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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I spent the better part of my high school years at OSH, back when the now defunct 40 Building was still taking in children/adolescents. Having little more than an eating disorder and some residual depression from the sudden loss of freedom, I spent over 2 and 1/2 years total there. I "developed" more issues as time wore on, and had more medication added to a grocery list I was already taking. My main issue--the eating disorder--was never "treated". There was no treatment at all. I had group therapy and individual therapy once a week. I was with some very sick people that required intense monitoring, which inevitably led to a lack of staff available for people who were doing well. In facing that situation day after day, it become impossible to be WELL. Eventually, I regressed enough to gain that coveted staff attention.
I don't think there is one person to blame. I was failed by multiple systems. Treatment for eating disorders in Oregon didn't exist at that time and because I was a ward of the state in SCF custody, I couldn't get help anywhere else. There was little "treatment" at OSH and even less "professionals" to give it. The mental health staff were often clueless and some probably suffered with mental health issues themselves. I found that less than half of them went to college--and sometimes that didn't matter, but there were some that shouldn't have been working with children at all.
I mean, talk about people not being able to speak for themselves? Psychiatric patients in general often can't get advocacy, but imagine being a minor in those conditions. I often heard, "write a greivance" to my many qualms. Do you think I ever got a response??
I don't think being locked up for that length of time without proper treatment helped. I can't blame the hospital, but I can blame the system that uses a state hospital as a dumping ground for people falling through the cracks.
Luckily, I left a few months after turning 18 and went to college. After I graduated I worked in a similar setting with children and learned that little has changed in the way "professionals" deal with sick kids.
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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