Acute inpatient care remains a central feature of mental health services despite moves towards community based care. This book presents a narrative study of thirteen people's experience of being a patient on an acute psychiatric inpatient ward. Using unstructured narrative interviews, and an holistic analytic approach based on sociolinguistic theories, the experience of each participant is identified and presented in poetic form. The poems allow the reader to connect with the individual experiences. Further thematic analysis draws together the shared elements of the experience. The key themes identified are 'help', 'safety' and 'power'. The findings of the study illuminate a gap between the expectations that participants had of the help that would be available and the form that this would take on admission to the acute ward, and their experience of being a patient. In response to their experiences patients developed strategies to help themselves and each other, and a 'them and us' culture was recognised. The findings have implications for mental health nursing practice and the policies that support this.