Psych Ward Patients: A Brief Guide

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on September 10, 2023
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Feeling scared, confused, and overwhelmed is normal when facing a psychiatric ward stay.

This guide is here to help you understand what to expect, how to prepare, where to go, and how to cope during your stay.

The Online Mental Health Review Team is highly qualified to write about this topic due to their extensive training and experience in mental health. The team comprises professionals with rigorous online training, certification courses, and reviews.

Remember, you’re not alone, and people and resources are available to support you on this journey. Let’s dive in.

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What is a Psychiatric Ward?

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A psychiatric ward is a hospital or specific section of psych wards in a hospital dedicated to the treatment of individuals with mental health disorders.

Very Well Mind notes that a psychward provides a relatively environment for patients to receive intensive therapeutic interventions, medication adjustments, and care they cannot get at home or hospitals.

The doctor aims to stabilize the patient’s mental health condition and help them transition to everyday life.

However, research is mixed in regards to how patients view their stays. Some patient find their time hospitalized to be mostly beneficial, while others say horrible.

What is a mental ward patient?

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Here’s a breakdown of what it means to be a mental ward patient:

  • Definition: A mental ward patient receives treatment in a psychiatric hospital due to severe mental health issues. This can include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more.
  • Voluntary vs Involuntary Admission: Patients can be admitted voluntarily if they recognize they need help or involuntarily if they pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Mental ward patients undergo various treatments, such as counseling, group therapy, and medication management.
  • Length of Stay: The duration of stay varies depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, their progress, and the institution’s specific policies.
  • Post-Discharge Care: Patients usually continue with outpatient therapy or medication to maintain their mental health upon discharge.

What makes someone go to a psych ward?

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Understanding why someone might be admitted to a psych ward can help us empathize and support those undergoing such experiences.

Here are some of the common factors in psychiatric disorders that may lead to this:

  • Severe Mental Health Disorders: Conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, or other mental illnesses can necessitate admission if they pose a significant risk to the person’s well-being or safety.
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Actions: If an individual is experiencing suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide, they may be admitted to a psych ward for safety and immediate therapeutic intervention.
  • Self-Harming Behaviors: Self-harm, including cutting, burning, or other self-inflicted pain, can be a reason for psychiatric hospitalization.
  • Inability to Care for Self: If someone’s mental health condition prevents them from being able to care for their basic needs, such as eating, bathing, or maintaining a safe living environment, they may need to be hospitalized.
  • Risk to Others: If a person’s mental state poses a danger to others, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety for all involved.

What does it mean to be committed to a psych ward?

Here’s what it means:

  • Involuntary Admission: Committing to a psych ward often implies automatic admission, where an individual is hospitalized due to severe mental health concerns without consent.
  • Risk Assessment: Before commitment, a thorough assessment is conducted to determine if the person poses a serious risk to themselves or others due to their mental state.
  • Legal Process: The commitment process often involves legal procedures, with laws varying by state, to ensure the person’s rights are protected.
  • Treatment Plan: Once committed, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed, which may include medication, therapy, and other interventions.
  • Duration of Stay: The length of stay can vary depending on the individual’s condition and progress, but the goal is always to stabilize the patient and plan for continued care post-discharge.
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What to Expect During Your Stay

Admission Process

You’ll undergo an intake process upon arrival, including a comprehensive mental health evaluation. This will involve speaking with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health nurse. They’ll discuss your current mental hospital situation, medical history, and the reasons for your admission. This is to ensure they tailor the proper care plan for you.

Medications and Therapies

Depending on your diagnosis, you may be prescribed medications. These could range from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics to anxiety medications. Regular therapy sessions will also form part of your treatment. Depending on your needs, these could be individual, group, or family therapy sessions.

Daily Routines

Your day will typically be structured with set times for meals, therapy sessions, leisure activities, and bedtime. This routine can provide a sense of normalcy and stability.

Visiting Hours and Communication

Most wards in psychiatric hospitals have specific visiting hours. Outside these hours, you may be able to make phone calls or even access the internet. Remember, maintaining contact with your support network is crucial during this time.

Psych Ward Patient Conclusion

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to take the time you need to heal. You’re not alone in this journey. No matter how small, each step you take is a step towards recovery. And always remember, there’s no shame in seeking help. Your mental health matters.

You may learn more about psych wards through our articles covering psych ward morality, costs, rehab, costs with insurance, grippy socks, finding psych wards, and psych ward memes.

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If You Are In Crisis

Understanding mental illness and health crises is critical; immediate help is crucial if you’re distressed. Suppose you’re in danger or have plans to harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately. Alternatively, the 24/7 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available at 988 if you’re contemplating self-harm. Contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357) for confidential assistance with mental health issues. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and resources are available.

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