Throughout my internship, I’ve worked with a large population of overdose patients. They come from all walks of life and impact every age from as young as 11 to 17 years (oldest on our floor) and beyond. Stories are slightly similar; a stressful event, school is horrible and/or they don’t have the support they need. So they resort to pills or cutting….self-harm.
Some patients are more open than others…some want nothing to do with you and spend their few days with us sleeping or watching endless tv before they are transferred to a psychiatric hospital.
The ones who choose a creative outlet, those are the ones that thrive. Whether it be painting, sand art, journaling or origami, hope is possible to be found.
I’ve had several patients who’ve gone from being shutdown upon arrival to our floor to blossoming…seeing their smile and to hear their laughter, you know there is hope somewhere deep inside them.
Sometimes they have setbacks, regressive behavior during their stay. Sometimes our staff have to use restraints to keep everyone safe. When I first began as an intern, I was slightly scared of this population, because they are unpredictable. But through the journey of working with multiple patients, rounding for a day at our psych hospital and hearing from those team leaders, I’ve become more comfortable and confident when working with this population.
This proves that even in the darkest of circumstances, hope, yes hope, can be found.