Schizophrenic Episode: How I Got Admitted to IMH In 2013 And My First Night There

May 2013

Three consecutive nights (and countless other nights) without a proper sleep
Each morning I looked at myself in the mirror
I looked like a different person from who I was yesterday
More haggard
More pale
More disoriented
Darkening eye circles
Weakening limbs
Perhaps my features started to look different
Perhaps an outline of a different spirit occupying my body?
Sat down at the dining table trying to make breakfast
Caught myself staring at the knife on the table for a long time
Just thinking…
What if…?
But I didn’t even have strength to pick it up
To do any harm
To myself, that is
I can’t go on like this any longer
I thought to myself
“I need to see a doctor urgently!”
I told my mum
The psychologist she referred me to last time at the polyclinic had given her a referral letter to Tan Tock Seng Hospital in case the need would arise
Now was the time

Right away my parents drove me to Tan Tock Seng A&E
Took the queue number and waited patiently with many others at the waiting area
When my number was called
The nurse took a quick body checkup on me
Height, weight, blood pressure…
Then a doctor asked me for my symptoms
What I was here for
Unable to sleep for days… hearing voices…
I briefly said
Seemed like she recognised right away that this wasn’t the right place for me
She proceeded to refer me to the Institute of Mental Health
And told my parents to take me there immediately

There at IMH
Were a few hours of long wait
Though just a handful of other people waiting in sight
How uncomfortable I was the whole time
Couldn’t sit still
Uncontrollably having to switch my postures every few seconds
Restless you might say
But each posture represented a different entity that was also waiting inside of me
Voices that kept repeating themselves
Yet I never could quite comprehend what they were trying to say
Profound you might think
But meaningless and unbearable to me they were
Sun had already gone down by the time I was finally called to one of the consultation rooms
The doctor asked to see me alone first and my parents to wait outside

Told the doctor what happened to me the past few months as best as I could
That I had been hearing voices gossiping and talking bad about me wherever I went
That I felt possessed and chased by evil spirits
That my family and friends were possessed
That I had lost sleeps for the past several nights
She looked at me knowingly
She asked,
“I can give you some medicine and let you go home and arrange to see you again a few days later”
“Or you can choose to stay admitted here for a few days while we monitor you with medication”
“Which option will you prefer?”
I thought for awhile
My house seemed to be haunted…
I didn’t want to go back home again to suffer the same horror…
I badly needed a change of environment….
“Yes I wish to stay here…”

The doctor then spoke to my parents separately as I waited alone outside
I wondered about the decision I just made
Next thing I knew, they prepared a wheelchair for me
A nurse pushed me to a place called Sayang Wellness Centre
I was told it was where they would admit the less severe mental patients to
A quiet place for us to recuperate and heal
I said goodbye to my parents as they returned home
Meanwhile a medical officer who was on duty that night orientated me on the facilities at the centre
And then she brought me to my ward
It was a very nicely furbished 2-bed ward with a private toilet
I thought it was actually much more like a hotel room, very unlike those intimidating mental ward at an asylum we usually see on TV
As I listened to the lady explain things to me
I tried to control an urge to laugh
The spirit that possessed me was very amused by this situation that I had gotten myself into
Is this where Celeste will end up at? Is Celeste going to be labelled as a mentally ill patient for the rest of her life now?
The spirit might have been thinking.
The officer caught me secretly smiling to myself while she spoke and seemed very amused too
“What’s so funny?”, she asked very nicely and seemed eager to know
“Nothing”, I said, trying to regain my composure

That first night I was alone in the 2-bed ward
I was told another patient would be moving into the same ward with me only tomorrow
They gave me some psychotic medicine to consume before I went to bed
Medicine for balancing the chemicals in my brain, anti-depressants for my mood, and probably some others for sleep, I roughly remember…
Finally I was able to fall into sleep a little more easily for the first time in awhile
But in the middle of night I was jolted awake in a state of “chaos”
I felt as if my whole head was on fire!
Voices were getting hysterical with the burning sensation in my head
I was terrified
I pressed the button next to my bed to call for help
A male nurse came knocking on my door
“Are you alright? How can I help you?”
I looked at him
His face looked so black under the dim light I wondered if he was possessed too
“I feel like my head is burning inside… I don’t know why.. Is this normal?”
He looked a little caught off guard and unsure
“How about I get you a cup of hot milo.. perhaps it will make you feel better?”
I sipped on the milo and thankfully I managed to fall back to sleep again till dawn

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