sketches from the psychiatric word

disclaimer: this is a repost, from when i first became blogger in chief

i’m struggling to articulate the mess of my loud thoughts at the moment so i have decided to return to my most popular post of all time, sketches from the psychiatric ward. as you’ll read, this was the first time i had picked up a pencil for many years, and since then i have been doing more and more art. would you be interested in seeing more? leave me a comment below. so here they are, the first ever set of sketches i did to cope with my first ever stint on the psych ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


in 2017, i was admitted to three separate psych wards, for a total of six weeks. it might not seem like a lot, and sure i had 46 weeks of non-psych ward living, but these were my first three trips to the emergency (ever), and first three admissions to hospital for any reason. in my hometown back in regional western australia, it is much more difficult to seek help for depression, never mind bpd. if i had gone to my local emergency department before leaving geraldton, it is likely i would have been turned away, told to stop attention-seeking, or sent five hours away by ambulance to the nearest psychiatric facility in Perth.

IMG_2339

which is sad, because the psych ward is not what i had expected. And not what most people would expect, i imagine.

let’s talk about that third and final admission for the year. i was discharged exactly one month prior to writing this. i was suicidal, and this time i was going to do it. fortunately, i was already at the hospital for an eating disorder assessment, and was admitted from there, which made things simpler, and far less anxiety provoking.

being admitted involved a lot of tears, emotional exhaustion, silence, withdrawal, scratching (a form of self harm), anxiety, screaming (not from me), locked bathrooms (because of the bulimia), quiet conversations in side rooms, and meetings with various doctors, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists. it wasn’t much fun, and hospital is certainly not a place I ever want to be, but it kept me safe. (and since then, further admissions have continued to keep me safe, as shitty as it is to have my rights removed as an involuntary patient, i can mostly see the benefits of hospital retrospectively). i gained a lot of insight into how my depression, borderline personality, self-harm, and eating disorder function and protect me.

the psych ward also involves a lot of dissociation, board games, card games, drinking tea, sharing with other patients, making good friends with other patients, watching television, doing sudokus and crosswards, and drawing.

drawing is my lifesaver. i hadn’t picked up a pencil or a canvas since year 10 of high school, because i channelled all my energy into the single most powerful distraction in my life – study (and i still rely on this distraction today). but now that i’ve picked up my pencils again, i can’t put them down.

these drawings are raw, they are real, and they illustrate my mind in it’s most distressed state. behold, sketches from a psychiatric ward.

they’re strangely aesthetically pleasing.


your primary herder of cats and struggling artist,

rosie bogs

3 thoughts on “sketches from the psychiatric word

  1. Hi Rosie – Thank you for sharing. I’m sad you’ve been through so much but so pleased you found an outlet for your thoughts and feelings. I found my ‘therapy’ in writing, mostly, but sketching is so therapeutic too, and I’m hoping to spend more time with pencils and paints. Hands are really hard to draw – your hand sketches are really well done.
    Stay well and safe 🥰🥰🥰 Keep sketching 🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

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