What Is Inpatient Hospital Depression Treatment Like?

Question by : What is inpatient hospital depression treatment like?
I am 17 (almost 18) and I have been depressed for over six years and I am scared of what I have become. Despite several years of good counseling and trying several medications, I still find myself extremely depressed, self harming and abusing drugs (not addicted but every day use of SOMETHING). Am I a good candidate for inpatient hospital treatment? If so, what is it like?

Best answer:

Answer by gardensallday
If you are not suicidal, or perhaps you do have suicidal ideation, but have good control of your behavior, you may not be eligible for inpatient treatment. Generally, if you have control over your behavior, and aren’t at risk of serious harm, you get outpatient treatment. Consider going to a university outpatient mental health clinic for more advice. Do you have an abuse history, such as sexual abuse? Then did you work on that in therapy? If you danced around something like that, it will still bother you. However, even if you deal with the abuse, it can make biological mental illnesses a lot worse and treatment resistant. Antidepressants arent’ very good & fail to help most people. Exercise and more social support are more effective, and consider a light box. I’ll tack on my depression tips at the end of this answer.

Here is what happens in a mental hospital – they give you a physical, to make sure you are OK that way. They assign you to a room. They go thru your stuff to make sure you don’t have anything sharp or drugs or whatever. Then you take your stuff and put it away in your room, which you may or may not have a roommate. Then you go see a psychiatrist and talk to some nurses. See a counselor. This is over a few days, on and off. You go to groups where you learn stuff. You do crafts, where they can observe your ability to focus and other stuff. You hang out in the break room and play cards or watch TV. The psychiatrist will talk to you something like an hour, and then give you meds based on what he/she thinks will be most likely to help you. The staff at the hospital will find you a psychiatrist and a counselor in the community and set up appointments for you.

depression tips (PRINT THEM OUT)

If your depression is worse in winter, try to get more sun. You may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or your depression could be partly seasonal. Use a light box (10,000 Lux (light intensity) at about 20” – about $ 300 online, don’t get at a local store, they charge more, you don’t need full spectrum, it needs a UV filter, the Sunray is a good brand). I have extra windows,, painted the walls peach & yellow & have a skylight ( it helps!) There’s a link to a cheaper lightbox at psycyheducation.org.

Try meditation like progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. It reduces stress, & depression. See The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne for examples. Free 15 minute guided imagery download at healthjourneys.com.

***** #1 MOST HELPFUL Go out with friends, & if you don’t have any, join a club & MAKE yourself go until you look forward to it. “Isolating” makes depression worse.

Exercise 1/2 hour a day, & anytime you feel depressed. Exercise is a great mood stabilizer & reduces anxiety. LOTS OF RESEARCH SUPPORTS THIS.

Insomnia?: Go to bed & get up the same time each day, even weekends. Don’t use your bedroom to watch TV, read or use the computer. Don’t do stuff that revs you up before bed, like exercising & using the computer. Light from computer screens & TV wakes you up. Use that last hour to wind down-Take a bath? Make the bedroom very dark, even cover up the alarm clock. Use a noise machine (makes wave sounds etc.) to cover up disturbing sounds. Avoid caffeine in afternoon & evening. Try soundsleeping.com for free relaxing sounds downloads.

Put a lot of colorful, happy things around the house. Do nice things for yourself. Make a list of things that make you happy. On my list: bread fresh from the oven, the scent of Jergen’s cherry almond lotion, the crisp sound of a saltine cracker breaking, fresh sheets on the bed, standing in the boat flicking topwater lures onto the water, etc. Use all your senses & read that list when you are breaking down

Work on time management if you are overwhelmed. Cut back on other responsibilities so you can spend more restorative time with friends & family. Ask for help if depression makes it hard to keep up with chores.

Spend more time with your pet, if you have one.

DON’T listen to sad music! It makes things worse! Listen to upbeat stuff- same with movies & novels.

DISTRACT yourself when you are hurting. Read a novel, watch a comedy, go out with friends, play cards, play a video game, whatever is mentally all-consuming. This is a VERY helpful tip!!

Volunteer. Research shows that helping others makes you feel better about yourself. It also keeps you more involved in the community. Many people find comfort being involved in religion. Get help from your pastor. Be aware that some pastors from conservative faiths don’t “believe” in mental illness & will tell you to go off your meds & pray more – don’t go to such a pastor for “help” if your faith is like this.

Put a half-smile on your face. Changing your expression is proven to help change mood.

For chronic & severe depression, go to mentalhealthrecovery.com & order a $ 10 WRAP (Wellness & Recovery Action Plan) booklet – it helps you write up your own daily plan to maintain mental health & a checklist for a crisis. Consider filling out a psychiatric advance directive to protect your rights & inform professionals about your care if you have a crisis. Links to your state’s free PAD can be found at bazelon.org.

If suicidal, find a community hospital with an inpatient behavioral health unit (check yellow pages) & go or have someone take you. Don’t call 911 unless you have already hurt yourself, because if it is just psych symptoms, it isn’t an ambulance that comes, it is the police, & they will take you to the closest place & that could be a horrible state hospital.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy is the most effective kind of counseling. Try free computerized CBT at moodgym.anu.edu.au. Computerized therapy appears to be almost as effective as counseling, research shows.

Good luck. I learned this information from classes & books.

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