if i said that i was feeling down and i wanted to voluntarily check myself in for an extended and non-specific amount of time. What would likely happen to me? Would i lose all rights? Would i have to consent to anything and everything they tell or ask of me? Would they take my clothes and put me in a straight jacket? Would they drug me if i had a panic attack in front of them? i am the victim of years of abuse and i don't like being touched, would i be forced into facing that immediately upon checking myself in? Would they suggest ECT to try and speed the process of getting me out there as quickly as possible? my mind is doing the worst case scenario thing and i just want to know the truth.
inconsolablenumbness inconsolablenumbness 36-40, F 14 Answers Aug 21, 2012 in Suicide

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I wish I had insight as well. I suspect the first thing is a serious assessment then from there they may discuss options with you.

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I don't know the answers to all of your questions, but I know that mental health institutions typically try to use the least amount of restriction and force necessary... So in other words, they are only going to sedate you if you show serious signs of distress and they are having trouble keeping you from hurting yourself or other patients. The same goes for a straightjacket - that's a really drastic measure and is rarely used for anyone that isn't posing a threat to themselves and others.

Your rights are probably going to vary between different hospitals and states, but from what I've heard, if you check yourself in, you're signing yourself over to their care temporarily and they will have the right to deny you from leaving if they feel like you are not yet able to face the world (if you're having dangerous thoughts or behaviors, you're unable to function in daily life, etc.).

The best thing you can do to ease your mind is to look up facilities in your area, read up on them, and call them. They can answer these questions for you, because some of the answers will be different for each facility.

I think it's very admirable that you're able to seek help. :)

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You'd get an assessment to see if you belong there! Have to answer lots of questions! What happens afterwards depends on the assessment and how you answered the questions.

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I have never been. If you checked yourself in voluntarily, I doubt they would put you in a straight jacket. If you try to harm yourself or others, they may sedate or restrain you. They would most likely try to give a snap diagnosis and start medication, then delve deeper into what is troubling you and adjust or change your meds. The old saying is, if you think you are crazy, you most likely are not. You just have issues that need attended to and need tools to be able to cope. There is hope and seeking help is the first step to recovery and leading a normal life. I applaud you. :D

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there are a lot of nice people. not all in the danger zone.just need to retro grade for a spell.

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From personal experience, it was very much worth going. I went voluntarily, and at first they kept in ACU the first day, until a doctor came to formally diagnose me. When that I happened I was moved to the ICU, with a 24-hour watch placed on me. Not going to get into the specifics of my own story, unless anyone asks to here that, but I think I can answer your questions.

They will first need to evaluate your case to see if you need to be there in the first place and how much care you need. They may move you to different hospital due to insurance and issues like that, but for suicidal people they will almost always accept you. If they think you are going to kill yourself if left alone for more than half an hour, they will most likely assign you to the ICU or equivalent.

You will have to fill out a lot of forms during your stay to give them consent to do anything. Without that they can't do much. You can even treat it as a mini-vacation like some of the patients did. No one from the outside can reach you without your permission. You can refuse all medicine as long as you are considered sane. Passing the sanity test is pretty simple so that shouldn't be a problem. For depression, they may try a variety of medication before they find something that works for you. But again, you can simply say no. You don't have to go to group therapy, and can just sleep there all day if that is what you want. I wouldn't recommend that, since I found group therapy to be useful in my recovery, but to each his own. I will say there is no pressure to talk to others in group therapy and you can simply listen. The food quality well kind of depend on the place you are at. You get what the staff gets so it isn't terrible, but can be lackluster. I didn't have that problem during my stay since the place had pretty damn good food, but I've heard from other patients that the place was much better regarding that then other places.

The only real restriction is where you can go and how you can see. In the ICU, we weren't allowed outside or to the gym, cause honestly they couldn't trust us not to hurt ourselves. But the ACU got to go once a day. Activities like that are pretty scheduled so that can be something that is hard to get used to.

The therapy goes at your own pace, but the goal of the hospital is to get you functional again. Not fully well, but functional. I was allowed to leave after 2 weeks (which was considered a long stay), cause they felt like I would be fine with just therapy sessions from now on. ECT was really considered an option because the case was no where severe enough. Only one patient was prescribed that, with her permission, and that was after decades of therapy and drugs failed.

Clothing is limited by not allowed anything you could use to kill yourself. Generally plain clothing is okay, but belts and things you could choke yourself with aren't. No straight-jackets, except for the girl that bit someones finger off. Don't do that. Ho

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I went expecting Sylvia Plath and instead got Nelly Bly.

It was TERRIFYING. Not because of what anyone did to ME, but because of the essentially infinite opportunities for abuse.

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The answers given vary from positive to negative,and each persons experience is based on hospitals wide apart and with different methods of treatment.I personally would wish to avoid ECT at any cost,along with the mind burning drugs which are sometimes administered.

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See my story "Been There, Done That. Twice." in the group I Have Been to a Mental Hospital.

Both time it was because I was in the pits of depression and suicidal. Both times were self-referrals, I made the decision to go. And I would go again if I need to go. The hospital is a safe place. I couldn't hurt myself there. The pressures of the outside world were gone. Nobody could contact me unless I wanted them to. The doctors and therapists, and even some of the patients, helped me piece together my thoughts and emotions.

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I know life can be so very overwhelming, maybe go talk to someone first before checking yourself in a mental institution. I have a friend that works in a mental hospital and most of time they are just giving you drugs. Half of time you are so drug up you do not know who you are. They take your clothes, you are not allowed to have any belts or shoe strings, anything that you might can harm yourself with. Some of the stories are really sad. Just be sure this is something that you need to do. You can get help.

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better let the doctors take a peek first.

let them decide what is wrong with you at the beginning so they'll be able to spot the difference once you're cured

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