October 8th, 2011

Psychiatric ward, anorexia, borderline personality disorder and therapy

In preparation for this year's NaNoWriMo, I need help with certain details before I start writing.

My character's working at a psychiatric ward. His work will not be the main subject of the fic, it will mostly just be mentioned a couple of times through flashbacks. 

Setting: present day. Country isn't specified anywhere in the fic. 

Words/terms I've googled: inpatient stay at psychiatric wards duration, anorexia psychiatric wards, suicide attempt therapy, borderline personality disorder medication. 

(First of all: I don't know whether released is the correct word to use when you're allowed to go back home after having been an inpatient at a psychiatric ward, but I can't think of another word to use, so I apologize if it's wrong.)  fixed!

- I've looked through old entries here, and what I've gathered from there, the maximum stay as an inpatient would be around 4 weeks. I've got a  character who suffers from anorexia. He used to be an inpatient at the psychiatric ward where my main character works. This man has just been discharged, and my question is: How long could his stay, realistically, have been?  (this character is in his early twenties, if that makes any difference).

- Another character was admitted to said psychiatric ward due to a suicide attempt, and he has too just been discharged. He's supposed to go to therapy sessions, but my question is: how often would it be realistic for him to go to therapy? Like how many times a week? I read somewhere (don't remember where, and I can't find that site) that after a suicide attempt, you should come to therapy like every day or every other day. Is that correct? 

- A third character has just been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and should thus be put on medication. Wikipedia tells me that antidepressants aren't very effective when it comes to treating BPD, and that mood-stabilizers, second generation anti-psychotics and omega-3 fatty acids should be used instead . But this page tells me that antidepressants are effective, and that anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications should be used. What I don't get is, should the patient be put on several different types of drugs? And if so, should some special combination be used? (My patient's 20 years old and is diagnosed with discouraged borderline, according to Millon's subtypes of BPD, I don't know whether that makes any difference or not)