The inpatient psych ward is a new experience for me.
Occasionally in life I have (and I imagine other people do too) times when I have to step back, and think to myself, "this is real!" In the sense that, what's happening is not just some story, or a picture, but it's actually happening. My first time flying in an airplane is a good example. Well, in a different sense, I've had some experiences in the hospital (usually the emergency room, with a trauma case or something) where I've had the same thought. Well, I've had that same feeling quite a few times in just the first three days that I've been on the psych ward.
For some reason, it's easy to think about life for everyone as being a lot like mine (i.e. boring, and filled with studying books in my apartment), but in reality--this is the real-life reminder I've been getting--there are a lot of people out there who: spend a lot of time drunk, high, sleep in the street, and wander around with some SERIOUS delusions about life. These are people dealing (or not dealing) with some major problems.
Obviously not everyone there has got it so bad as all that. There's nothing magical or especially terrible about the psych ward (at least not that I am aware of). These aren't "bad" people, or even all that different from anyone else. But they do have some real problems.
Anyway, for me, it's totally unfamiliar, and definitely a learning experience.