The psych ward can be a little scary at times and is often fraught with emotions running high. In order to keep some semblance of normalcy one must keep a sense of humour. Here are a couple of amusing incidents I recall from my time spent as an inpatient.
In order to protect the identities of those involved I’ll be using gender neutral pronouns such as them and they. I will not provide any names nor physical descriptions.
Please understand these stories aren’t meant to make a mockery of psychiatric patients. I am simply trying to highlight the fact there is light and levity to be found even during the darkest of times.
One day I was invited by another patient to join in a lesson they’d be offering on tantric kissing. The patient pointed to the ring on my left hand and said this lesson would be especially important for me to attend as a married woman. I politely declined the offer but couldn’t help chuckling as I walked away wondering what teaching techniques were planned.
In another situation an apple was left on the coffee table in the common area. A patient asked if it belonged to anyone. I said it was without an owner and they were welcome to it.
The patient recoiled at my suggestion and said, “no way! It could belong to a woman and you know how Eve tricked Adam into eating an apple in Eden. I’m not going to let that happen to me.”
“Yeah, the women are always trying to lead men into temptation!” another patient chimed in.
In another situation it was brought to my attention the best way to dispose of a body would be to throw it out concealed within a Christmas tree.
My absolute favourite moment happened one day when I finally was feeling well enough to draw a little bit. Another patient, who was very withdrawn with constant delusions, approached me and peaked over at the sketch I’d just started. For the first time in the week I’d been there I saw a sense of lucid clarity as my gaze was met.
“That’s a really ugly drawing!” the patient declared then nodded at me and withdrew again, striding away speaking to unseen partners in conversation.
I couldn’t help but laugh as I’d been hoping the patient would start to have more moments of clarity. I just didn’t expect my unfinished art would be the thing to draw out the lucidity!