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Admitting Yourself To A Mental Hospital


Esruc
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Es,

I can't describe the process in general, but I can describe how I went about it, the time I committed myself to the hospital. The situation was sort of ... unique, but it may still be useful.

That morning, my wife and I had been arguing. During the argument, I had removed my shirt, for reasons that made sense to me at the time; it was also our custom not to wear shoes in the house. So, when my anger peaked and I stormed out into forty-degree December weather, I had no shirt and no shoes on. At that point, walking down that street determined not to go back, the only destinations I could think of were a police station or something suicidal, so I chose the police station.

Obviously, this wasn't a situation that policepeople encounter every day, but they handled it professionally throughout, and even drove me to one place to be evaluated and then all the way across the county to the hospital they found for me. I committed myself voluntarily, but the first paper I had to sign said that it was a closed ward and it would be up to the staff when I would be allowed to leave. That suited me just fine: I had no desire to be walking around suicidal. They kept me eight days or so, but that was longer than average in that ward, which was intended for psychiatric emergencies. Many people moved to other programs or were discharged in less time than that. One factor probably was that I had pretty good insurance.

Okay, long story. My guess for the answers to your questions: they probably would not hold you at all just because you asked them to, and it certainly wouldn't be permanent without good reason. Who pays for it? One way or another, you do, through your insurance or otherwise. Long-term commitment paid for by the state is understandably quite rare, and requires good reasons, publicly known.

Eventually, Es, you're going to have to tell someone, and risk how that might make you feel. You might even have to risk them telling you that you're not nearly as dangerous as you feel.

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