Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gail S. at Elevations RTC

This testimony was found on Yelp. All rights goes to the author known as Gail S.

Elevations RTC is an impersonal, unprofessional, and substandard institution.

Kindness is the exception there, not the norm. In general, they keep students there for way too long, charge a fortune, and provide very poor therapeutic services and even worse customer service to parents. Their medical staff do not communicate effectively or often. Our therapist provided minimal to no insight and did not win affection or trust from my child who complained that he was often too busy for her and not really present or skilled.

They are generally very slow to respond or follow up on anything and get defensive when you raise issues of concern or frustration, even at the highest administrative levels. Supposedly they have cleaned up their act regarding use of strong physical restraints/intervention when children act out, but this is not what my child reported back to me. Physical restraints are used frequently to address children's defiance. They did not leave the impression that they were truly interested in the advancement of children's mental health. It is clearly a lucrative business for them, more than anything else.

There are much better, more compassionate, and sophisticated options in the world of residential treatment centers. Keep looking. Good luck!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Elizabeth at TimberLawn

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora. All rights and credits goes to the author known as Elizabeth

Hi! Im Elizabeth! I was in Timberlawn in 1983, I was 15, the girls adolescent ward.

I had come out of Baylors Adolescent ward before I came to Timberlawn, Baylor was so strict and rigid that I had tried to commit suicide but really didnt want to kill myself, just thought that they did send me to another institution if I caused enough trouble, anyways I tried it 3 different times, and Baylor kept me tied down to a bed in restraints for 6 months. They had me so drugged up with Thorazine that by the time I got to Timberlawn, they put me on a couch in the big lounge and layed me down and told me I wasnt gonna do anything but sleep and eat for the enxt week. I had to sleep off all the drugs I had in me from Baylor.

I had alot of the same experiences at Timberlawn as well strict and ahrd yea well, but I was so terrified of being put into restraints by that time that I was almost perfect by the time I got to Timberlawn. So I didnt get into much trouble at Timberlawn, and I was one of the lucky ones who got grounds privileges early and was able to go to PE and we walked 2 miles a day everyday and went to the Canteen on Saturday the little store they had for us. We also had patio parties and dances with the guys alot. It was very strict and hard even with the parties and all that, and I have to say that alot for people didnt have the privileges of going to dances and parties.

One person was my roommate, K. She and I were real close. She was only 13 and had run away from home with her boyfriend and her parents threw her in to Timberlawn and she was scared. I was scared too and we took care of each other and showed at group meetings and stuff and sat with each other at meals times and other places alot. I suspected then that some were saying we were gay and whats interesting is that they started demonizing her to me. She was 5 feet one inch and 95 lbs and looked like a little girl and its like guys liked her naturally you know which was no big deal but they made a big deal out of it constantly accusing her of being sexually permiscous all the time and they were always putting her on guy retriction and tried to convince me that she would take my boyfriends away from me and what not. I had a boyfriend and a guyfriend and at parties I was so scarwed shed get into trouble with guys that she and I hung out together with my BF, so we did all hang out together, and I just know they were making it into something nasty that it wasn't.

The whole thing with them being paranoid about Gays and Homosexuals, I really think they were paranoid about me and my room mate because they kept demonizing her to me.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Timberlawn 1980 testimony

January 2018 it was announced that Timberlawn in Texas would close down as result of pressure from the authorities who were concerned about the safety of the patients. Universal Health Services Inc who runs hospitals for profit decided that a closure was better compared with the options of being forced to shut down or improving the standard as the last option was too costly if you still want to make profit. Here is a testimony from one of the former patients.

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora. All rights and credits goes to the author known as KaTee:

In May of 1980 I was admitted to Timberlawn with reactive depression following the divorce of my parents and abuse occurring in my home. I was never a problem child, but I had difficulty adjusting to these changes. At Timberlawn I was subjected to horrific "behavioral" treatments by my doctors, Looney (no kidding) and Estabrook. The doctors felt I would require a minimum of two years of treatment to get better, ( no issue with my father's 100% coverage health insurance) I was not allowed outdoors, and restraints were commonly used as punishment for minor infractions or for daring to say you were depressed. Every night of my stay there I was restrained to the bed regardless of my relative freedom during the day where I was often serving time "on indefinite chair" for some minor offense like falling asleep during group due to the heavy doses of drugs I was forced to take. Sometimes I was in wheelchair restraints. The worst episode began in late November of 1980 when I began what was to be a two and a half month stint in five point bed restraints and insulin sheet. "Chucks" were placed under me to soak up my urine, feces and menstrual blood in lieu of the standard bedpan which would have required potentially manipulative communication with the staff. .These were rarely replaced causing festering bedsores up and down my back and buttocks and a stench that was overwhelming. I was never bathed. A posey strip attached to each wrist restraint and tied together further restricted movement of my arms.

Since I was on a deprivation program no one was allowed to communicate with me including staff so except for my bi-weekly "visits" with the doctor (and later staff who were opposed to my care) I was completely isolated My contact was restricted to the sounds I could hear from my bed in the room.They often failed to feed me and at times I was left alone when both the patients and staff left the ward. My days were spent looking at the ceiling,sweating, and crying out in pain from muscle cramps since my limbs were never rotated or exercised. I remember begging them to quit hurting me. The pain was excruciating and to this day I do not know how I managed to tolerate it and not go completely insane. The doctors told my parents I was psychotic (in weekly letters) and no visits or phone calls were allowed to prove them wrong.

After some time even the patients and staff could no longer be convinced that the treatment was appropriate. A night staff member used to loosen my restraints only for them to be re-tightened by the morning shift nurse,and even though not allowed to speak to anyone I was accused of continuing to manipulate staff as a result of acts of defiance by the staff. Those staff were removed from my care or required to see me with witnesses present.I still have light ringed scars around my ankles from the restraints pulled very tightly to the end of the bed..

I was losing all hope and beginning to think I might die laying in that bed, but I finally got smart and signed out involuntarily which forced them to transfer me from the facility. Much pressure was brought to bear for me to sign back in. but I held out and the new hospital released me a few months later back to the parents who were abusing me. I did not care.Before I entered Timberlawn I was an athlete, running the mile and half mile in track. By the time I was released I could no longer walk unassisted due to muscle atrophy. Before I entered this facility I had problems in my life, abuse at home ,and some quite normal travails of adolescence. To this day I have severe PTSD, horrible nightmares and lingering health issues. I have a life now, but it is no thanks to my "treatment" at Timberlawn. I would like to talk to other survivors, especially those who were there as teens.