It seems to be a common misperception that everyone who gets admitted to inpatient psychiatric facilities is clinically insane. The opposite however, appears to be true. Anyone who is experiencing some form of psychiatric crisis can be admitted. Often times these crises involve things such as self-harm, thoughts about suicide, and suicide attempts.
Contrary to what the general public often seems to think, these facilities do not contain wards of patients in straitjackets and vast arrays of disturbing scenes. Things many of us are familiar with often occur in these places such as group therapy, one-on-one sessions with psychologists and psychiatrists, etc.
While everyone’s experiences in inpatient psychiatric facilities may differ, often times, they at least allow for the opportunity to reflect. Getting put into a new and foreign environment may often cause some immediate anxiety and stress, but by ensuring that you have an attitude that is reflective of a desire to truly get better, you can leave the treatment facility with a fresh outlook.
Sometimes a hospitalization for something such as self-harm can serve as a “wake-up call” for just how serious this action is. A lot of the time, people who self-harm often as a coping mechanism eventually begin to make excuses and justifications for their actions. Overtime, the severity of self-harm seems to diminish and we lose touch with what is “acceptable” and “healthy.” After being admitted, the severity of the behavior returns as we realize that it is the cause of our hospitalization.
While some hospitalizations may feel terrifying and unproductive, like I said before, they can serve as a time to reflect. Sometimes when there is too much going on in our lives, a hospitalization can be a reprieve—a time to get our mental health back in order. If the therapy sessions in this setting do not seem helpful, keep in touch with your outpatient therapist or psychiatrist and be sure that you are practicing the healthy coping mechanisms that you have learned from therapy. I have found that inpatient clinical settings can be a very helpful place to practice many of these positive coping skills as you have less weighing on you mentally from “the outside world.”