Going to the hospital can be nerve-wracking, even if you’ve gone before and know more or less what to expect. There are lots of reasons why, but let’s take a look at some common ones:
- You had a bad experience last time. Not every hospital is the same. As unfair as it is, it’s possible that the hospital you went to last time just wasn’t the best. If you think you might need to go to the hospital again at some point, it might be worth doing some research on a better place to go. Consider writing out a Psychiatric Advance Directive specifying where you want to go, and what kinds of treatment you do or don’t want to receive.
- It’s expensive. In the United States, going to the hospital can be expensive. Your insurance may have high copays, or you may not have health insurance at all. Fortunately, there are ways to get financial assistance.
- You’re scared of hitting another low point. When people go to the hospital, it’s usually because they feel like they’re at the end of their rope. Maybe what you’re really afraid of is that low point—not the hospital itself. In that case, you can try to intervene early by taking a look at your self-care, your participation in therapy, and your use of medications.
- You’re experiencing intrusive thoughts. Some people have persistent, unwanted thoughts about bad things happening to them—like going to the hospital. This can happen even if you’re nowhere close to a point where you actually need to be hospitalized. If this sounds like you, read more about intrusive thoughts. Consider taking our anxiety test as well.
What other options do I have?
Whether you decide to go to the hospital again or not, it’s important to remember that you have lots of options. If you’re in crisis, you can reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or using the chat box at 988lifeline.org/chat. You can also text “MHA” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Warmlines are an excellent place for non-crisis support.
For a longer-term solution, you can schedule an appointment with a therapist or talk to your doctor about trying a medication. Joining a support group can be helpful. You can also improve your mental health on your own by learning more about mental illness, opening up to someone you trust, and making lifestyle changes.