I went crazy: the shocking true story about the treatment of mental illness. Part 1

Our heroine Dina Tenenbaum shared with us his shocking story about how the treatment looks like in a Russian psychiatric hospital. This is a terrible text, but we all should know this.

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In the hospital I brought my mom. Rather, I asked because I realized that I didn’t handle it perfectly. Mom looked at like I’m rushing, and didn’t know how to help. No one knew.

And we went to the mental hospital. My district mental hospital was located at metro Smolenskaya-Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line, one hundred meters along the Garden ring in the direction of New Arbat street, then right down into the throat of the black underground passage, along it to the end and right again up the street. There, in one of the entrances of the Stalin house, located point of psychiatric care, to which I was attached to registration. Enter the double wooden doors, heavily autoraise and as hard slamming on their own, threatening to give under the gaping ass.

Directly led up a wide staircase with brown, rubbed by thousands of touches a railing. The left registry. Separated by a thick glass with small Windows nook. There he kept the card. There were so many. Rows of shelves stood narrowly to each other, and each shelf was sticking out gray-green, blue and Burgundy roots, cardboard, books, history. In the window was on duty loud the old woman sounded perestraivaya the patient’s name, leaving no chance even the slightest of privacy.

I can’t remember whether defended my mother and this all in the registry or just up the stairs, into a long corridor, painted a third white and two-thirds dark green color. The hallway seemed almost endless, he meandered along the walls stood wooden chairs, sometimes the old racks. I’m kind of furniture seen in the TV series “children of the Arbat” a few years later.

We sat at the office, for some reason I remember very well the door. Thick, with brass plate, white. All the time that we waited, I looked at the door and could not look away.

We were called, we walked into the office. And from that moment on I remember nothing, except a loud slap the seal in the direction of hospitalization. On troubled taxi, turn here, in the Garden tube, better here, what’s with the girl why she was crying, we’re going to the hospital, hospital, hospital… the hospital…

The car stops and I’m standing by a fence with gates and gate, for the gate sign. The security guard got us and sent to a secluded cabin in the emergency Department. I walk, rather crawl, the floors of my coat wet from the snow and hard to beat on the shoes, the pants also soaked below the knee, and I’m very, very cold.

My memory randomly gives me pictures of the back corridor, the clanking of cups somewhere in the deep, quiet whisper and a sharp sobbing, linoleum waves, fat woman in a rumpled white coat unbuttoned at the belly button. From under the floor to push the robe could be seen the grey trousers, a slinky hanging belly and short legs. Under trousers on a wide trampled sneaker limp slipped a nylon knee socks.

I look up and see a mustachioed face jammed into the white cap. The woman asks something of me, I have something to tell her. Then she turns to my mom, I hear snatches of conversation: “Voluntary… health Department… to Heal… Here sign and went…”
Sign a pile of some papers. I separated from the mother, are allowed to bring cigarettes, a notebook, a pencil, socks and gone.

I was led into an adjacent room, a room lined with white tiles. In a corner of the oilcloth curtain shower yellow stains on the floor, in the middle of the bed. Blue the nurse gives me a piece of soap, and commanded me to undress. Strip down to panties. It is very cold. My teeth are chattering. The nurse priricipal something that the time it my no frills, get naked, jerk, shower. And take off those nails.

I cry, go into the shower, trying to soap the hair, it doesn’t foam. Pour water, water slightly warm, goes under power. Turn on the faucet, turn off the water. The nurse stands there with a towel.

And wipe dry, frost on the street, not enough yet, that you got sick on my head.

Wiped off. On the couch is a stack of clothing. Unfold is sweat pants with a hole on the knee, effervescent flowered flannel robe with no buttons. Earlier it was supposed that the robe tied at the waist, but the belt was not, it was only sticking out of the seams of thread. There, in the pile, lay my underwear, the change was allowed to take with them in addition to socks and cigarettes. Lame on a hanger hung a blue coat from the last century, under the hanger — felt boots with rubber galoshes.

I get dressed and then the nurse sees my beautiful artificial nails with the French manicure still on me. She squeals, grabs my finger and starts to pull out the acrylic from my nails, never ceasing to yell at me.

— Decided to trick me, you little brat? That said, take your filthy claws! Prohibited. Have nashvilles like a whore, and I with you to loiter here?

I cry out to the voice, she violently tears off a layer of plastic with my nail, throws it in the trash with the trash in the corner. The nurse pushes me, pulls sharply on the bed.

— Then she and I look.

I’m tired. I’m cold. Considering my fingers. From the ragged oozing blood. Licked him gently. Any scissors or nail files I have, of course not. Than rent? I take the other into his mouth, gently clamp the acrylic between the teeth and pull up. Pacific cod, it really hurts, the nail is separated, but not completely. Pull harder, the sharp pain of the needle puncture the head and finger. And ready, cut. Now the next…
When it was over, I showed bleeding fingers the nurse. Silently nodding, she allowed me to wear a Bathrobe and sweatpants.

I stand at the muddy mirror with gray stains. At me from the mirror looks unfamiliar pale aunt, in a terrible blue coat, blue sweatpants, from under his coat you can see the red-green-yellow dressing gown. Feet dangling boots. From sleeveless white stick hands with red fingertips.

For me now come hospital transport — gray “loaf” to take to the office. Now I’m a mental patient.

I was sitting on the wide wooden sill of the window, which scared siphoning the November frost. The misted window and through it, barely discernible dull hospital scenery: here is the path, laid between mine and the two neighbouring buildings. By the way, as I told my neighbor, in the case that the left, laying all sorts of celebrities, even, say, Lolita was treated there. And on the right, told the same neighbor, was the morgue. I don’t know if it was, the case stood so, that no entrance in sight did not fall, and it was hard to understand what kind of people there come.

Along the paths, between the bald trees, the scurrying attendants, Laundry employees — they are easy to find on the blue form. And yet these same poor fellows, as we all are, in a state-owned walkers — huge jackets, boots and training blue pants, with hem in the front that went through the entire leg. These pants still had the loop at the bottom to the heel kept. To boots not to fall.

Today is Thursday, which means tonight we’ll be allowed to finally bathe. Under the strict supervision of two crazy nurses washed the whole unit. I fins to the nurses, joking with them, painted their hair, for this I was allowed to go in the bathroom with the first group, and even keep contraband cell phone. We had five people in the group. All at once stripped naked in the hallway, gave to the remnant of soap and a rag instead of a sponge, ran groups in the door with the iron bars of the gate outside. For bathing under the shouts and the acrid comments of the nurses were given 5 minutes under a stopwatch. Has not washed off the soap your trouble, getting right signal. Hesitated — and then tied to the bed, for insubordination. That equates to violence. I’m not retarded, my grandmother accustomed to instant obedience.

— Oh, Val, look at the red poles themselves drunk! Probably not hungry!
— Yes, they are all here with fat rage, crazy — spitting seeds Valya, wiping fat fingers on greasy once white but now a dirty gray robe.

Polissima at the exit popped up very small, thin towel and clean robe. Those who were allowed to wear home clothes, made a bundle with his.

In a cold, windswept corridor we quickly dressed, trying to quickly warm covered with goose bumps on the skin. We were silent. Any non-word could lead to the wrath of the nurses, and thus lead to sanctions. To speak freely, we could only in the huge toilet.
There and then we all went off to smoke after bathing.

It’s a giant room of two rooms: in one the booths (no doors, of course), and another with a long row of blue shells, embedded in the walls.
On the other of the side shells chairs on which we sat, and smoked. In this toilet generally passed half his life in office. Be able to come to your smoke or to bum a cigarette (my mother was packing parcels and cigarettes for me and cigarettes for “shooters”). There can also be diluted “coffee Kaminski”. In a Cup pour coffee, and then from the tap poured hot water.

Most of all we were afraid of the treatment room. That’s where we were injected with chlorpromazine and other drugs, after which not to suffer, we actually think worked. In the same issue, and handfuls of pills. Amitriptyline, haloperidol, and there is something else I can’t remember because aminazini amnesia.
Still terrible study were nursing, where nurses who were Queens and goddesses of our Department, had a rest after righteous or not works.

Always walk past the open door of this room without consequences, it was unreal. Always were caught, were convicted of violation of the regime and punished. Or were forced to wash the floor in the office one cloth, without a bucket and MOP (I had each time to run the wash rag into the toilet and crawl on all fours to clean corners), either re-wash the dishes in the dining room or some such assignments were given.

The light at the end of the tunnel was visiting. Twice a week we were allowed to take turns to host visitors in the room of “rest”. There were few, were immediately placed no more than 5-6 families. So we waited, when leaves guests more fortunate patients, and then on a run, maybe our. Just remember that the two times my are not allowed, because it broke the time (and only had two hours), and sent back. True, took me a transfer and after censorship check gave me.

My favorite place in the office was the window sill in the house. I wrote a short pencil poems in a notebook, the cover of which was painted a cute puppy. I sat and drew patterns on frosty glass. From there I led the observation of the external world, looking for thrilling days whether any of my so to see me. All three weeks that I spent in the hospital, I sat in this window.

I was 21 years old. I got there after a nervous breakdown and several suicide attempts, after I was betrayed by a fiancé who dumped me a day before the scheduled wedding because his mother said I was a witch, and dad threatened to take away Swiebodzin Zhiguli, if the guy will marry me. Lada was more necessary.

And it was a Psychiatric hospital. Alekseeva (former “cuckoo’s nest”, it also “Kanatchikov dacha”). I was hospitalized on the same day that I was supposed to marry. But instead of the white dresses were white tiled walls, and instead of a wedding cake — dosage psychotropic drugs.