Coming out of a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) has been truly beneficial to me. I feel like I’ve taken away more from my PHP experience than all of my in-patient stays combined. That’s the thing though: the take away.
I have learned to examine my mental state objectively, as if through a microscope, seeing all the little parts that make up my psychosis. Being able to see my psychotic “makeup” through a lens allows me to head off many of my symptoms. Of course, this isn’t a cure-all. I still have anxiety and panic attacks. I still suffer hallucinations and paranoid delusions. I still have episodes of severe depression where I can’t even accomplish the simplest of things. I still have manic episodes where it’s as if another person has taken control of my body and is using it for a joy-ride. But, being able to see them for what they are, symptoms of a schizo-affective mind, allows me much freedom in how I cope with these varied states of being. The most important skills I took away from PHP were the abilities to view my illness with objectivity and more importantly, without shame.