How to voluntarily commit oneself to a psychiatric hospital?



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vectrop
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:09 pm

I've been giving some thought to the idea of committing myself to a psychiatric hospital for some time and see how things go.

If someone has done this, can someone please tell me what I can expect in terms of respect for my autonomy and my right to leave the hospital any time I want?

Also what is the experience going to be like? Am I going to have some amount of privacy or am I going to be locked up in the same room with a bunch of lunatics?

Does voluntary commitment to a mental hospital has the potential to be a helpful experience or is it going to be as traumatic and degrading as incarceration or involuntary commitment to a mental hospital?



tangomike
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:18 pm

ive been in a psychiatric hospital before. From what I experienced you can leave voluntarily after 24 hours of requesting to leave, unless the doctor and/or nurse thinks you may be a harm to yoiurself or others.

In terms of privacy I had my own room with one roommate and there was a common room and showers that everyone shared. I could go into my room at any time except when there were AA groups and counseling groups going on. Food is brought to you and the food that you get depends on if you need to be on a special diet. They also take your blood for testing (drug testing).



sillycat
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:30 pm

I'm going to demand as an ultimatium that my step mom, (a Manic), be treated in a mental hospita, as a condition of me staying in China.. She has on many occasions been a threat to the safety of people. And has brandished a knife. But in China, these theatrics are very very standard.

Besides I believe China's mental health care to be inadequate. Either that or I'll lock MYSELF in a nutty house. I really can't take this anymore, just hearting this excitable woman talk, is enough to give you a stroke. What about MY health that she's a danger to?



jojobean
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:39 pm

vectrop wrote:
I've been giving some thought to the idea of committing myself to a psychiatric hospital for some time and see how things go.

If someone has done this, can someone please tell me what I can expect in terms of respect for my autonomy and my right to leave the hospital any time I want?

Also what is the experience going to be like? Am I going to have some amount of privacy or am I going to be locked up in the same room with a bunch of lunatics?

Does voluntary commitment to a mental hospital has the potential to be a helpful experience or is it going to be as traumatic and degrading as incarceration or involuntary commitment to a mental hospital?


Short term facilities are great...they are like a vacation from stress, but dont go into long term, cause they are underfunded and each one I have been to had serious loonies there and there are 3 ppl a room.
The first long term I went to my roomate used to jump on me naked and bounce all over me, the second one was shut down 3 years after I left by the health dept for a good reason, caked blood inside the time out room where everyone raked their knuckles agaist a steel grate. I had more sense than to do that. My roomate there beat me up once a week.

But short term is just a clubhouse compaired to long term


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MXH
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:42 pm

I recomend you dont and if you really want help go straight to a psychiatrist in your own time. Ive been in the psych ward twice (involuntary) and seen many people join in voluntary and then get baker acted for no reason. They then have to stay for an extra 72 hours minimum plus the 24 previous. Trust me you do not want to be in a psych ward, it is no real help and likely will only cause extra problems in your future.



kat_ross
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:16 am

I used to work at a hospital, and I occasionally had to go do EKGs on patients in the psych building (short-term inpatient facility). Whenever I went over there, everyone seemed pretty chill and non-confrontational (with the exception of one lady who accused me of laughing at her when i hadn't done anything). It was pretty quiet, everyone was basically going about their own business, sitting watching TV, talking on the phone, or sleeping. All of the rooms were 2-person rooms, but some people didn't have a roommate. There was nothing about the place that seemed too bad to me, I would probably give it a try if I felt the need to commit myself somewhere for a while. I don't know about the long-term or involuntary facilities though.



chaotik_lord
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:24 am

vectrop wrote:
I've been giving some thought to the idea of committing myself to a psychiatric hospital for some time and see how things go.

If someone has done this, can someone please tell me what I can expect in terms of respect for my autonomy and my right to leave the hospital any time I want?


Upon intake, you will be assured of your right to leave. However, it is very likely that they will issue the 72-hour hold or try to convince you to change your status to involuntary whilst assuring you that you will leave faster if you do. They will probably hold you at least four or five days if they can, and if your medical coverage is good, they will take the advantage. This happens even in the best of hospitals.

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Also what is the experience going to be like? Am I going to have some amount of privacy or am I going to be locked up in the same room with a bunch of lunatics?


You will most likely have a roommate; however, I did manage to get a private room during my last stay. However, this was not because of my AS (they are very convinced of their perspective of social contact being beneficial) but because of my transgendered status. You will be "encouraged" to participate in groups. If you refuse, your release may be withheld; additionally, you will not receive private time, but will be regularly interrupted by hospital professionals encouraging you to come out.

Yes, there will be nutjobs there. And it is considered a negative behavior to be hostile to the idea of them.

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Does voluntary commitment to a mental hospital has the potential to be a helpful experience or is it going to be as traumatic and degrading as incarceration or involuntary commitment to a mental hospital?


That depends on your goals. You are dehumanized. Remember, you presented yourself as unable to function outside of their environment. You are not considered to be in full control of yourself.

Sometimes, I wanted to be able to get away, but mental hospitals are not the best places. Unless you believe yourself to be a risk, carefully consider the committal.



Bluefins
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:28 am

Sounds like a bad idea to me. What's the best that could happen? :|



BraveMurderDay
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:45 am

I was involuntarily committed once as a minor. My other time in such a hospital was more of a voluntary thing.

My outpatient shrink who I was seeing regularly and I thought of it. He arranged an appt with a nurse who asked a number of questions and I sort of straddled the line in describing how depressed and hopeless I was but it was enough for her to recommend a stay. As for my experience there as an adult, it was absolutely benign but maybe as pointless as anything I've ever done. I re-introduced myself into routine of showering everyday and eating and sleeping properly but really no hope of getting any value out of it. It felt like a place where people are churned out, come in full of despair and get revitalized back out into the world. My disposition didn't really change the whole time and people probably mistook my introversion for something more negative. If the cost of my insurance covering the stay didn't get passed on to society I'd say meh, but that's a decision I sort of wish I didn't make.

Everyone's different but I'm not sure why to do this except as a last resort. Will say if the real world were half as orderly as it is inside such a place I'd be coping better.



lotuspuppy
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:46 am

I would talk to a mental health professional before taking such a course of action. Institutions can be helpful, but they are isolated from the rest of society, and will always present barriers to treatment. Have you looked at outpatient facilities?



jojobean
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:50 am

one more thing I forgot but needed to mention, most states will not allow you to obtain a gun permit after you have been institutionalized.


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Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:16 am

During my 24 hr trip in a psych ward of my university hospital...9 of those hours were spent waiting in a standard hospital room having to be interviewed by several different doctors to see if I even needed to go.

And for some unexplained reason, they put me in a wheelchair. I was like whatever I'm too lazy to walk my ass up to the ward with a cop on me anyway. (I was in there for suicidal tendency.)

The one thing I hated about my short time in that ward was the mandatory group meetings. I mean they're not very effective unless the whole group was in that ward for the same reason plus I was the only one under 40 (or 50) in that ward the whole time. I remember eating alot of those individually-packaged cereal bowls from the snack cabinets due to the awkward meal schedule and only one TV in the meeting room that had lousy reception. The roommate wasn't bad and the people seemed friendly enough but I would've been mentally worse without my internet or even a decent TV. My guess was that the majority of people in that ward (including my roommate) had anger issues though they never got angry they seemed to have that kind of weird attitude you know? Some of them were even intrigued by my voluntary confinement and how it seemed unfair that I would get to leave after 24 hrs while they were stuck there.



Last edited by raisedbyignorance on Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lene
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:16 am

What country do you live in? Some countries don't allow people to admit themselves; they need to be referred by a psychiatrist who believe that they are sick enough to warrant it.

Whether you'll be allowed leave depends on what you're being admitted for and how the situation changes whilst your there. In the UK, as far as I'm aware, you are admitted voluntarily or involuntarily but the doctors decide whether to give you leave regardless of your initial admission status (i,e, anyone who is a danger to themselves/others will be converted to 'involuntary').

There is no preferential treatment given to 'voluntary' admittals over involuntary; they are treated just the same depending on current symptoms.

By the way, you will probably have to interact quite a lot with the 'lunatics' that you refer to. You tend to find them in mental hospitals.



Callista
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:32 am

In many places they will not allow you to stay in your room; you have to be out and with people all the time. If you stay in your room, they may assume you are isolating yourself and keep you hospitalized until you can force yourself to stay with everybody else all day every day for several days.

There's very little reason to go to a psych ward other than being suicidal or psychotic and wanting not to end up dead or injured. You do not receive therapy that's any better than what you can get outside; and you'll almost certainly be heavily medicated. In fact, in many places you do not get individual therapy at all.

If you are in danger of losing your life or doing something exceedingly stupid or dangerous because your brain is running away with you, then yes, check yourself in. But if you are not in that situation, then you will not get any better being in a psych ward. The primary benefit of a psych ward is that you are less likely to be able to kill yourself there. All they do is basically stabilize you and send you home. You cannot do long-term learning in a psych ward because you have to do that in the real world.

If you want help, you should find a normal therapist. It's a very incorrect idea that because institutionalization is more intensive, it will help you more. In fact, it will probably help you less. Being in your own home, in your own environment that you can control, facing the real problems of everyday life, you will be much more comfortable than staying in a place where you have no privacy, where people treat you in a very condescending manner.

I thought the first time I went inpatient that they would help me, because going IP meant getting serious about getting better. I was sorely disappointed. All they will do is medicate you and check on you very often to make sure that you don't kill yourself.


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Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:29 pm

Good luck your gonna need it I was :lol: out of the clinic, they took notice in what I had to say , that bad experience really caused some serious grief , long story.....


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