Welcome to the Bad Psych Ward Blog, an educational resource with three goals:
- To warn prospective patients and their team to avoid the Acute Impatient Unit at Centennial Peaks Hospital in Louisville, Colorado — this unit is guilty of grave negligence and malpractice
- To state the case for why this unit should be shut down
- To draw attention to the broader problem of how our vulnerable psychiatric patients experience poor treatment in many of our wards, treatment that causes more harm than it helps, treatment that is out of touch with the latest advances in psychiatric healing, especially with regard to diet and the use of amino acids and other effective methods, and treatment that is rude, arrogant and at times cruel.
My name is Naomi S. S. Jacobs. I’m usually so stable most people have no idea I have a Bipolar I diagnosis. But due to a pregnancy scare last July I had to get off psych meds to protect the possible fetus. This was distabilizing so I entered the Acute Impatient Center at Centennial Peaks.
I will some be posting my entire story which includes (1) being denied my sleep apnea machine (2) being given food that violated my need for gluten free and dairy free (3) being forced to stop taking Lithium cold turkey — something one should never do -- because they were ignorant about my superior type of Lithium (4) being asked to take a high blood pressure medicine would have harmed my blood sugar and kidneys because they were not thinking, (5) being limited in my ability to have fresh air because I was not a smoker and
(6) being exposed over and over again to a highly violent patient whom the staff could not contain. They would get him and then put him right in our common room again. He even went into my room once. You should have seen the look on my roommate's face as we were sent to our rooms yet again and I had to calm her down by barricading the room and teaching her self-defense moves.
But it’s not just my story. it’s the story of my fellow patients, some of whom were forced to take ECT against their will, some who got moldy broccoli for food, some who were never given an understanding about the drugs they were taking, some who were being kept far longer on the unit that the situation warranted.
We need to put an end to the Acute Impatient Unit in Centennial Peaks and re-imagine mental health care. If we can prevent just one person from being incarcerated there, we have done something good. If we can get out the word to all so that no one gets trapped there, that’s even better. And if we can shut down the unit, more power to us. And if we can start investigating all Psychiatric Units and hold them to a higher standard, now that is really something.
Anyone, anyone can have a mental health emergency. The life you may save here may be your own.
You can also read the story of another academic who was shocked by brutal psych ward treatment:
I NOW APPEND MY RECENT EMAIL TO THE CEO OF THE CPH, ELICIA BUNCH
Dear CEO Bunch,
Prior to our meetings I would like you to take a good hard look at the use of ECT on your unit.
Yes, it can help some patients.
But your unit uses it to a high degree, often without the patient’s true consent. And scientists agree it causes permanent brain damage.
And did you know that Neurofeedback is a far superior method for healing the brain permanently? I speak of this with extensive experience and can refer you to someone to talk about it.
There is also Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181669/ which also looks like a far superior method.
Also if you give people the right diet and supplements, many depressions will not even require you go those routes.
And the way the ECT is administered at your unit is barbaric.
CEO Bunch, I’m going to be upfront here.
I am going to give you an opportunity to make your Unit the absolute best in the country. I know enough to help you do that.
Or I will continue to give your unit the worst publicity I can. I am a professional writer and speaker and I am a very determined and persistent person. Working very seriously with me is the smart play, I assure you,
My starting position is that you shut down your ECT immediately. Because with it your facility has been committing crimes against humanity. And I do not use that phrase lightly.
But CEO Bunch, think of making your ward a truly healing place. Think how beautiful that would be. How much good that would do, lives you might change for the better, lives you might save. When you are at the end of your life and are reflecting on the choices you have made are you going to be proud because you made tons of money for your company or because you left the world a better place than you found it? Don’t tell me your hands are tied because of this or because of that. There is always a brave and enlightened choice to be made. Think about anyone in your life whom you truly love. Now think about them being misserved in their greatest time of need. I’m going to bet on you CEO Bunch that you want to the right thing with all your heart. Work with me. Shut down the ECT. Transition into having entirely new staff. Listen to my suggestions. We can do this together.
Happy New Year,
Naomi SS Jacobs, PhD