Inpatient Mental Health Treatment: Debunking the Stigma of Mental Hospitalization

therapist comforting patient

Although you may notice a lot of negative perceptions surrounding inpatient care mental health hospitalization, the truth is very much different from the stigma. What is inpatient mental health treatment like in reality? Mental health treatment at an outstanding facility can provide the effective treatments you need to improve your daily life and move toward mental wellness. Here, you can find out about the stigma of mental hospitalization and learn what modern mental health care is like.

Could mental health treatment be your opportunity to live a better life? Contact us at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital to talk to our admissions specialists.

Stigma on Mental Hospitalization

It’s common for people to fear the unknown. Although the past was different, mental hospitalization today offers a safe, kind place where professionals provide proven treatments. Unfortunately, people who have not seen what an inpatient psych care program is like from the inside may view mental hospitalization from a decades-old lens.

Then, what kinds of myths are floating around psychiatric inpatient care? What type of mental hospital stigma is out there? Here are some of the misconceptions and why they are incorrect.


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All people with mental disorders are dangerous.

The truth is that most people with mental disorders are not dangerous at all. In fact, mental patients tend to be victims of violent crimes much more often than others.

You have to take pills even if you admit yourself voluntarily.

Actually, even when you go to an inpatient care mental health hospital, you decide whether you choose to take medications or not. The psychiatrist may recommend them and explain the potential risks and benefits. Yet, if you choose not to take them, the doctor will create a different treatment plan for you.

Staff will punish you with “shock therapy” if you step out of line.

Electroconvulsive therapy is sometimes used for complex and treatment-resistant disorders such as severe and long-lasting clinical depression. However, today’s version is not scary at all. You are given anesthesia so that you don’t feel anything while the treatment is going on. When you wake up, you may be tired, but otherwise, you should feel fine.

While ECT can cause some memory loss, many people choose to have it so that they can function better in their lives. It is effective for many, and it is never used as a punishment or forced on you. Before a doctor makes this part of the treatment plan, they will discuss it with you and let you decide.

You are locked in and never allowed to go outside or communicate with people not in the hospital until you are discharged.

You can usually choose between a locked facility and an unlocked one. Yet, either way, you will nearly always be offered opportunities to go outside. At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, you get to experience a beautiful, natural setting while you are benefitting from inpatient care mental health services.

Most facilities also allow you to use your phone to talk to friends and family, although there may be some guidelines you will need to follow. They may be able to visit you while you are in the hospital as well.

It will be awful to be around other people with mental illness.

People are people wherever you go. This is true in inpatient care mental health hospitals, the same as anywhere else. You may see some patients who are extremely distressed from time to time. They may be very sad or even suicidal. Many people you meet will be having issues like yours.

Even if someone becomes agitated, the staff will always protect you. Even better, you will likely meet some kind people who you feel perfectly comfortable spending time with while in the hospital.

FAQs on Inpatient Care Mental Health Facilities

inpatient mental health treatment infographic

What is inpatient mental health treatment like? If you or a loved one are considering mental health hospitalization, you likely have many questions about what to expect. Here’s what you should know about inpatient care at an inpatient care mental health facility.

How long is an inpatient mental health stay?

The length of your stay will depend on many factors. These include the facility you are at and their approach to mental care, and your own needs and preferences. At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, our programs may run for a couple of days to several weeks.

What do you do in a mental health hospital?

A team of mental health professionals works together to plan for and provide care for you. In addition to doctors and nurses, you will meet with therapists and likely participate in group therapies, such as recreational therapy and music therapy, within the rules of the facility. You may spend a block of the morning and another in the early afternoon engaging in various individual and group therapies and receiving help from mental health professionals. You will also have free time to spend as you choose.

Does inpatient therapy work?

Yes, inpatient therapy does help many people. Inpatient care mental health professionals use evidence-based treatments that have helped many people with mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia.

Do I need inpatient psychiatric treatment?

Inpatient treatment is usually best to help with severe mental illness or intense mental health episodes. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it makes sense to talk to a mental health professional to discuss whether inpatient care mental health treatment is right for you.

  • Thinking about harming yourself or someone else
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having trouble doing your work or school tasks
  • Noticing you have violent thoughts or behaviors
  • Experiencing hallucinations or delusions

Not everyone needs inpatient psych care. However, if your symptoms are severe, getting help could get you on the right track to better mental health in a few weeks.

Does Medicare cover psychiatric care?

Most Medicare plans do cover mental health care, but not all do. Coverage can depend on the state you live in and which Medicare programs you qualify for. Georgetown Behavioral Hospital accepts Medicare for mental health treatment – you simply need to call our admissions specialists at 1-937-483-4930 to verify your coverage.

Can I admit myself to a psychiatric hospital?

Admitting yourself to inpatient psych care could help you decrease symptoms that are now severe. For some people, it is a life-changing choice. The admissions staff and mental health professionals will talk with you and decide whether to recommend inpatient or outpatient care. Because you chose voluntary admission, you usually are not forced to stay. In this case, you can talk to the psychiatric professionals so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is Inpatient Mental Health Treatment Like?

When you go to an inpatient care mental health facility like Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, you receive help and support in dealing with the stigma on mental hospitalization. Just as important, you receive quality care offered with respect for who you are and understanding of the challenges you face.

Our location is beautiful, our staff caring, and our evidence-based programs are effective. We are here for you if you need help with severe mental health problems, but we also want to help you meet the challenges of getting back to your daily life. Our discharge planning will help you to do that. Then, with ongoing outpatient treatment and community support, you can enjoy better mental wellbeing. In the end, what matters most is what you get out of our programs and how your life improves.

Are you ready to move past the stigma and get the help you need? Contact our team at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital to discuss whether admission is right for you.

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