I’ve been hospitalized 12 times, mostly for depression or mania. Not only do I happen to have Autism Spectrum Disorder, but I also have a mental illness, Bipolar Disorder. It is very common for an autistic person to have a mental illness, too.
I believe that some of my hospitalizations were not directly related to depression alone. But I think they were times in my life when the outside world was just too chaotic and I needed structure that I was unable to provide for myself.
Psychiatric wards can be disturbing in many ways, but I always found the routine and structure of daily life to outweigh the screams of the traumatized and the laughter of the manic. I found the empathy of certain nurses to be comforting.
Structure and routine are very important to me, as is the case with many on the spectrum. I recently had a change in schedule and depression and confusion followed. I haven’t sought solace in the hospital this time around, but I have signed up to do some volunteer work with animals. Hopefully my new schedule will provide me with as much pleasure and sense of accomplishment as my old one.
Have you ever found comfort during a hospitalization? I wonder if I’m the only one.