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What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

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Old 12-26-2007, 09:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 59
nikelboi HB User
What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

What rights do I have?

How long can I be expected to stay, under what conditions?

Do I have a right to refuse medications if the side effects worsen my multiple physical/mental conditions?

How will being in a mental hospital affect my rapport with my primary?

My situation is that I've not found the right meds for my issues and feel overwhelmed and despairing. My quality of life is very poor because of multiple issues with moderate cerebralpalsy, fibromyalgia, COPD, anxiety/depression, endometriosis, chronic infections from epstein barr...

I'm shut in 70% of the time with little interaction, few friends, I can't take care of myself and get weaker over time. I'm fighting to get a wheelchair and ramp for my apt but that will take at least 3 months, not including the 6 months i've had to wade through exams and paperwork. another 4 months to get subsidized help for chores as well.

I'm hoping that a mental hospital will help me with the right combo of pain medications and mood stabilizers, and the ability to talk about my feelings more often than once a week like i've been doing so i can get to the heart of being able to cope..

thanks for any info on what it's like in a mental hospital, how people aere treated and what to expect if they voluntarily commit themsleves to avoid more drama and get intensive help.

I just want to make sure that I won't be there against my will for longer than necessary or have my relationship with my primary affected.

Last edited by nikelboi; 12-26-2007 at 09:48 PM. Reason: typo

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Old 12-27-2007, 04:12 AM   #2
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Flourish HB User
Re: What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

As far as I know, if you check yourself in you have the right to leave at any time. It's if someone else checks you in that you have to stay until they think it's okay for you to go.

Old 12-27-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

Hi Nickel, they can only keep you if they take it to court and the judge rules that you are a danger to yourself of others. Of course you have a right to refuse medications. I couldn't imagine how it would affect your relationship with your primary other than maybe you would get better care because the doc would then have more info about you.

Old 12-27-2007, 08:20 AM   #4
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nikelboi HB User
Re: What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

Thx Flourish and Savannah for your input. I've heard nightmare stories but legally at least what you say makes sense.

Old 12-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #5
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AnnD HB UserAnnD HB User
Re: What happens if I check into a mental hospital?

If you are a voluntary patient you will be treated just like any patient in any hospital...that is... You have a right to leave anytime you wish and some do because they don't want to hear the truth. Be open to the therapists thoughts and opinions. Generally, You will have a full schedule of classes to attend daily and it is very important you attend everything you can while you are there as it will be(or should be) tailored to your specific mental health needs. You have a right to refuse medication but why would anyone check in to a hospital if they aren't willing to try things...however if you already know what the outcome will be you need to tell the team right up front you have already tried it and this is what it did. Your stay depends on what mental health coverage you have and most people have very little...I am talking just a day or a few days. So how long you stay is a decision made by forces outside your control. But some really good ones will pay up to a month and that is what it would take for anyone to have a reasonably good outcome. Be sure you know how long you can stay so you will know what length of time you'll have for treatment...if it is Medicaid you should call to see what it is...I'm not sure but it is very limited...whatever insurance you might have be sure to call to see what your benefits are...the hospital has already done that as they don't treat anyone that doesn't have insurance. You will be discharged at the time your benefits run out. Finally... It is always an anxious time when we go to any hospital but the good thing is that you want some answers and that is the best patient to be. Good luck and learn all you can. I think they will ask you to keep a journal of your daily events and thoughts but you should just do that anyway so you can recall details after you go home.

Old 12-28-2007, 08:35 AM   #6
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Re: What happens if I check into a mental hospital?


It does differ a lot from hospital to hospital and for that matter country to country but the rights discussed above are all of the same. I am not sure where you are and what is available in your area. Canada your stay depends on your risk factor as bed shortages are such an issue that once they deem you safe in the community then your discharged especially when the waiting list is up there. I spent a month in the hospital in a four bed room and i had at least ten different roommates. As for the available programs again it depends on the hospital, the first hospital I saw a therapist at least three times a week but the only other program they had was art and bingo, the last hospital I saw the therapist maybe four times in total but they had a lot of groups that covered a variety of different subjects from meditation to stress relief to how to communicate properly. If possible if there is more then one hospital available do some homework and see which one best fits you. The second hospital was terrible for me as I don't do well in groups so I never attended them. There are really bad one out there but they tend to be state run but like everything else this has exceptions and a lot of state hospitals have been shut down due to budget restrictions which is partly why the jail population in the states is climbing as the mentally ill do not get the care that they need due to bed shortages so they end up in the criminal justice system.

take care
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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