Should I Check into a Hospital?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

For about 10 years I have been struggling with depersonalization and anxiety and up until now I have been able to live with it. Recently after having my wisdom teeth out I had a very bad panic episode and started reading about schizophrenia and woke up in the middle of the night with intrusive thoughts of hurting my fiancé. I had slight auditory hallucination one night that I knew where inside my head and not real in addition to very vivid dreams and have had a slight paranoia thinking that people hate me. I did a lot of research and found that I might be suffering from ocd and I have been meeting with a ocd specialist and have told him all of my concerns and he has told me that I have ocd, anxiety, and depression. I fear that I am losing touch with reality because it seems my symptoms are getting worse. I feel emotionally numb and have constant night sweats and have had no appetite for over three weeks. Since I was 20 I have had episodic fears that I have angered god and that the devil is out to ruin my life. Overall I just feel crazy and feel very detached from myself like someone else has inhabited my body and mind. I have been to several therapists over the years and none of them think that I have a psychotic disorder. The most worrying symptom is that I feel like time has sped up, it feels like 15 minutes had gone by while in actuality 2 hours have past. Usually I have years where I feel 100 percent normal and then every 2 to 3 years I have an episode where I feel crazy for about eight months. I really have no clue what to do about all of this, talk therapy has never helped and every day I just feel further away from the happy person that I used to be. I just want these intrusive thoughts to go away so that I can go along with my life. Do you thinking checking myself into the hospital would be a good idea at this point?

A. I’m sorry that you are suffering. You stated that you have been in therapy for years and it has not helped. Medication might be useful in treating your symptoms.

With regard to checking yourself into a hospital, typically, in order to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, an individual has to be homicidal or suicidal, or in grave danger of imminent death due to their psychiatric symptoms. This is true in most cases. Even if admitted to the hospital, your stay would likely be brief, especially if you are not actively exhibiting suicidal or homicidal thoughts. Alternatively, you may be able to check in to a private psychiatric facility but there are potential drawbacks. It might not be reimbursable by your health insurance company and it could be very expensive. You may want to call the hospital or your insurance company directly for more details.

A hospital stay is a short-term solution but you may need something more for this long-standing problem. Medication might be the solution. Some people are reluctant to take medication but they shouldn’t be. There are many psychiatric medications that specifically target the symptoms you have described. A low dose of medication might significantly reduce your symptoms. You may only need it temporarily. Many people regard medication as a “lifesaver.” It could help you immensely. Discuss this option with your treatment providers. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Apr 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Should I Check into a Hospital?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/04/04/should-i-check-into-a-hospital/