Is being out of hospital always a sign you are doing well?

Or is it sometimes more a reflection that you are not acutely ill and in immediate crisis? I am not sure by itself it says much about functioning. I think there comes a point when the illness goes from acute to chronic and the chances of hospitalisation diminish but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing well or are “recovered”.
There are many chronically ill people in the community living rather restricted and not very high functioning lives in terms of occupational, social activities and so called activities of daily living.
Using recent hospitalisation as a yardstick these people are seen as doing well but often nothing is farther from the truth. These people are merely not exhibiting the kinds of behaviour that leads to hospitalisation.
The acute, dramatic, positive symptoms of yesteryear have given way to more negative and insidious ones

The squeekiest hinge gets the first oil.

Yeah where I live the ward is pretty much solely for people with active and unstable suicidal ideation. One thing I have noticed is that when I have been an inpatient I would say 80% of patients where 20-30 years old. They are acutely ill and their illness is definitely externalised in the form of agitation, frustration and odd behaviour.

My opinion is that the older chronic patients (myself included) tend to internalise their illness more - GENERALLY less acute and unsafe behaviours. I have heard the term “burned out” being used to describe chronic sz people in middle age. I agree this doesn’t mean they are not mentally ill but more that these people maybe exhibit ‘less risk’ in the eyes of the health workers.

I am done with the ward. That place was a ■■■■ hole. For a while I was worried that my welfare might be stopped if I hadn’t been in hospital for a while. I have learned to disregard that point as ■■■■■■■■ in my opinion.

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I know that my main issue is a lack of initiative and motivation - I have a hard time pushing myself to going places or showering - its a chore just to brush my teeth.

Everything becomes a chore.

Having schizophrenia and managing to stay out the hospital is “doing well”. You should be proud of that. Does it mean fully recovered? No, but there’s something to be said for stability.


I think you’ve answered you own question there. I agree with that.

No. there are different degrees of psychiatric control that extends outside the hospital. If you have weekly meetings with a nurse, then you are not completely free, but rather under constant supervision. If you live in assited housing like I do, you can stay out of hospital for years and years, but in practice your in a sort of ward.

The only way to measure you recovery I guess, is to consider how your social life is doing outside psych settings. If you can manage there your doing good.

No. I’ve never been hospitalized but I would not consider myself as being well. I can function fine but I go through a tremendous amount of pain and mental stress doing so.

Honestly if my parents were more observant or accepting of mental health issues I probably would have been hospitalized back during my crazy high school days.

I think the best that was ever said for me was that I was “stable in my instability” . I’m kind of at a level(not highly functional- no work record, no social network but living independently in a rather limited way) and not really deviating much from that either up or down.

Social life is non existent. Have no real life friends. What social involvement I did have at one time came via (a) attending a day centre for several years (b) going to a mental health charity drop in until the service was closed (c) doing a group via the rehab and recovery team during the time I was under them.
Ie any socialisation was via the mental health trust or local mental health charity.
My most regular reason for going outside is to go every fortnight for my depot . I am isolated over 98% of the time.
Most weeks I scarcely speak to another person.

Yeah well, I don’t know if the Doctors I had during my hospitalizations were “all that”. One of them demonstrated he knew what I was going through. But for the most part I don’t think I can comment (even though I am, it’s for argument’s sake) on this matter because I don’t see the majority of people coming in and out of the hospital, and I’m not a doctor. So I don’t believe I have the experience and know-how, necessary to say it’s a sign I’m doing well. I don’t know how I’m doing relative to the average SZA, nor do I have the regular life of a non-ill person. So I suppose if I went off that last fact, I would say no, I’m not doing well.

Ive been out of the hospital for several months and my doctor is satisfied I’m doing well. Things are not perfect and will never be but at least I can recognize my symptoms as symptoms. When I was Ill I would of beleived in superman and you couldn’t convince me otherwise. But yes I think being out of the hospital is a positive thing.

I think so.

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Lucky. I can’t even recognize m symptoms.

At least you know your having them. Some of us are too hard headed to see it.

I have to comment on your quote regarding “stable in your instability”. It describes my son perfectly. I just hope they wait until he’s more stable to release him. I do not think that just because someone is out of the hospital they are ‘doing well’. I think, and from what I’ve been told, that they are simply not at a danger to themselves or others, which are the current criteria for being hospitalized in our acute care, get them out of there, health system.

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I don’t know where you are from but that is certainly the case in the UK. What primarily matters is that you are not a nuisance to society and things that don’t disturb society but affect the patient are given far less consideration .
So long as you are seen to be just about coping however limited that coping is in terms of occupationally or socially then you are put on the back burner . I am seen as having limited ability to live independently in the community suggesting I could do with support and I did have time limited support but even the people seeing me, who weren’t the decision makers, agreed I needed more long term support. They had to pull out though when my allotted time was up .
The most the mental heath team reacted was when I was late for several depots. First they phoned to chase me up and then the next time came to my flat to administer it complete with a lecture about the need to keep to the schedule. It does make one think that there focus is on making sure you are medicated rather than your overall well being . You can be socially isolated, described as having very poor social skills and limited ability to live independently in the community but that’s less important than taking those pills or,in my case, getting that jab in the butt.

Yeah they liked to poke me in the butt when they thought I wasn’t taking my meds.

I’m in Michigan right now, in the USA, but I have a feeling most developed countries handle things the same way. In Panama, where we live, there are no adolescent psychiatric hospitals in the country. There is one good hospital in the City that you can use when you are an adult. But when my son jumped out of a moving car and had staples in his head and road rash everywhere (yeah, it was going very fast), the dr asked him why he still lived with us if he was so miserable and her suggestion to him was to simply move out. They kept him in the hallway of the ER for four days until we released him against medical advice. It was the most unprofessional thing I’ve seen. I’m truly hoping the adult hospital is much better, they have a good rep. But I don’t know the criteria there for letting people leave and become part of the community. In these Latin communities it’s more likely that the family bands together to watch the patient, surround them with people and they take the place of a 24/7 locked unit. Our problem is we don’t have a huge family and cannot watch him all the time. He is currently a danger to himself, not because he’s suicidal or homicidal which are their usual criteria, but because he is so out of it he cannot tell someone where he lives or even his name some of the time. That is a danger to him, personally. So we have been fighting to keep him hospitalized. And have already warned us they are going to release him before he is truly better because he is going home to such an educated/supportive family and I had to tell them I could not handle him like this. That I need further assistance. And they have kept him longer.