Should I Check Myself into the Hospital?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m seriously considering checking myself into a mental hospital. I’ve been getting worse and worse and I don’t know how to handle myself anymore. I’m not on any prescription drugs. My parents believe that teenagers are just attention seekers when they claim to be depressed, so I have kept it to myself the whole time. I’ve been having suicidal thoughts and obsessively self harming even though I try not to. I know I’m 16 and blah blah blah, I’ve heard it before. But it’s serious. I’ve been feeling so dark and sadness has completely taken over me physically and mentally. I find it hard to just go to school. I go home early from school because I feel uncomfortable and on the edge of tears most of the time. It has come to the point where all I can fantasize about is how I could possibly kill myself. I don’t want to hurt my parents, but I also believe I shouldn’t be in this world anymore.

A. I take you at your word when you say that your symptoms are serious. I also believe you when you say that you have suicidal thoughts and can’t stop yourself from engaging in self-harm. Suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously. If you can’t keep yourself safe, then you should seek emergency assistance.

Feeling unsupported by your parents complicates this matter. It leaves you with fewer options in terms of seeking treatment.

The next logical question is how do you physically get yourself to the hospital? Ideally, you should tell your parents and ask them to take you. You said that your parents believe that teenagers who claim to be depressed are attention seekers but have you told them about your personal symptoms? They might make dismissive comments about other people’s situations, but they may have a different reaction if they knew a member of their own family were in trouble.

It is best not to make assumptions about what your parents may or may not do because you could be wrong. If you haven’t told them, then you haven’t given them a fair chance to react. I strongly encourage asking your parents for their help.

If you tell them and they refuse to help you, then the next step is to consult the school counselor or an adult you trust. If you still have nowhere to turn, then take yourself to the hospital or call 911. Do whatever is necessary to keep yourself safe.

Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 May 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). Should I Check Myself into the Hospital?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/31/should-i-check-myself-into-the-hospital/