl with tons of symptoms doing mannerisms that I do. So it’s hard to like be there and see that. And she’s in the psych ward and I’m visiting the psych ward at a schizophrenic person is just it’s such a mind twist I don’t even know what to say.

Gabe Howard: [00:05:46] It’s terrifying. It’s true for the very first time that I walked into a psychiatric ward is something other than a patient. The very first time that I walked in to a psych hospital is something other than a patient. It blew my mind because I had a completely different outlook on how I was thinking when when I was there as a patient I was thinking just about myself about my happiness my safety my my whatever it was it was Gabe Gabe Gabe Gabe Gabe all the time all the time. How does Gabe respond when I went the other time I cared about the person I was there with I suddenly evaluated things from just a completely different perspective. And I actually looked around and saw all the other people there and realized that that used to be me and oh my god could that be me again.

Michelle Hammer: [00:06:33] Yeah.

Gabe Howard: [00:06:34] And but the thing that was really freaky to me was the idea that I could leave. I mean you could’ve just got up and walked out. Michelle you weren’t a patient you were just a visitor.

Michelle Hammer: [00:06:45] I know but it was hard to think that way.

Gabe Howard: [00:06:48] Why was it hard to think that way.

Michelle Hammer: [00:06:50] It just was I just felt like I was there again really I felt like.

Gabe Howard: [00:06:55] Yeah.

Michelle Hammer: [00:06:56] If I like it I was like expecting to just not leave. And I was just scared about the whole situation. I was scared for my friend I was scared she was gonna be stuck there for weeks I was just. Scared. She was never going to get out and I was really upset about the whole thing. I was crying so much I haven’t cried that much in like years. I think it was the whole thing was traumatizing. And then in the waiting room there was instrumental songs of Celine Dion playing which did not help with the crying. You know you hear Celine Dion and you start crying even more.

Gabe Howard: [00:07:30] Near.

Michelle Hammer: [00:07:31] Exactly yes.

Gabe Howard: [00:07:32] Far.

Michelle Hammer: [00:07:32] That’s the song they played instrumental in that song.

Gabe Howard: [00:07:36] Where ever you are.  You think I could quit the podcast and be like a vocalist.

Michelle Hammer: [00:07:40] No no no. It was just such a surreal thing to walk into a psych ward and just be there. And then later in the night if somebody comes in with in handcuffs like OK whatever he did he fought the cops. I like that I know that he must have fought the cops. That’s why he’s you know showing up to the psych ward with his handcuffs and everything while he probably probably made a suicide attempt or something like that. I’m like I’m like the ace of the psych ward. I know why everyone’s in there because we couldn’t see the guy who was screaming but I’m like That guy is definitely tied to a bed. Definitely I guess I just know now. Like the psych ward expert.

Gabe Howard: [00:08:17] Oh my God you’re the psych ward whisperer.

Michelle Hammer: [00:08:19] I’m the psych ward whisperer.

Gabe Howard: [00:08:20] I know how tough it is. I mean and I think that anybody listening would understand how going through something traumatic and then having something remind you of it would be scary would be traumatizing. I mean whatever word you want to put in their nerve wracking if you get in a car accident. Yeah. For the next few weeks when you’re driving in your car you’re gonna be a little freaked out because car accidents are scary even even small fender benders I remember the very first time I hydro planned and I spun around a circle a couple of times and I just kind of landed in an embankment. My car wasn’t even damaged but just being in a car and losing control like that. It was scary. And the next time it rained I had like a death grip on the steering wheel and I was like. It’s like that except you’re you’re in a place that you have sort of mixed feelings about because.

Michelle Hammer: [00:09:13] Yeah.

Gabe Howard: [00:09:14] Clearly it helped you because you said that when your friend was in danger that’s where you wanted her to go.

Michelle Hammer: [00:09:19] Right.

Gabe Howard: [00:09:20] You also said that it was a terrifying scary place where people like to ignore you and don’t care that you’re suffering. So that’s you have to admit that that’s that’s a mind fucker right there. You’ve just said that they like to ignore you and threaten you and treat you poorly. But that’s where you wanted your friend to go. Wrap your brain around the that.

Michelle Hammer: [00:09:41] I thought they do treat you poorly as psych ward.  They wait.

Gabe Howard: [00:09:44] Of course you feel that way.

Michelle Hammer: [00:09:45] They wait and they don’t do your paperwork and you could just be waiting for them to discharge you forever you can be waiting for the doctor waiting for your meds waiting for everything. It’s like this. It’s just the slowest place ever. And you’re surrounded by people who you know of course you never think you’re the crazy one like I’ve said before you think oh I’m the sanest person in here and all these people are crazy. Why am I in here. But then you’re stuck in there and you feel like you don’t deserve to be there.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:13] I feel that way when I’m at the DMV. You don’t know that because you’re not allowed to drive.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:18] I have a license.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:19] Wait. Schizophrenics can get drivers licenses.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:21] Surprisingly yes we can get drivers licenses.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:24] I’ve never seen you drive.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:26] I don’t have a car.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:27] Oh, that makes sense. Schizophrenics aren’t allowed to own cars.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:30] Exactly. You’ve got it you’ve got it.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:32] That’s not it. You know it’s people that believe that there’s people that believe that if you have serious mental illness bipolar disorder schizophrenia that you’re not allowed to have nice things like you know how many times people tell me that I can’t possibly have bipolar disorder because I own a house. Apparently you’re not allowed to own a house if you have bipolar disorder. Did you know that Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:50] Yeah totally.

Gabe Howard: [00:10:51] And since schizophrenia is worse you’re not allowed to own a house or a car.

Michelle Hammer: [00:10:55] Yeah or any are anything anything dangerous ever or hammer can’t own a hammer. Might kill somebody with it.

Gabe Howard: [00:11:00] I own a hammer. I call her Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:11:04] Yeah yeah yeah. Pause for one second. I’m going to cry and we’re going to hear from our sponsor. I’ll be right back.

Narrator 2: [00:11:11] This episode is sponsored by better help secure convenient and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session go to better help dot com forward slash Psych Central and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counseling is right for you. Better help that come forward slash Psych Central

Narrator: [00:11:47] Psych Central dot com is the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health online resource. Since 1995 our completely free award winning Web site has been run by mental health professionals offering reliable trusted information as well as over 250 support groups to people living with mental illness for professional articles to personal stories. Psych Central dot com is worth your time checking out and is the generous sponsor of this podcast.

Michelle Hammer: [00:12:17] We are back.

Gabe Howard: [00:12:18] How long were you there. How long were you and your friend there and where she admitted.

Michelle Hammer: [00:12:24] We were there for hours. I don’t know I think we got there at six thirty we left around midnight man her sister went with her to talk to a resident that was gonna decide if she needed to stay for a few days or just be able to get it discharged that night. So he’s like you know asking her questions and it’s all it was all like you know I’ve heard all those questions before. So he’s asking her. And we’re also answering the questions and at one point he starts asking all these questions about mania I go. She doesn’t have bouts of mania. And he goes oh so I guess you you know that that’s where I was heading and I was like yeah, I’m schizophrenic. I’ve been through this many times and you can just to.  I just knew with all the questions where he was leading.

Gabe Howard: [00:13:05] Did the questions make more sense this time.

Michelle Hammer: [00:13:07] They do. They do.

Gabe Howard: [00:13:08] I remember when when they were asked to me I was just like what is this nonsense garbage. And then the first time I saw them be asked to somebody else I’m like wow there is a lot of diagnostic like takeaways here. This is this is amazing.

Michelle Hammer: [00:13:21] I could tell the first was the Depression questions. Then there was mania questions. Then word there was hallucination questions about like schizophrenia. Like to hear your name being called those like okay obviously.

Gabe Howard: [00:13:32] Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:13:33] Yeah you hear a name Bingo. It was just I guess I could just I knew where all the questions were leading.

Gabe Howard: [00:13:38] Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:13:40] So he decided that she didn’t need to stay over and you could just be discharged that night and try to go to outpatient and all that.

Gabe Howard: [00:13:49] One of the things that you said at the top of the show was that you found her in a compromising position. Now that we don’t we don’t have a show that says things like compromising positions. What happened.

Michelle Hammer: [00:13:59] I’d rather not say exactly what happened but it was something extremely triggering for me just to see.

Gabe Howard: [00:14:07] Was a suicide attempt right.

Michelle Hammer: [00:14:08] Yes it was terrifying.

Gabe Howard: [00:14:11] What did you do immediately. I mean you open the door you see your friend making an attempt on her life and boom you spring into action. What did you do.

Michelle Hammer: [00:14:18] I kind of yelled What are you doing. Stop that. Right now. And we just cried and cried and cried. It was horrible. Oh God. It was just like some something I thought I’d never see again.

Gabe Howard: [00:14:38] And then what did you do.

Michelle Hammer: [00:14:39] We left my apartment. We got some food and then we went to the psychiatrist that she had an appointment with.

Gabe Howard: [00:14:46] So there was already an appointment later on that day.

Michelle Hammer: [00:14:49] Right. So.

Gabe Howard: [00:14:49] And you told the psychiatrist you walk in. Tell the psychiatrist.

Michelle Hammer: [00:14:54] We walked in. He was asking about medicine changes all the basic stuff. He’s very cold. He doesn’t even really look at you when you speak. He just stares at his computer. And then when we kind of said what happened and he wrote down his cell phone number and he was like. OK you guys can go to the hospital but we called many many different hospitals to find out where the psychiatric unit was. And we did find one really pretty like only five stops on the subway away so we went there and we just like walked in and tried to find it. We finally found the room and. It was just really scary. It was really scary. And it was terrifying. And. Like I said that I never thought I’d be in that position again.

Gabe Howard: [00:15:39] You never thought that you’d be in that position again because you assumed that being in that position again would meant that you would make an attempt on your life or you would self harm or you would be in psychiatric trouble. It never occurred to you that the people around you could also have psychiatric problems and you’d have to be the protector of the family member the caregiver.

Michelle Hammer: [00:16:01] Yeah like I guess like throughout like the past 10 years or 12 years like it’s always been me being the unstable one I’m the crazy one. I’m the one everyone has to take care of. So like being flipped in the position where I was the caretaker was something that I never really expected to be  But I think I guess you know like it if you’re if you’re going to go to the psych ward I guess go with somebody that has a lot of experience. I guess.

Gabe Howard: [00:16:35] That’s the whole point of peer support in psychiatry. This is this is something that our movement is actually promoting a lot and we get a lot of push-back on it. We hear things of people saying oh this is like letting the patients run the asylum but the whole concept of peer support is I’ve been where you are and I can help you. We’re not trying to replace doctors or medication or therapy but you know things are scary when I go to New York. I like to hang out with Michelle because Michelle understands New York. I’m not asking you to set up the Times Square display. I’m just asking you to help me get there. And this is why peer support is valuable because there’s an instant rapport. We’re easier to talk to and we make people less afraid and less scared but yeah we can’t provide any treatment. And it was a good thing you were there for your friend because I imagine that the whole process was terrifying. I mean it was terrifying when we went through it. Why would it not be terrifying when somebody else goes through it.

Michelle Hammer: [00:17:34] Yeah. Now that’s right. I mean she must have been absolutely terrified because the thought of being stuck in a psych ward is just terrifying. I mean there’s like there’s no hooks on the walls the doorknobs are different there’s the windows are sealed shut. Or you don’t even have a window. It’s it’s just it’s like I don’t even know how to compare it to anything else. I’ve never been to jail so I don’t know if you can get back to jail but you’re just trapped in there and everybody treats you like you’re sick.

Gabe Howard: [00:18:03] Well because you’re in the hospital Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:18:05] Yeah but like.

Gabe Howard: [00:18:06] Because you’re sick.

Michelle Hammer: [00:18:07] But they treat you like you’re a baby like here here’s your meds. The doctor wants you to take these like I heard the nurse go to that schizophrenic woman and say Here I have the meds from the doctor for you. The doctor wants you to take this this and this in liquid form. Like I heard that that happen. I’m like why with a baby everybody like that like they speak to you like you’re a baby why you don’t have to treat people like like they’re so sick like that. Are so people. I don’t get it.

Gabe Howard: [00:18:40] The idea behind it is that it’s non confrontational. It’s calming the whole idea is is to get you to understand and comply quickly because the bottom line is they don’t have a lot of money. They don’t have a lot of time. It would be nice if every patient was watched over by one doctor but it’s one doctor for 20 patients. If you’re lucky it’s one nurse for you know 10 patients if you’re lucky it’s one orderly for five patients if you’re lucky. So you’re just wildly outnumbered. And anything that you can do to get somebody their treatment faster is what they do because psych services are the loss leader of the medical world because the majority of people are young when they’re diagnosed and they don’t have health insurance they don’t have money they don’t have resources and they end up in psychiatric wards where they desperately need care or that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars that nobody will pay for because we have really shitty healthcare in this country.

Michelle Hammer: [00:19:40] Yes that’s actually a good point. Like you’ve checked yourself into the psych ward and then they give you tons of paperwork to fill out like you might be upset crying horrible having the worst time of your life. Oh where’s your insurance card. I need you to fill out your paperwork and I need your insurance and I need all that information like I’m sitting here like crying and everything but OK thanks for the pencil I’ll fill out all the paperwork paperwork for you like not not there. No. Like why is it like that.

Gabe Howard: [00:20:08] Oh sweetie you know it’s going to blow your mind. I mean you know it’s just going to just just just blow your little mind. They do this to people having heart attacks as well. They they mean just if you are stable they’re collecting insurance information. And on one hand wow that is just God awful. You just had a heart attack. You’re barely stable and somebody wants to know how you’re gonna pay. But this is what we want. This is what America wants. We want you to have to pay and fill out paperwork when you are sick because otherwise we’re socialists and we’re gonna burn in hell.

Michelle Hammer: [00:20:44] It’s just not fair though.

Gabe Howard: [00:20:46] It’s wildly unfair it’s ridiculous and it’s stupid. But as a country we don’t want universal health care. And this is one of the reasons that I think this needs to change because it would help a lot of mentally ill people get the care that they need. And then we wouldn’t see the outcomes that we see on the news. It would help sick people spend more time getting better and more time with their family than filling out paperwork and fighting with insurance companies. It’s an incredible idea. But the problem is the majority of people are well and when they vote on this they vote as people who are well. And by the time they’re sick and realize how detrimental this system really is toward wellness and health and getting better. It’s too late. They’ve already voted and we’re never gonna have enough sick people to reach a majority so we need people who are well to acknowledge this is a good idea and many people who are well are just like Hey I’m fine. So I don’t give a shit about you.

Michelle Hammer: [00:21:47] Yeah. The resident actually told us that 20 percent of the U.S. population is on antidepressants.

Gabe Howard: [00:21:55] To to backup for a moment, Michelle, you got through it you did it you can now add you know frontlines caregiver to your resumé does it feel good to know that you’ve come full circle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:22:07] I mean I’m glad that I helped but but I mean no.

Gabe Howard: [00:22:14] We all know that you’d rather not be in this situation.

Michelle Hammer: [00:22:16] Yes yes.

Gabe Howard: [00:22:19] I, I, Michelle if we were if we were in your apartment right now and the house caught on fire.

Michelle Hammer: [00:22:24] Not again, not again.

Gabe Howard: [00:22:25] You passed out and I picked you up and I threw you over my shoulder and I carried you down three flights of stairs and saved your life. I would be a nervous fucking wreck. I mean just I think we all know that like one my back would hurt because I can’t carry things but if somebody said Do you feel good about saving Michelle I be like Yeah I do feel good about it I’m glad I knew what to do I’m glad I recognized there a fire I’m glad I had the strength to carrier I’m glad I recognized that she was passed out and couldn’t help herself so nobody’s asking Do you want to do it again I’m asking now that it’s over. Do you feel good that you knew what to do in a society where most people have no idea what to do.

Michelle Hammer: [00:23:06] I say you’re saying that we took the right course of action from the situation. I mean I’m just hoping that she feels better. I don’t like when my friends don’t feel good.

Gabe Howard: [00:23:17] I know you you you you seem to like it when I don’t feel good. Do you poke me and call me.

Michelle Hammer: [00:23:23] That’s different I like making fun of you but That’s different.

Gabe Howard: [00:23:28] That’s different.

Michelle Hammer: [00:23:29] I just don’t want her to ever feel that way ever again. I don’t want her to think that like I was upset I was there I don’t want her to be scared to tell me her feelings because I didn’t like to be in the psych ward. I don’t want her to try to hide things from me like if she ever does need to go again I would be there for her and I hope that she doesn’t end up in a compromising situation ever again especially not a worse one.

Gabe Howard: [00:24:01] You’ve really touched on something that is really really important and a lot of people in our community really need to hear so often when we get sicker and we feel worse and we feel bad and we feel spirals coming. We don’t want to burden the people around them. So we lie. We’ve talked about this in numerous shows where we say we’re fine when we’re not and we get sicker and sicker and sicker and then we end up putting ourselves in harm’s way. And we make it harder for the people around us to help us. And we’ve got to get over that because if we would have asked for help when we were just a little bit sick the help would have been easier to get. But because we just kept thinking that we could internalize it and help ourselves and we didn’t want to be a burden or a bother or an obligation. We got ourselves sicker and made it worse for the people desperately trying to help us.

Michelle Hammer: [00:24:51] You’re, you’re right Gabe. It is important. You have to be honest with the people around you because if you need help you need to be able to ask for help and you have to have those people around you that will help you too. And everybody really kind of needs that in their life. And I know that my friend can always depend on me and I will always be there for her forever. And I hope she knows that.

Gabe Howard: [00:25:15] Michelle, that’s awesome. Ladies and gentlemen it’s important to understand as scary as psychiatric wards are and psychiatric hospitals and getting medical care for any reason not just mental health but also physical health. It is scary. Nobody is saying that it’s not scary. But don’t let fear get in the way of getting better because you know what’s scarier than a psych ward being at home all alone in a compromising position and nobody coming through the door.

Michelle Hammer: [00:25:43] Absolutely.

Gabe Howard: [00:25:43] So just please remember that Michelle.

Michelle Hammer: [00:25:48] Yes.

Gabe Howard: [00:25:48] We want people to buy shirts, leave us iTunes reviews, send us funny stories, and topic ideas, right?

Michelle Hammer: [00:25:55] Absolutely.

Gabe Howard: [00:25:56] Where do they find the Define Normal shirt?

Michelle Hammer: [00:25:58]

Gabe Howard: [00:26:01] And how many stars do we want on iTunes?

Michelle Hammer: [00:26:05] Five stars please.

Gabe Howard: [00:26:06] And do we want them to write a review or just give us stars?

Michelle Hammer: [00:26:10] Definitely write a review.

Gabe Howard: [00:26:13] And do we want people to send us show topics via e-mail?

Michelle Hammer: [00:26:17] For sure.

Gabe Howard: [00:26:19] And what is our e-mail?

Michelle Hammer: [00:26:20] What is our e-mail?

Gabe Howard: [00:26:22] It is So hit us up, tell us what you think. Even if you disagree with us we’re glad you’re talking about mental health. My name is Gabe Howard and with me as always is Michelle Hammer and we will see you all next Monday. Thanks everyone.

Michelle Hammer: [00:26:38] Hollar at your boys.

Narrator: [00:26:40] You’ve been listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. If you love this episode, don’t keep it to yourself. Head over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app to subscribe rate and review. To work with Gabe, go to To work with Michelle, go to schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups. Head over to The show’s official Web site is You can e-mail us at Thank you for listening and share widely.

Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit


MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.

Podcast: Visiting a Psych Ward as a Guest after Having Been a Patient

Not Crazy Podcast

Not Crazy is the mental health podcast for people who hate mental health podcasts. The show is designed to explore all facets of our mental health -- without all the psycho-babble. New Episodes Every Monday on your favorite podcast player.

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APA Reference
Podcast, N. (2019). Podcast: Visiting a Psych Ward as a Guest after Having Been a Patient. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Apr 2019 (Originally: 26 Nov 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Apr 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.