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Contrary to the health checkups and admissions at a regular hospital, visiting a mental health care facility or a psychiatric institution can be nerve-wracking and scary. This is due to multiple reasons, for instance, the stigma attached to the old sanitariums and asylums and the uncertainty about what to expect at the visit. Moreover, a lot of people are never too sure when to seek help or the right cues for checking themselves in such facilities.

This article highlights the key reasons to be put in a mental hospital, important signs that warrant an urgent admission, and what to expect on arrival in such facilities.

Mentioned below are the most common reasons why people may consider visiting a mental hospital:

  1. Severe Depressive Episode

Depression is undoubtedly one of the most common psychiatric illnesses throughout the world. Characterized by sheer hopelessness and a constant feeling of overwhelming sadness, such people are at a high risk of having suicidal thoughts and are unable to carry on with daily activities to a dangerous extent.

  1. Nervous Breakdowns

A nervous breakdown is an acute episode of overwhelming emotions that disables the victim to get on with daily life. Such episodes are fueled by long-standing depression and anxiety and can prove to be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening if appropriate support is not provided. 

  1. Severe Panic Attack

Panic attacks are typically harmless and easy to manage. However, recurrence of this problem can prove to be severely debilitating on a day-to-day basis. These attacks may make one desperate to find long-term relief for which a visit to a psychiatric facility might be required. 

  1. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is characterized by strong mood swings that alternate between extreme highs (known as mania) and extreme lows (known as depression). Both types of mood extremes can easily become disruptive to an extent that may force the patient to engage in self-harm or even criminal activities.

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Abbreviated as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating psychiatric illness triggered by a traumatic event in the past. It includes repetitive flashbacks of the triggering event followed by overwhelming feelings that can potentiate a mental health crisis.

  1. Hallucinations/Delusions

Hallucinations and delusions are terms used to indicate false sensory perceptions or beliefs that are far from reality; hence, not shared by others. Such symptoms are indicative of an underlying psychiatric illness, such as schizophrenia, and warrant inpatient treatment in a suitable mental facility. 

  1. Homicidal Thoughts

Homicidal thoughts refer to an intent to harm or potentially kill another person. Due to a possible risk to others’ safety, it is a cause of urgent admission to a psychiatric ward. 

Seeking help from a mental hospital or recommending it to a loved one going through a difficult time can be difficult to assess. Keep an eye out for the following signs you need to go to a mental hospital and act accordingly:

  1. You are a threat to others

If you or your loved one is going through a mental crisis and is threatening to harm others, seeking help from a psychiatric institution is highly recommended. The staff at these facilities are highly-trained to handle such patients with care and prevent them from harming themselves or others. 

  1. You have suicidal thoughts

Suicidal tendencies refer to an urge to self-harm with an intent to end life. Such episodes require urgent inpatient admission to mental hospitals to stay safe until the crisis passes. 

  1. You are neglecting yourself

Multiple psychiatric illnesses, such as severe depression, can lead to self-neglect. In some cases, this self-neglect can extend to a point where you are putting your life at stake. If you’ve reached this point and are exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms, seek help from a mental hospital:

  • Prolonged starvation
  • Skipping work or school
  • Withdrawal from regular medications
  • Sleep disturbances (very little sleep or sleeping all day)
  • Skipping showers and baths for days/weeks
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  1. You are having a psychotic episode

A psychotic episode is a dangerous situation in which your thoughts and perceptions are disturbed to an extent that you are unable to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. The symptoms of a psychotic attack include:

  • Hearing sounds or seeing people that aren’t there 
  • Worrying that someone is spying on you
  • Fearing that someone has an intent to harm you

These episodes can be dangerous for your well-being and jeopardize the safety of others. Hence, it must be tackled in a mental hospital as soon as possible. 

If you are considering checking yourself into a mental hospital, the first thing to do is call a loved one and share your concern. Doing so can not only reassure you but also help you with the mandatory paperwork that requires to be filled before you can be admitted to a psychiatric ward.

If possible, it is always a good idea to call the mental hospital ahead of time and confirm their procedure of admission and rules. The appointed staff can also guide you better about what items to bring with you if you are required to stay.

Make sure to have the following information readily available as most mental hospitals require it as a part of the admission process:

  • Name and contact number
  • Contact information for the next of kin (family members or trustworthy friends)
  • Any medical illnesses in the past 
  • A list of all medicines that you are currently taking
  • Any food/drug allergies
  • Insurance information
  • Any particular health concerns in your mind

Once the mandatory paperwork is complete, a psychiatrist will assess you and discuss a treatment plan to manage your condition accordingly. 

Within a mental hospital, a treatment plan is organized for you, tailored to your individual goals and needs. This is carried out after a detailed analysis by a psychiatrist in liaison with a nurse and a psychologist. 

  • Common treatments usually offered at most mental hospitals include:
  • Prescribing/changing a medication
  • Support sessions with psychologists
  • Occupational therapy
  • Access to gyms, art activities, and other leisure activities to promote positive attitudes
  • Weekly reviews with the appointed psychiatrists
  • Weekly meetings with multidisciplinary teams to check treatment response 

Mental illness is a common reason for individuals to go to a hospital. However, learning when to pay a visit before the issue gets out of hand is extremely important. As a rule of thumb, consider checking yourself in a mental health facility if you feel too low to function normally or believe that you are an imminent threat to yourself or others. 

If you are confused if you fulfill the criteria to be checked in, don’t hesitate to call your local mental health team for advice. 

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