I don't know what to do

Neuropsych wants me to go to a psych hospital “voluntarily.” He claims they will make accommodations for a tiny bit of brain/physical exercise to help my recovery, but I have my doubts.

How can being locked in a cage without fresh air, quiet, and nature be healing?

Has anyone been helped post-injury by medication for mood, neurobehavioral problems, or attention deficits?

I don’t understand. I just want my memory, empathy, creativity, mind, and soul back. I want to be able to function independently. I do not know what I did wrong to deserve this.

It did not help me at all…As long as you go in on your terms there is nothing to worry about!..Maybe ask a few more questions to help you decide?..Best of luck and I agree with your apprehension!


OK, so I agree with DavOD, both in the help level (ie very little) and with your apprehension.
BUT I also know how some of medicos think

  1. If you don’t follow through with ‘recommended medical advice’ they’ll mark that on your health record as a ‘non compliant’ patient.
  2. If you go in there with an attitude they’ll mark that against you too.
  3. As DavOD says “ask questions” get yourself informed. What is the plan? What is the desired outcome.
  4. Play the game. What have you got to lose?

I don’t say these things light heartedly. Early on in my journey I went through this and I didn’t ‘play the game’. I rebelled against it.
I am listed as ‘non compliant’ and there is notification in my file. It follows me everywhere. I didn’t educate myself and I didn’t play the game. AND I REGRET IT.
Had I followed thru, the journey could have been a hell of a lot less confrontational.

If they put you on a medication that helps, fantastic. But if it doesn’t TELL THEM. If it screws with your mind, your thinking or makes you feel like shit, TELL THEM. They’ll want to send you to counsellors/head shrinks, let them. PLAY THEIR GAME, you never know it may help. But if it doesn’t, you have tried, they can’t hold that against you. Say ‘No’ and I can guarantee you they will hold it against you and it will follow you. Every time you have to disclose your history to a dr it will follow you. I recommend you play the game.

I say this because initially I didn’t ‘play’, since then I’ve had further hospital admissions and have seen the previous records. Tsk. So now I know. So now if I’m admitted I diffuse things a bit by being upfront. “When I’m in pain I am not a nice person…” (What I actually said to a nurse was “…you know those arsehole patients, I’m one of them when I’m in pain…” she laughed and said she understood) But that being listed as ‘non compliant’ still follows me.
Again, I recommend you play the game.

Hope it helps



This appears to be making you extremely self-conscious, locked into a cage, and maybe let this go before you discern your response. I do believe you have a quality of inspiration, something just beyond you, and yet this inspiration appears blocked because of self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is painful and common with people who have a brain injury. Maybe try to draw inspiration from this raw material, let go, and let yourself be renewed just beyond your conscious control. If this to hard, breaking the self-consciousness, feel your breath and your spirit within your breath. I believe in you.

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Mindhug, I have nothing to offer, and I think the others have given you good advice. I just wanted to wish you well, whatever you decide to do.

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DO NOT GO IN THERE. You should be able to find treatment outside of that kind of institution.

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@Merl As always, your experience and advice is fitting.

I have gone to ridiculous lengths to avoid psychiatric hospitalization, mostly due to ego-protection and fear of misunderstanding and retraumatization.

My parents are kicking me out to board and care or a psychiatric hospital, and my non-neurotypical, TBI brain is not equipped to handle that level of overstim, unfamiliarity, and confusion.

For now, I sit alone, in perfect silence, and breathe.

I am trying to avoid it at all costs!

Once you are labeled as a psychiatric patient your life will be over. My SSI case too ten years to settle because I would not take the psychiatric diagnosis that the quacks from the state mandated appointments were trying to dish out. I found an attorney and he stood fast. Because of that I still am able to have positions where people trust my judgements of situations.

I was labeled “crazy” before this, so now every attempt at validation and actual treatment for TBI is interpreted through that lens. I know I cannot be the only one in this lonely bind.

mindhug, my heart goes out to you. It seems as though your instincts are telling you to be very cautious, and with good reason. The extreme prejudice, misunderstanding, stigmatization and to put it nicely, “ignorance” displayed by many people, especially medical professionals, has scarred me as much as the TBI itself did, and I understand your desire to remain outside of the power of an institutionalized environment. You sum it up perfectly: “due to ego-protection and fear of misunderstanding and re-traumatization.”

Because it is so traumatizing and re-traumatizing to have to deal with the insufferable misconceptions and bias that seems ever-present about TBI. Breathe and be still, but please know that you have people who can relate and understand, so while you may feel alone, you’re not the only one with such fears and feelings.

Since your parents are insisting that you go to a board and care or a psychiatric hospital, what are your thoughts about finding another place to live? It’s so scary, but there are some places that can actually be okay. If given a choice, board and care seems like a much less restrictive type of place to go to.

My 89 year-old father in Florida has Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia, and wound up getting declared “incompetent” and permanently involuntarily institutionalized because he refused to even consider a board and care home when he was losing his ability to live independently. That was done to him through an abusive Probate Guardianship procedure on Florida by a greedy “Professional Guardian” who wanted his money. She got his money and he paid dearly. It can happen even in my state of California. It’s so scary what people can get away with.

From my own personal experience, I have realized that having a diagnoses of “depression” is not something I want to have in my medical records moving forward. I wish I could delete it completely. I’ve even thought about changing my identity and finding a way to lose it, but I don’t know how I’d do that and still get my benefits. It’s just too easy for people to abuse and misuse a psych diagnosis and hold it against a person. I SUPPORT YOU IN AVOIDING A PSYCH HOSPITAL AT ALL COSTS. Maybe there is a proper role for Psych Hospitalization, but not as a proxy, or replacement, for housing.

If your parents need a break, can they get some help from an entity like Respite, or any distant family or friends? TBI can be so hard on our families, and it’s such a challenge, but if you can come up with a plan to address their concerns, it may be worthwhile.

I feel that too often psych hospitals do more harm than good, and it’s so scary that so few medical “professionals” have an adequate ability to make good judgments about TBI vs. mental illness. I’m so scared of it that I’ve been tapering off an antidepressant medication and am just going to tell my doctors that I have no depression, rather than allow the stigma and potential for abuse to continue. I admit that I cannot trust my big HMO physicians at all: they’ve made too many serious mistakes.

It has felt so very de-humanizing to have to face the abuse that the medical profession can hand out. Please keep us posted, and good for you for knowing what works and what doesn’t!

@Merl I hear where you’re coming from but I’ve seen what a person can “lose” and it is too high a price. My 89-year old father with Parkinson’s and Dementia lost his freedom FOREVER. Yes, absolutely, it’s better to “play their game” if you have to deal with psych doctors, especially if there is an issue that they’ll slap a label of “non-compliance” on a person.

But the way the laws and statutes are written in most states makes it, in my humble opinion only, feel just far, far too risky to allow other human beings to be placed in a position where they can use laws written with good intentions in abusive ways. I’ve seen it happen too many times, and I have to say that I don’t think that most people ever even realize how ignorant and biased they are against folks with TBI or mental illness.

One can lose all of their Constitutional rights, forever. My father has less rights than felons locked up in prisons. He is out of reach and my family cannot re-gain guardianship of him. He’s lost his dignity, self-worth, pride, self-respect. They don’t allow him to get his own mail, to write letters to people, have a pencil, enter into business contracts, have his own money (not even $5.00 lousy dollars). So there is, in my personal opinion, too much that can indeed be lost. Lost forever.

Because the rules of the larger “game” are all written in favor of Big-Medicine, Big-Government, and against the individual keeping their “unalienable rights.” It’s a very serious game with banks, doctors, lawyers, judges, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. all lined up against the little guy. It’s not fair. It’s brutal and it’s a multi-billion dollar war being waged against seniors, the disabled and those of us who are “different.” It really is a war. They fleeced my father’s estate and his money is gone forever and so is his freedom.

So I say avoid it at all costs. I just wish I knew this without having had to learn it by seeing so many abuses happen, both inside and outside of my family. It’s just too harsh.

I completely understand where you are coming from and I too have seen some of the results. Here in Australia we have had some bad scenarios play out and now there are some more legal protections in place for “The little guy”. Some of the care home organisations here have been very unscrupulous and due to this we now have an organisational watchdog to monitor their activities.
When I was initiated into these practises (not by choice) I had moments of such clarity and I could see the approaches being taken. This is why I say “Get yourself informed…”. If people are able to ‘arm’ themselves prior AND are able to advocate for themselves on their own terms (and that is SO VERY IMPORTANT TOO), then the processes can be of assistance. If a person can see when they are being ‘railroaded’ or pushed in a direction they are uncomfortable with and can say “NO”, they can have some controls in the process. When we relinquish those rights or they are taken over by overzealous medicos or family, we lose the control of the processes. If we do so on our terms, with agreed set outcomes we have the opportunity to maintain some of our own objectivity.
I completely comprehend and understand that for some this whole process can be difficult to damn near impossible. Here we have an organisation called ‘The Public Advocate’, if an individual cannot advocate for themselves, they can list their wishes with a trusted individual and have them expressed by a legal advocate on their behalf. This can be used as a safety net to reduce the impact or prevent medicos/family from taking over and ‘railroading’ the outcome to meet their own needs.


Thank you to infinity and back for your validation and understanding.

I collected a laundry list of mental health diagnoses through The System prior to TBI. Hence, my family outright denies brain injury-- in spite of ER doctor, neurologists, neuropsychologists, etc. Suggestions that it might not be an either-or, black-and-white picture have fallen on deaf ears.

I would love to find my own room, move, set up treatment, and live the independent life I once knew. But we all know we cannot will our brains past executive functioning, memory, and cognitive limitations. This Samuel Beckett quote comes to mind: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

I will try to use my voice while also being less stubborn about refusing help and reality. The board and care facility, upon initial visit, mentioned depot injections of antipsychotics and talked to my parents about “my medication,” so I naturally wanted to head for the hills.

Apologies for writing in so much detail and spilling my guts. It’s just such a bewildering ride.

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I want to thank you for opening yourself up to us. From reading your writings you appear to have a good vision of your TBI and you may feel your parents are not giving you the support you need. You may feel an overwhelming sense of a flaw from this. It may create this feeling of hopelessness as a current against which you must constantly swim against. Yet it seems to me your opening up to us shows this hidden depths in you and this ability to ride the current to some further destination. Your depth appears to partake in the whole, a creative flow, and it appears it could not be otherwise.

Your creative flow I am touching upon appears as this natural support. Your natural support is with quality. It is like your support can only be maintained in the act itself. Your support appears paradoxical, both a flow of good and bad experiences. Maybe those times when you have lost yourself in a spontaneous quality of inspiration could explain this support I feel in you. In other words, you may feel this sense of inner deficiency and then your tremendous support appears not lost or swept away by emotional reactions. Your inner support is life-enhancing, a creative flow, and in a profound way your support is a work of art.

This writing I just want you to know the good you are bringing to the world and what appears to be your emotional strength — your natural support you offer us — and emotionally strong.