Can I Commit Myself to a Mental Hospital?

can i commit myself to a mental hospital

Anyone, if faced with a traumatic life event or deteriorating mental health, can experience a severe mental health crisis. When we finally reach our limits, and are no longer able to cope, a serious breakdown may occur. We may even wonder, “Can I commit myself to a mental hospital?”

The answer to that is, yes you can… but should you? It may seem that the psych ward at a local hospital is the best option when you are in crisis mode. For some, yes, that may be the safest setting if you are a danger to yourself or others. But for many others, a residential mental health program is a much better option. Keep reading to learn why.

How to Read the Signs of a Mental Breakdown

Most people who experience a mental breakdown have warning signs ahead of time. Maybe they were unaware of the changes, but surely their loved ones saw the red flags.

These warning signs are actually blessings. How could that be?  Because the signs allow you to begin the process of seeking treatment before it gets out of hand.

Here are some warning signs of a breakdown:

  • A manic episode.
  • No longer able to feed or clothe yourself.
  • Impaired functioning.
  • Psychotic symptoms.
  • Suicidal urges.
  • Thoughts of harming others.
  • Ignoring personal hygiene.
  • Confused thinking.
  • Slowed speech or movements.
  • Unable to get out of bed.
  • Having nightmares or night terrors.
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Not able to go to work and function.
  • Withdraw socially.

Some of these signs are clear-cut red flags that a person is in serious trouble. These might include having strong urges to commit suicide or harm someone, or experiencing severe psychosis. These folks are in need of secured acute stabilization at a mental hospital. Most of the other symptoms, though, can be treated within a much more inviting setting, a residential treatment center.

Can I – Should I – Commit Myself to a Mental Hospital?

Anyone can self-admit into a hospital for a mental health crisis. If you are indeed having a serious mental health event that requires seclusion in a mental ward at a hospital, you can go voluntarily.

Before you decide to do this, however, be sure that it’s the right level of care for you. These settings are intended for people who are too ill to feed themselves or bathe.

Admission into a mental ward can mean the loss of freedom. They may want to keep you longer than you intended to stay, and then prevent you from leaving. Then, after you are stabilized, you are likely to share a room with someone.

Contrast this with self-admission to a residential treatment center. You can select a program that offers private rooms, and that allows you to leave at will. The setting itself is a private home or estate that provides all the comforts of home.

Why It’s Best to Admit Yourself Voluntarily for Treatment

There are two ways to enter treatment for mental illness, to self-admit or to be admitted against your will. Whichever level of care you believe is best for your needs, it is always better to self-admit.

Some of the benefits of self-admission include:

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  • Being more in control of your life.
  • Being more willing to engage in therapy and other activities.
  • Feeling a sense of ownership about your treatment.
  • Having the freedom to leave at will.
  • Having time to plan ahead and get bills paid and childcare arranged.
  • Being able to talk with your employer about your need to step away for a bit.
  • Having time to prepare your kids about your absence while in treatment.
  • There is less trauma involved with self-admission.
  • Having a more positive attitude toward the mental health professionals who are treating you.

When a Mental Hospital Makes Sense

It’s one thing to need a break from your daily life to focus on improving your mental health and wellness. When that is the goal, a residential mental health center is the most logical treatment setting.

However, it is quite another if you are displaying extreme mental illness. In this situation, your mental health issues present a danger to yourself or others. Examples are psychosis, or losing touch with reality, a strong urge to commit suicide, or threatening someone with a weapon. These types of mental illnesses would benefit from a mental hospital setting.

What to Expect at a Residential Mental Health Treatment Center

A residential mental health program is exactly that, a private estate that houses a small number of patients. These programs offer a homelike experience, with private bedrooms and many upscale amenities.

After reading this blog you may have decided that a residential setting is better for your needs. If so, here is what you can expect:

Psychotherapy. You will meet with a therapist for private sessions where you are able to discuss any issues relevant to the mental health challenge. There are different types of therapies for treating the various mental health disorders.

Group therapy. These small group sessions provide a safe space for sharing and also foster peer support.

Psychosocial interventions. An important component of treatment is assisting the individual in improving their ability to get along with others. These interventions can offer new communication skills, conflict resolution techniques, and vocational rehabilitation.

Medication. The medications prescribed to help manage symptoms will depend on the specific diagnosis.

Adjunctive therapies. If you suffer from trauma, EMDR is a type of short-term therapy that can help reduce the effects of the trauma.

Holistic therapies. To further augment the effects of the therapy, holistic methods are added to the treatment plan. These might include meditation, yoga, art and music therapy, and deep-breathing techniques.

If you were asking, “Can I commit myself to a mental hospital?” you hopefully have a clearer picture now. While a mental hospital setting is appropriate for severe mental illness, a residential treatment program may be a better fit.

Mental Health Hope Guides You To the Correct Level of Care

Mental Health Hope offers free guidance for those who are suffering from a serious mental health event. Based on your presenting symptoms, you may find that a private, intimate residential treatment program suits you best. There you will receive the high level of care you deserve in a more comfortable, home-like setting. To learn more, please reach out to us today at (877) 967-9274.

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