Now That You Have Realized You Need Help And Have Decided To Admit Yourself into Hospital
It is imperative that you make this critical decision before you carry through with any plans to harm yourself or others. Try not to let your crisis get out of hand. It is very important when you are experiencing emotional frailty that you endeavor to stay “safe” and seek medical attention before it can lead to unhealthy behavior of any kind, be it manic or depressive. This is a scary decision to make, but take heart; it doesn’t have to be, if you go into it with the knowledge that it may be the best choice you ever made, especially if it saves your life. But there are a few things you have to get through before you find yourself on the psyche ward proper. Here are some steps you can follow to help you out during the process of getting to the hospital and admitting yourself.
Step One: Call for someone to lend you immediate assistance.
911 is the only option if you have ingested an overdose of medication or have critically injured yourself.
It is very important to pick up the phone or seek out a support person as soon as possible when you are experiencing unhealthy behavior (like a suicide attempt or other self-harming behavior). This person can be someone like a close friend, a family member, or a trained crisis line worker. By placing an S.O.S. call to someone you can trust to aid you in your time of distress, you have made a crucial decision that you wish this crisis to end in a less tragic manner than it potentially could, if left untreated. You may not realize it at the time, but you have made the decision to live and make your emotional turmoil end by dealing with it through healthier channels. This is a GOOD THING, no matter how difficult it may seem to expose your pain and suffering to another person, it is a cry for help that needs to be made and heard.
At a time when you are emotionally hemorrhaging, any form of human comfort can bring you relief and solace. Hearing another person’s voice, instead of the wicked ones screaming throughout your brain, can anchor you to solid ground amid the turmoil of an ocean of despair and confusion. You will discover a support person, whether over the phone or in person, will help to ease your inner pain even if you don’t feel you want any contact with another person. You will be surprised at how deeply you will be affected by allowing another person into your inner whirlpool of emotions. The presence of another human being will strike an inner chord; the place where you feel the loneliest will in some way seem to be less stark, dark, and barren. I encourage you to seek a support person.
A support person will not only be a comfort to you, but will also give you immediate relief from your negative thought patterns by distracting you. You will have to forget about the intricacies of your crisis long enough to explain your circumstances to them. They also force you to interact with the outside world; a person in a dire emotional state tends to shrink their world down to a very narrow view of their immediate emotional and physical environment. Interaction with the real world is vital. Your support person will have a different more realistic and healthy perspective on your crisis. The issues that brought you to the point of emotional breakdown may not seem as overwhelming if someone is able to put them in proper perspective and show you they are not as devastating as they may seem at the time of crisis.
This does not mean they will be condescending or belittle your issues. It means they will help you to place the proper importance on what is haunting you at the time and perhaps aid you in sorting out the true dilemmas that must be dealt with. A clear voice of reason, with the right amount of empathy, can help talk you down from the emotional precipice you are ready to jump off of. A person can also use their support person as a sounding board, to vent the powder keg of emotions and issues that are coming to a head and causing them to experience intense feelings of desperation. Venting these feelings can help to ease the anxiety and filter out some fatalistic thought patterns a person in crisis may be experiencing.
Not only can a support person give you aid verbally, but if you allow the person to physically come to your rescue, they can bodily intervene on your behalf. They (like my husband has in past crisis) can take the razor, the pills, the noose, etc. out of your hands and jerk you out of dangerous surroundings. They can force you to exit the physical environment of your crisis, where there are many things you can hurt yourself with, and place you in a “safe” place. You may not want much physical contact, but it does feel better to have someone in the room with you, especially when you fear that you may further harm yourself. They don’t even have to talk to you, just physically be there across the room.
If you find yourself in the middle of a suicide attempt and have changed your mind, calling someone is imperative. This is extremely necessary if you have harmed yourself in any way. A wise choice of contact person at this point would be 911 or a trained psychiatric counselor/therapist. Trained counselors or therapists are the type of people who man crisis lines and mental health drop-in centers. They have been trained to field suicidal calls. They are the most capable people to handle a person in emotional distress. They may be able to help you sort out your emotional meltdown and assist you in receiving treatment in a medical facility, or call the paramedics on your behalf.
Who Do You Call?
If you are calling a non-medical person like a close friend or family member it is recommended you call someone who knows your history of mental illness and has some experience with your emotional turmoil (issues, phobias, past suicide attempts, etc.). The person should be someone you feel a deep trust with and do not fear that they will bring your past crises up to haunt you in the future. Don’t call someone who is a negative influence on your frail emotional state of mind. Call someone who can take control of the situation without further humiliating you. The person should be understanding, be able to listen effectively, but also be firm enough to keep the situation from escalating. They should be able to deflate your anxiety and alleviate your emotional crisis. Choose this person before you end up in a crisis situation, so you end up calling to right person for the job. Don’t trust your last minute desperate judgment on this one. Make sure you have discussed this with the person you have appointed your support person before hand and they are made aware that you may call on them day or night. Keep their phone and cell phone numbers readily available in case you may need them. Let your support person know that in times of crisis they are expected and needed to guide you into hospitalization. They should have a fairly good idea of what to expect and what is to be asked of them during this whole process. This is the person you want to take you to the emergency ward and help you through the admitting process.
If you don’t have anyone to call or your situation is dire call a professional such as a crisis line worker or 911.
Suggested Support Persons:
Close family friend
Close family member
If you live in a small town you could try an emergency ward nurse
Step Two: Go to a “safe” place.
An “immediate safe place” is an environment where you are physically separated from harming yourself and feel emotionally secure. It should calm you and reduce the amount of emotional triggers you may experience. It is very important to seek out a separate and secure place from the space you experienced your crisis in. An “immediate safe place” takes you away from the environment you found yourself in during your suicidal/crisis episode. A change of scenery can actually help separate you from some of the triggers that set off your crisis in the first place. It also shocks your emotional state into not fixating on certain issues by causing a distraction and forcing your psyche to deal with a new unrelated environment. Leaving the scene of your episode also can force you to realize the world is greater than your emotional predicament at the time. You will begin to be unable to focus purely on your issues; you will have to relate to people, things and situations outside of your emotional dilemma. Even if you can’t leave the actual building in which you suffered the crisis episode, you can still go to a separate, different room or area and be with your support person there. It is important that once you are emotionally strong enough, you proceed to a hospital emergency ward, which ultimately is the safest place for you to be during a mental crisis.
“Immediate Safe” Places:
Separate room in the house, not the one you attempted to hurt yourself in or suffered a crisis in.
Mental health drop-in center
A family member’s home
A close friend’s home
Ultimate “Safe” Places:
Hospital Psyche Ward
Hospital Emergency Ward
If you have no support person and are alone in your home, force yourself to wait in a separate room from your crisis area until an ambulance or help arrives. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself alive and safe.