Psych Ward Photo

After you sign yourself into their care they’re going to take your photo. You’ll stare blankly at the camera. You might wipe away tears and try to regain some composure but you wont smile because smiling during a psych ward admission seems ridiculous. You wont get to see how the photo turned out until later when your file is opened in front of you but it will be one of the worst photos ever taken of you. Your passport and license photos will look great compared to this one.

You’ll get a shock later in the day when you meet your psychiatrist and your file is sitting neatly on his desk. “Is that me?”, You will ask casually. He will show you the photo and you will laugh at how horrible it is. This is the photo that will come out every time you line up for medication. You will try to block the window to the medication room so that other patients cannot see how awful your picture is. Sometimes the nurses will give the photo a closer look and then look deep into your eyes for some recognition. You’ll shrug your shoulders and you’ll start to wonder who that person in the photo is.

This is the photo that will go to the police if anything happens to you. This photo will follow you around until the end of your admission. When you’re admitted again you hope you look different enough for a new photo to be taken but it wont make a difference. That photo will always be one of the worst photos ever taken of you.

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9 thoughts on “Psych Ward Photo

  1. They take your photo?! Is that a new thing? Sorry to be a bit negative, but having been the admitting nurse on many occasions, both as ward staff and crisis team, I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of doing that…

    • I think it is a private hospital thing. I haven’t had my photo taken when I’ve been in public hospitals. At the private hospitals I’ve been in it’s been the people at reception who have taken my photo and I’m sure it is as awkward for them as it is for patients.

  2. Yes, I’ve had my photo taken, and they are always really bad pictures! Ugh! Such a look of complete despair. Well, that’s what mine show, anyway. I’d forgotten about them – folded them away in the dark recesses of memory, more like.

  3. Wow. I didn’t know it worked like this in other countries. It definitely doesn’t here in Norway. Is the units very big or something, since they need to have photos of everyone?

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