Five Lessons I Learned from Visiting the ER with Suicidal Ideation

Hands of Hospital PatientMental health issues carry such a stigma that few people wish to talk about their experiences at a psychiatric ward. I am learning involuntary commitments are rarely necessary but are frequently directed by emergency room (ER) physicians who do not know how to deal with mental health issues. I share this experience so others know what happens when someone is committed to a mental institution. My opinions are not meant to be medical advice. Talk all medical issues over with a dedicated, concerned, and compassionate health care professional.

It Began with the Itching

The hydromorphone pill I had been prescribed for pain from a hysterectomy made me itch. Five days later the dysphoria set in. Dysphoria is an emotional state, sometimes instigated by medication, often indicated by restlessness, anxiety, and depression. The next day the anger followed. Finally, suicidal ideation took up camp in my mind. All I could think about was how relieving a long swim in the ocean would be to make the thoughts go away.

My nephew had committed suicide two years before. In reading up on suicide, I had learned those who take their own lives don’t understand suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem. The “sane” part of my brain continually played this mantra, keeping me from moving from ideation to suicidal intent. There are numerous definitions of suicidal ideation versus suicidal intent, and these often overlap. I refer to Carmel McAuliffe: “Suicidal ideation is a low-risk, common factor among nonclinical population samples…. Ideation may only become a risk factor for attempted or completed suicide when it is comorbid with rarer risk factors such as a dichotomous thinking style and in the absence of certain protective factors such as social support.”

I asked a neighbor for help, which was the first thing I did correctly: seek help from a trusted person when you are in distress. My primary care physician (PCP) was called. This, on the other hand, was my first mistake; my surgeon should have been called first. Your surgeon’s office should encourage people to call with questions/issues at any time. If they don’t tell you this, do it anyway. My PCP directed me to my local emergency room.

I agreed to go, as I naively thought my local hospital would be able to address my medical issues. Drug-induced dysphoria is not considered a mental illness, but at your ER, you will be committed to a psychiatric ward, either voluntarily or involuntarily, “for your safety,” even though this may not be the best option for you. It is the best option for the ER staff as they are not experts in mental health.

My husband took me to the emergency room—second thing done correctly: always bring with you an advocate who can think rationally on their feet. My medications were given to the ER nurse, which was the third thing I did right. Take your meds or a list with you to the hospital.

One-Way Transport to a Psychiatric Hospital

My husband left the room so I could be examined by the ER physician. This was mistake number six. Keep your advocate with you at all times. I was asked about suicidal ideation, but not suicidal intent. None of my pain medication was discussed, even though it was known I was post-operative. A search on and show that suicidal ideation is a known adverse reaction of bupropion (one of my medications) and dysphoria is a known adverse reaction of hydromorphone. I have since learned it is the responsibility of the person committed to monitor adverse reactions to drugs as every person’s body reacts differently to medications. Your doctor has no responsibility to share this information with you.

After a few questions about my mental state, I was asked if I would voluntarily commit myself to a mental institution. I said no, because I believed the root of the problem was physiological, not psychological. I was told I could go home if I agree to a day program and, though I wasn’t sure how this would address the physiological issue, I was open to the idea.

I then learned the day center did not have a place for me to lie down, so this option was not physically possible being that I was one-week postoperative. This was another mistake. Because of my “uncooperative behavior,” the ER physician filed a Section 12a on me, which in the state of Massachusetts meant I was then involuntarily committed to a mental institution of its choosing.

A guard was put at my door. I repeatedly tried to get the ER staff to understand my problem was physiological, not psychological. I am assured that my medical needs will be addressed at the psychiatric ward. The vice president and executive director of the hospital said she was sure that by the following week, she and I would meet again and I would thank her for the care I have received at the psychiatric hospital. This proved to be grossly inaccurate.

Stark Reality of a Mental Institution

The dysphoria and suicidal ideation abated by 11 a.m. At 6:30 p.m. I was transported by ambulance to the psychiatric hospital. Mental institutions are exactly how movies portray them: stark, cold, and dark, with stale air. Strapped to an ambulance gurney, I rolled through the unadorned white corridors. As the first set of automatic doors opened and slowly closed, I realized my children, husband, friends, and family were no longer available to me. When the second set of locked doors clicked shut, my freedom of movement and privacy left. As the third set of doors slammed behind me, dignity, respect, and even intelligence were stripped from me.

From then on, I wore only the label of “mentally ill.”

After being checked in, I was assigned a hospital gown for sleeping, towels, and one blanket. I was not allowed a bra, as I might hang myself with it. No dental floss, as I might slit my wrists. No iPod because of the headphone wires… and the list goes on.

The acting physician came in, reviewed the pain medications I was taking, and prescribed the same ones again. As he left, I said, “Out of curiosity, should the hydromorphone make me itch?” He stopped and said, “You are allergic to it.” So it was the hydromorphone that I was allergic to! That was the fourth thing I did right: ask endless questions of your physicians. Do not fear them; fear the mistakes they could make. I would have been prescribed the harmful drug again.

Always Cooperate

I remember years ago reading that if you are ever involuntarily admitted to a mental institution, cooperate at every level. I made a series of requests, which were refused—food, ibuprofen, tea, and constipation medicine—because at that point it was too late in the evening to have them approved. By then, I must have seemed like an unreasonable patient, so I went to bed to stare at the ceiling until daylight. My roommate slept restlessly. I started taking notes in order to provide my husband with concrete examples of how my medical needs had not been met. Another thing done right: take notes. I recorded times and who I had spoken to.

 My Psych Team Does Their Job

At 9 a.m., I fought to find my breakfast tray in the cafeteria. Breakfast consisted of pancakes dripping in syrup along with sausages, which I knew my body would not process. Kind Nurse1 brought me a bowl of oatmeal, and a dietician came over to discuss what I could eat. She said, “Ok, we will start providing them to you tomorrow,” and I thought, “Tomorrow? What am I supposed to do today?” I remained quiet. When lunch arrived, I saw it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I explained I was allergic to peanut butter, thanked the attendant, and went back to my room.

My “support team” met with me later. My intake report, which I subsequently requested, indicated I was “helpless, hopeless, and suicidal.” Later I learned my poor mental state was attributed to my not looking the admitting ER physician in the eye (while I was lying on a hospital bed). This was yet another mistake of mine. Make sure you look all interviewers in the eyes so they realize you are in full control of your mental state. At the meeting with my support team, the hospital psychiatrist held my intake report and asked me why I was there. I told them it was because of an allergic reaction to hydromorphone.

An activity coordinator asked, “What are your goals during your stay?” I was ready for this question, as while I was in the ER I used the hospital Wi-Fi to get an idea of what to expect, since I had never been to a psych ward. I replied, “To finish chapter three of the book I am writing.”  I’ve since been informed that this could be interpreted as “Delusional Disorder, Grandiose Type,” since no one there knew I was a well-published university professor.

My only identity, according to my team, was “mentally ill with suicidal tendencies.” Wouldn’t I rather work on anxiety or other problems, they asked. I remained committed to chapter three of my book (with all due respect). “Well, ok,” they said, “there are board games, cards, and art you can do if you prefer. Maybe you would like a group session.”

Here is a reminder to mental health providers: people do not automatically lose their intelligence once they enter your facility. (I have come up with several other pieces of advice, which you can see here.)

My Husband Advocates for Me

By midday a hospital human rights officer had arrived and said my husband filed a complaint. From that moment forward my care changed dramatically. My meals were brought to my room with food I could actually eat (that day, not the next), and drinks were supplied without my asking, including warm prune juice.  I received fruit and vegetables for grazing on throughout the day. I got my iPod back, and I was given privileges for outside air twice daily. I refused group therapy because of pain, but I could ask for ibuprofen for breakthrough pain as well as milk of magnesia for constipation. I also received dental floss, and Kind Nurse2 provided tea twice in the evening. When I explained I needed a sleeping pill, Kind Nurse2 called the doctor immediately and I got an OTC sleeping pill.

You do have rights. If you feel they have been violated, have your advocate talk to the human rights officer.


On the morning of my third day, I was asked to sign discharge papers which said I suffer from MDD, major depressive disorder. I refused. I asked the hospital psychiatric doctor whether my file stated I had an allergic reaction to hydromorphone. The answer was no. I asked for it to be added but did not stick around to see that it was.

I was released at 11:45 a.m., 52 hours after walking into my local ER. Ever so happy to see my husband, I finally let myself cry.

Five Lessons Learned

  1. Bring an advocate when seeking medical care. Four different doctors misdiagnosed my symptoms. Don’t fear your doctors; fear the mistakes they may make. Ask questions! Have your advocate ask the questions and take notes if you can’t. Have your advocate fight for your rights.
  2. Immediately call your physician or a poison control center if you or a loved one has ANY reaction to a medication, common or not (blurred vision, itching, hives, euphoria, dysphoria, anger, etc.). and are good places to consult about side effects and drugs combinations that should be monitored closely.
  3. Share this mantra or a similar one with everyone you love, especially young adults: Suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem. Have a support system in place of people you trust; you never know when you might need them.
  4. Cooperate at all times if you are misdiagnosed and admitted to a psychiatric ward. Agitation and despondency support the diagnosis. While confined, your job is to relax; your advocate’s job is to fight on your behalf to get you out. Have your advocate bring magazines, newspapers, or something to keep you busy, and be prepared to get caught up on 2-3 days of reading.
  5. Know what is in your medical records. Ask to see them and make sure they are in a language/terms you understand. This is your right.

My surgeon later confirmed the hydromorphone likely caused the dsyphoria/suicidal ideation. If you are wondering, I did not abuse the pain medication. At admittance, eight days after surgery, the psych ward counted 20 pills left in the bottle out of a prescription of 30. I have been told the type of reaction I had is rare, but I wonder how many times this type of issue is misdiagnosed.

In this experience, I made mistakes more than I did things right, and I have made this report so you don’t make similar mistakes. Please pass on my story so others are educated likewise.

Dr. Rummel is an associate professor of marketing and innovations at a well-known university in the northeast. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, as well as an MBA, in addition to her PhD. She has two wonderful teens, a puppy, and a devoted husband. Mental health issues, especially depression, run in her family, but deter none of her family members from living full lives. She shares her experience in the hope that the health care industry will be the first to demystify mental health issues. Only then can the general public appreciate the commonality of temporary and long-term mental illnesses.

McAuliffe, Carmel M. (2002). Archives of Suicide Research. 6:325-338, p. 336.

© Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • carmen

    September 21st, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    And what about those who have no family member who would advocate for them? The waht do those people do? Sit around and have to hope for the best? I would hope that most places are going to give you fair treatment whether you have a family advocate or if you are coherent enough to advocate for yourself or not.

  • Lois C

    September 25th, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Excellent point, Carmen!! I speak from personal experience of HAVING family, but they are so ignorant on MH issues, they either blame me for causing my own Depression, or do not believe it is real. (“Pull yourself together” mentality) My condition is treatment resistant–been on every drug under the sun over the past 20 yrs, plus 2 rounds of ECT & 3 hospital stays. First 2 hosp stays were helpful for time being, but not a long term cure. Third hosp stay was involuntary & absolutely TOXIC. Family support is all I have left to “hope for”,& I KNOW that is the “med” I need. It wouldn’t be total cure, but would certainly lighten my load & make my condition tolerable again, as it was before family finally got fed up w/ ME (not the system). Instead, family refuses educate themselves on MDD, therefore they cannot understand that THEY are causing the condition to feed on itself, or that THEY have the power to stop this nightmare. And where the hell are the “professionals”, hospital or private practice, who COULD educate family, or at least attempt to, w/ a good chance of success? It’s not their job! They “can’t” do that! That is up to me! What if family did not exist at all? Then I guess I’d REALLY be SOL! My very best wishes to you–I wish I could meet you.

  • imppress

    August 22nd, 2017 at 5:40 AM

    The perceived “heaviness” of the body was equated to the flu.
    Yes, you can get up and get your own juice and you could even go to work and soldier on.
    That is what reached me when I was trying to understand the incapacity to will yourself into action.
    When I’m with the flu, I want to do nothing but sleep and watch TV. I don’t read. I don’t think much.
    That is just what depressed people do.

  • William C.

    February 6th, 2017 at 8:31 PM

    the medical industruy sees humans as money and hamburger meat to be groung up spit out and sold like slave. thats all humans will ever be , humanity is a sham. face it we just want to kill rape and enslave each other . humans are a good for nothing species and need to be wiped off the face of the planet all together. all the privlaged want to do is eat the less fortunate and thats how it should be , the privaliged should be forced to dine on the flesh(literaly) of the less fortunate.if you cant eat the flesh of what u belive is a lesser human you should be erraticated

  • Nobody

    March 2nd, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Not to mention, um, I’m feeling like I want to kill myself. I’m now going to have the wherewithal to do all those steps above? WTF?

  • Nobody

    March 2nd, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    That’s my reaction all the time. These stories of people with big families and lots of friends. Yeah, I get his stuff can hit anyone, but, geez.

    I have no one to talk to and no one who cares.

  • The Team

    March 2nd, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Dear Nobody,

    Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear you don’t have anyone you can talk to, and we encourage you to reach out. If you feel as if you are in danger of harming yourself or someone else, please go to your nearest emergency room or contact local law enforcement.

    We’d also like to encourage you to reach out to a crisis helpline. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY) at any time, or you can get online support here :

    It can also help to talk to a professional. You can locate one in your area through our therapist finder tool:

    We hope some of these resources were helpful for you. It can be difficult to cope when you feel as if no one cares, but please know that you are not alone. Help is available, and we encourage you to reach out.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • katie

    June 27th, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    I am in a situation were a friend needs help. Her daughter did all the right things. She went to the ER, saying she was going to kill herself. Move to a crisis center and released because she had no Commercial insurance. She pleaded they refill her anti depressants or call her PCP and was told she would have to do that on her own. The next day she shot herself in the head. Are there no laws against this? I can’t this can really happen.

  • Mona

    August 9th, 2017 at 12:56 AM

    Thank you.

  • Sandra

    November 29th, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Sorry for all of the trouble you experienced . I am in real mental, some physical pain but know if I go to my emergency I’ll end up in hospital again. Last time they put me on 6 meds, related to deoression and stopped my heart med. For some reason. No help at all. Hope you’re doing well now.

  • Vanessa

    September 22nd, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    I would be willing to be that most visits like this are like this one today. Hospitals are not antiquated and they are there to actually take care of you, so even though there may have been horror stories in the past I don’t think that this is what you would encounter anymore. I think that you were very lucky in that it kind of sounds like everything that you happened to do worked to your advantage and that’s great but even for the people who don’t know the right steps to take I think that the people working in the hospital facility are going to have your best health interest in mind and they will take the proper steps to ensure that you receive appropriate care. We understand so much more about caring for those with mental health issues than we may have understood at one time and I think that most of the time you are going to encounter caregivers who want to help you get well in a way that advocates for you and takes your specific needs into mind.

  • Lois C

    September 25th, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Horror stories in “the past”? You “don’t think” this is what you would encounter any more? With all due respect, you are naive as hell! Instead of telling us what “you think”, I, for one, would be most interested in hearing about what “you know”! Please correct me if I’m wrong: I suspect you have never been touched by mental illness in any way, either your own or that of someone close to you. If that is not true, & the “treatment” received, particularly in a hosp, had any lasting positive results, then you are very fortunate, because you are one of a small minority. Do yourself & the entire population of the US (maybe of the whole world) a favor, as mental illness can strike anybody at any time for any reason: WAKE UP & GET EDUCATED!

  • Mari

    October 29th, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Hear, hear Lois…my thoughts exactly.

  • Katie

    September 23rd, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    I’ll tell you one thing, it scares me to death to think that you were perfectly hfine beofre you had to start taking medication for another condition! How many other people are fine and would never even consider suicide unless they had been put on some medication that caused them to start thinking like this?

  • Lois C

    September 25th, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    I’m with you 100%, Katie. You did a great job of explaining why what the professionals do is called “practicing”. God help us all.

  • anaisninja

    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    This story is chilling.

  • Lois C

    September 25th, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    It is indeed, & what’s more chilling is that it is not a rare exception. The circumstances here may be somewhat unique, but the lousy care this country gives its mentally ill is common. Twenty years of depression, made worse by the medical & mental health industries, & 3 hosp stays, where I was able to HEAR, FIRST HAND, THE HORRENDOUS STORIES OF WHAT OTHER PATIENTS HAVE ENDURED AT THE HANDS OF “PROFESSIONALS”, makes me an authority on this subject, in my own humble opinion. You don’t need a medical degree or even a high school diploma to realize so much of what is done (& not done) for people’s health, usually mental but often general too, is just plain WRONG, GUARANTEED DAMAGING to some unknown degree, or STUPID. Too often, all that’s needed is common sense. I always thought that if you suddenly started experiencing a severe, unexplained, burning sensation in your eyes, 24/7, & it got no better after 3 weeks, it would probably be a good idea to see an ophthalmalogist, so I made an appt w/ one–had to wait almost a week to get in. On 11/1/12, the night before that appt, I found my checking acct robbed of $400, which was going to cause checks bouncing all over the state within the next few days. I was alone, panicked, couldn’t locate any of my (adult) kids, so I called 911 police. Within 90 min I was in an ER, no police report of the theft was ever taken, & 14 hours later, instead of being at ophthalmologist’s office, I was being escorted in marked police car to a psych hosp. When I finally had my phone returned to me, briefly, while still in the ER, I reached my daughter who insisted I force my phone on a nurse or someone who could tell her what the insanity was all about. I finally found a nurse willing to talk to my daughter, & she was informed that I had reported my kids kidnapped, was psychotic & suicidal, being held for my own safety, & would be transferred to another facility as soon as a bed was available. Daughter was stunned, didn’t know what to ask first, but she had the presence of mind to tell the nurse that someone should examine my eyes asap. Nurse’s reply was “We’re not concerned about her eyes.” Fast forward 13 days, when I finally had ophthalmalogist exam.Turned out the burning eyes were an allergic reaction to a new Rx I’d started mid Sep; it had taken about 3 weeks for side effect of burning eyes to appear, but who knew? I had no idea why my eyes started hurting so badly one week into Oct; neither did my dr. Seemed to me like an eye dr might be able to explain, but that was just me. Four days I spent in agony at psych hosp while they continued feeding me that poison, supplemented by eye drops every 6 hrs. I continued taking that med another 9 days after I was released from hosp. Once I had the vital info an ophthalmalogist figured out in 10 min, I stopped taking the suspected med & problem went away within a week. 100 facts of that story eat away at me constantly, not the least of which is the damage done to my credit rating due to my refusal to pay the nearly $5K I’m being billed for the “services” I received to have my safety protected. But 4 qq’s baffle me more than how it is I have info about EVERYTHING at my fingertips in an app called Google, or where time goes. 1) How did one psych hosp, in which I did nothing but lie in a bed, in pain, bored to death, & stressing over what might be happening on the outside, determine I’d recovered from a 20 year struggle with depression in 4 days & 3 nights? 2) Why couldn’t I get simple but vital medical info I was entitled to at 2 diff hospitals, but instead I was “treated”, in error & stupidity, for one condition I never had & another I didn’t have when I was admitted? 3) Why do I not have legal grounds for a lawsuit? 4) Why did the police refuse to take my report of a $400 theft? Being a crime victim in itself is not conducive to effective treatment of depression; I believe being made to feel like a criminal & a liar for reporting a crime is even less so.

  • Tannis

    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    It happens and its happening starting right with the counsellor and then to the psychologist and then to the psychiatrist. My daughter was misdiagnosed several times and tossed into the mental ward. 18 different meds in 2 months. The last time I took her in they wouldnt let me leave without promising to give her a particular medication. If I didnt they “would have to tell the insurance company I took her against their better judgement”
    I told them she has F.A.S.D….they told me it was bi-polar..
    I sent her back to Canada where she was diagnosed with fasd and gets the treatment needed.
    Dont get me started. Its horrific..even the mental health people are fixated on testing and shutting the door on you. As far as Im concerned, my daughter is a survivor of misdiagnosis.

  • Madeline M

    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    As someone who works in a mental health hospital, I totally sympathize with you. I can agree that a lot of what you say (no bra-although my hospital later reversed thus policy or shoe strings) is typical. I’m glad the nurse listened to you. A lot of people who are there are, sadly enough, repeat clients. But I do try to accommodate them and be respectful of patients at all times. Most if the time, patients are just hitting a rough patch in their life. And the nurses and techs never know when one day the tables might be reversed.. Thank you for sharing your story! I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

  • Mari

    October 29th, 2017 at 4:15 PM

    Thanks but that doesn’t help. There is a reason that so many discharged patients kill themselves within a few weeks. No matter what, they will not go back. I have never been in a psych. ward, I certainly know what they are like, and honestly I would literally kill myself, rather than find myself where the patients have less rights than those in prison.

  • Sallie

    September 24th, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Thank goodness you were still of right enough mind to ask so many questions and still seem reasonably coherent, or who knows what would have happened!

  • Lois C

    September 25th, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I have similar story. It happened in Nov 2012. I had MDD for many years, no SI, but after 4 days of the “help” police forced on me, via hosp horror of hell, when I called 911 to report $400 theft, my MDD is debilitating & I now have PTSD. I can’t find an attorney who will touch this case. HOW CAN THIS BE LEGAL IN THE USA TODAY?

  • ariadne

    October 22nd, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I was sent to a psychiatry hospital in side a prison just because someone call the police for me not knowing that I’ve being label with mental illness ptsd. All I was doing was cutting bread for the birds and placing them on the fence. At that day I wasn’t having any suicidal ideation at all. So the police was called by someone and tell just told me that they were going to try another system since the medical one wasn’t working for me. I spent 4 days in jail, which I never being in jail before. I was so frightened, alone and in pain. I had rescued a mother and a 2yrs old child from a fire june 2010, got badly hurt in the process but they were ok, they survived well. I have surgery on my wrist and was wearing a bandage which they took from my hand at the prison hospital. ‘Til today I hve nightmares about. That was horrible and now still having suicidal ideation specially combined with dissociative symptoms. I am a bit sketchy to trust or ask anyone for help. I love to help though, that still a big problem in how to use the support that I will or need when feeling suicidal.

  • Joshua D

    March 27th, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    This article may have literally saved my life. I don’t know who to talk to or how long these thoughts will continue after discontinuing the medication. So I am struggling and shamed. I don’t know who to call at this point. Am I in danger? Maybe… I don’t want a big scene though. I don’t want police at my door and I don’t want ER to take inappropriate action.

    Do I call the prescribing doctor? Go to ER? Call suicide hotline??

    I am going through exact same reactions to that medication; itchy, dysphoria, anger, and now off and on emotional outbursts crying thinking if I end this then the despair will be gone.

    Again last night saw this article and something fired off in my brain and snapped me out of it. But it comes and goes.

    What do I do next?

  • GoodTherapy Support

    March 28th, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Hi Joshua,

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • ladyz

    May 14th, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    what a nightmare! So so sorry this happened to you. I’m glad you are ok

  • Brad

    July 1st, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    I just got out of a psych ward!! It was a JOKE!!!! They kept me for 4 days for a stupid face book message!!! And there was NO therapy!! The group meetings, we watched save the last dance!!!! I mean really!?!? It was just like being in kindergarten again!! Except the food was way worse at this place!!! Not all mental health institutes are equal!!! So if you are thinking of admitting yourself, do some research on the place. Someone there told me to google this place and so I did and found that there was 2 murders recently, and last year there were 5 employees that were fired and prosecuted for almost beating a man to death. Just wanted to share my experience to help people be aware of where they are going.

  • Brad

    July 1st, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    They also didn’t give me ANYTHING for my pain!!!! I’ve been on strong pain meds for 7 yrs because I was hit head on doing 75 mph!! I have 4 bulging disc and a disc that’s torn in half!!!! So they made me go through terrible withdrawals!!!!!! As well as withdrawals from nicotine!!!

  • Laurie

    July 26th, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I can relate to much of this.

    There is a terrible void in the system for people with depression and mental illness. I found that the ER ignored me for hours after admitting me, and when I went to a “facility”, I got zero therapy or individual attention for the three days I was there, except for the brief encounters are the nurse’s station where my meds got doled out.

    I got to sit around and do coloring with other people in various states of relation to reality. I got to watch television. I got to sleep in a bed without sheets and ask for access to the bathroom when I needed to go. As a 40 year old who was otherwise healthy except for depression and suicidal ideation, this was not a helpful experience in ANY way.

    It is horrific. Not at all what people in a depressed state require. Not in the least.

  • Elizabeth

    August 3rd, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I really feel for you. My circumstances are different, but the feelings are similar. In my case, my type one diabetes care goes out the window whenever in the ER or a psych unit. To add insult to injury, they blame ME when things predictably go awry. It’s all too easy to blame the “self-destructive mental patient.” I am not sure which is worse, going through the scary highs and lows with my blood sugar, or the fact they do not believe me. I think the latter is worse. I am not some sociopathic liar.
    I hope you are feeling much better. By the way, I used to live in Ma and have “visited” many of the area hospitals.

  • Elizabeth

    August 3rd, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    I should add I am now alive in spite of the hospitals, not because of them. I now have ptsd symptoms as a direct result of “treatment” I have received. There is honestly no LESS safe place for me-emotionally and physically, than the hospital. More than a little ironic…

  • milan

    October 18th, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    I whenever is alone think to die as can’t fulfilling my parent’s wishes in this evil world.

  • Support

    October 18th, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Milan. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Rapidly crumbling

    October 8th, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    Is anyone there? I feel I can only speak to those who can truly relate.

  • GoodTherapyAdmin

    October 8th, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Sarah G.

    October 15th, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    How about this lesson: DON’T EVER ADMIT TO THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE! In fact, don’t EVER subject yourself to a medical diagnosis of ANY kind, since any doctor can claim you have a mental illness!

    Once they do that, your Constitutional rights CEASE TO EXIST!

    State and federal laws provide loopholes in the Constitution, if they can label you with psychobabble as “dangerous” or claim that “your judgement too impaired to realize your need for treatment” (i.e. a Catch-22, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t).

    So say goodbye to due process, equal protection, and the whole Bill of Rights– including the rights against unreasonable seizure, probable cause, fair warning, self-incrimination, immediate right to counsel, or even cruel and unusual punishment; all it takes it the word of ONE quack-doctor with a license and a power-trip, to send you on a one-way trip to a psych-ward or hospital against your will.

    Finally, private hospitals don’t even have to follow the Constitution, because the federal courts claim that they are “private actors, not state actors” Yep, even though the state authorizes, sanctions, permits and ENFORCES everything the hospital does, the federal courts STILL somehow have this insane idea that the hospitals are acting alone, in violating whatever rights you may technically have under the Constitution–in name only.

    And all this is permitted, because of the medieval stigma against mental illness, which even the federal courts use in order to make you less of a person, than so-called “normal” people.
    And it’s really great that Dr. Rummel has a big job, fancy degrees, connections, and no standing diagnosis of mental illness etc; because if you ARE mentally ill and can’t work, then you’re said to be “incapable of dealing with the demands of everyday life,” and thus the quacks can simply CLAIM (or as the law says, “on the basis of competent clinical opinion”) that you’re a threat of “significant harm to yourself or others;” and you can be sent to the hospital at any time.

    And so if you have a mental illness, and don’t have money, social standing, and connections, then you’re basically nothing…. but it can be avoided with the simple precaution: if you’re having suicidal thoughts– like 3.7% of the population does every year– KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF!
    Just say you’re feeling depressed etc., and if they ask if you’re feeling suicidal, JUST SAY NO.

  • Timothy

    February 25th, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    A friend of mine called the police when i was threatening suicide and the cops said they would preferr that i talk to a psychiatrist and i said i will see one on my own so they said, they are going to initiate the involuntarily commitment as per state law so they took me to the psych emergency, got assessed and talked to a psychiatrist and he wanted to make sure that i’m ok and when I felt better and told them i’m no longer suicidal, I was released.

    Just because you have suicidal thoughts, you’re not a criminal. What’s with all this one way trip and constitutional rights taken away? There’s no probation. You’re not going in for life. I could go anywhere I want and travel all over the world. The ER Doc only sends you to the psych unit when you’re suicidal to get you the evaluation and medication. Don’t be Silly, you’re not going there for life. You obviously went to the ER for a reason so obviously, they’re gonna help you. The ER doesn’t do psych evaluations. If the medicine causes issues than you tell your psychiatrist.
    Just like any other medicine that you would tell your regular M.D..

    Has it not occurred to you that diagnosis are kept private under HIPPA law?

    There are so many individuals who are labeled. i myself have depression, I know plenty who have bipolar. Nobody just comes to your house and says, “ok we’re bringing you to the hospital because we want to”

    Just like Doctors, there are some great psychiatrist and some lousy psychiatrist. That’s why you do your homework!!! And research before you go, if u don’t like the psychiatrist than thank them for their time and go onto the next one.

    While you’re in the psych unit, there’s always someone to talk to. If you feel your receiving zero therapy, than tell someone. Whether it be a social worker, supervisor, nurse. Tell them that you come here for help to prevent suicide and you don’t want to be suicidal when you’re discharged.

    Hospitals do have quality assurance depths.

    For Lois situation, you called the cops to report theft and ended up in the ER because they claimed you said your kids were kidnapped and suicidal? I think there’s more to your story.

    For Ariadne, nobody goes to a jail psych ward or specifically jail unless you committed a crime. You said you were feeding bread to the birds and you had the cops called on you.
    I think there’s more you’re not telling.

  • Tobin

    March 12th, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Not all that hard to believe I went to my dads house to get money for food, because of mental illness, being on social assistance and not disability but still unable to manage a job/get hired. His girlfriend/my stepmom, said she didnt want me there and that she was calling the cops, she told them i was bi polar and that was it they admitted me to the syc ward, i was never diagnosed with bi polar but aparently her telling the cops, who had me admitted, counted as reason to have it added to my medical history, the thing that says your blood type all that good stuff, I was officially bi polar because of a bullsh#t phone call my step mom made.. after that she called on me again but because the ward didnt want me i want to jail and spent a month in there for threats and assault with a weapon, wasn’t even in same room as her or threaten her or have a weapon! So sit down dog, this crap happened, my step mom herself wrote me a letter in jail, from jail. was arrested for B&E. and possesion, she just stole some dudes meth stash(like $1.5k value) in the letter it said she was sorry and just trying to protect her kids… the f outa here.

  • JackieMarie

    June 20th, 2016 at 11:29 PM

    Never admit anything and DON’T WRITE OR TEXT ANYTHING

  • Nonmedicated

    January 25th, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    Sarah, was PERFECT in her diagnosis of just say “NO” , I’m not suicidal! And the so called caring hospitals, doctors are in it for a living. Some give a damn, but after being manipulated by the system of pharmaceutical Giants, I hear the sounds of greed ringing loudly! My take on reading all the post is plain and simple, stay out of the hospital’s, take no medications and yes you are screwed! No help whatsoever

  • endrun

    October 18th, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Sarah G., you are absolutely right. Which are overwhelmingly good points that tend to get lost in the mental illness system and the suppositions that most of us buy into which underlie it. It is a business gone haywire–period. Avoid it like the plague.

  • Dana S.

    October 24th, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Sara G. couldn’t be more correct. Most or all of the psych doctors have a God complex, so don’t mention ever that you are suicidal to any psychiatrist. You will have to rise from the dead before they cease power-tripping on you! …absolute power corrupts and all that.

  • Patrick

    December 1st, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this!my wife has been going through alot and we were considering just going to the ER. Right as we were leaving she said “what is this gonna be like?” My answer as always when I don’t know something “Google it”. So Glad I did. She had back surgery in March and has been on all types of meds. I now have a more informed idea about where to start in finding her help.

  • Alice

    January 2nd, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    I am depressed and self-harm, but I can’t tell my parents. I hated my psychologist when they found out I was depressed a while ago before I started to cut, and I don’t know what to do. Help?

  • The Team

    January 2nd, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Alice. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Lorraine

    January 6th, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    After hearing what that woman went through y would any one get help fck I’ve been so depressed for 5.5 years am just recentley cancelled with my CBT therapist because I was afraid to say something Rong incase they tried to contact my family about how I REALLY feel even tho in 23. TBH the only thing that is stopping me from killing myself is my family as I know it would kill them a lot but u know that will be how my life will en as all it would take is for a close family member to die or something but yes I want to stop feeling like this but NO will I ever put myself into a condition were I am going to be committed to a mental hospital. I think I’d go fckin mad and be even worse. Y can’t we just be admitted I a normal hospital and if we wanna leave it’s our choice and if we want the help we will stay but in our OWN terms it’s all BULSHIT to be honest so no I would never let myself get admitted I’ll do it proper one day when I’m ready and not for attention I hate life so much it’s so fckin shit but wouldn’t let my family know inadequate I diss appoint them but when I do go I’ll leave letters explaining t I did it and in a way they don’t feel they have failed me but I will have failed them

  • The Team

    January 7th, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Lorraine. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Don

    January 4th, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Well I am officially scared to death to look for help with this. I have ben diagnosed bi polar for years. ive also been told by a friend who is a doctor that he thinks I was misdiagnosed and that I suffer from severe depression. My life is in shambles and I think about suicide daily almost all the time but because of my beautiful children I always thinks twice. I really believe my life can only get worse from trying to get help.

  • Tina

    January 5th, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    Don, our storues are similar except I have deoression/anxiety/ptsd instead of bi-polar. I don’t know about you but when I clucked the link provided by goodtherapy I came to a page that looked like it would help me end up exactly where the author and commenters are warning of. What is a person to do I wonder. Hope you have found some relief or help.

  • Will

    January 5th, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    This is upsetting. After reading all the comments and the page above I can safely say I’m shocked. How is it possible that these places are so negative? Aren’t they there to help people deal with psychological issues, not feed/worsen them? I was researching this because I thought that going to the ER would be a solution to my recent emotional calamities, but my opinion has been drastically changed. I’ve tried therapy, but all I got out of that was a diagnosis of ADD and, at another time, schizophrenia, neither of which have any basis on reality. Is mental health care a lie? I’m at a loss. I suppose I’ll have to resign to keeping these feelings to myself, but I know it can only hurt me. My options are essentially mutually assured destruction at this point.

  • Leah

    January 22nd, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    It is very common they just assume and send u off they go through so many patients that they assume they are all the same. This happened to me when I was very young my parents didn’t fight for me. I was smart enough to do as the woman above said “behave”, I literally did as I was told played the role of an awesome patient just to get out. Come to find out the medication my doctor put me on made me have suicidal thoughts literally all they said was “oh it was the medication well now we know right?” With a smile. Yep that’s it a month was taken away from my life bc of the ER’s dumb mistake

  • Scared

    February 13th, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    I am afraid to get help. I don’t want to go through that. I already deal with enough anxiety and depression without being locked up. I am having suicidal idealation but my kids keep me from acting on it. I have been through a lot lately. I am having anger outbursts as well. Is there a private place you can go to like a retreat to get help without being hospitalized and without paying a fortune? I am scared and need help. I used to self-harm. I stopped. When I am alone in the car, I drive really fast and swerve bc I want to have an accident at times. I am scared to get help. I got to therapy but it is not helping. I take medications but got off two of them bc of side effects. I will never go am an anti depressant again. 6 weeks after I stopped taking them, I lost 20 pounds. Self esteem is an issue, childhood abuse, alcoholic dad, bullying by my boss. Diagnosed with add, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. What do I do? Thank you. I don’t want to go on like this and I don’t want to hurt others through suicide, at least I think about it. That is all, female in my 40’s

  • SooNah

    March 11th, 2015 at 11:29 AM


    Me too…

    Hang in there. Maybe a psychiatric service dog – that’s what I’m trying…

  • Mkw

    February 15th, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    I spent almost two weeks in a mental facility once for a suicide attempt. It was actually quite pleasant for me. The staff was kind, I saw a psychiatrist and psychologist every day, it was clean and brightly lit (it was a hospital), and I had all sorts of outpatient help lined up before I got released. That was 8 years ago and I’ve never been back.

    I just wanted to add this comment to share my experience so someone might seek help without being afraid.

  • Ddad

    March 2nd, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    You don’t know me. I came to the first night in this years 33-session. I don’t know what to do. I know there’s nothing you can do to change things within me. It’s not your place to have this burden on you. It’s not fair to you either. I have to tell someone. I apologize its you. I’m so lonely it hurts. I feel like I’m dying inside. I’m sad with people around me and sad when I’m alone. Yesterday I was tormented inside by this feeling of despair and Yet I was surrounded by family all day.

    I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know how much more of this I can realistically take.

    I’m not crazy, I’m sad. It doesn’t go away. It gets worse.

    Over the last 25 years I’ve tried church and God, doctors, medicine, socializing, traveling, school, being with others and relationships and it doesn’t let up.

    I can’t talk to anyone cause they honestly don’t want to hear it. It’s like being a parasite sucking the life out of someone. I’m a weak father. I should be there for my kids. Not the other way around.

    People just don’t want to be around me or bothered by people like me. I’m so negative and depressed all the time. I have zero friends.

    In the last 3 years my wife of 25 years divorced me. It was a messy and costly divorce. I lost my home, my kids, my car, my life and all my friends. I met someone after the divorce and became engaged. My fiancé dumped me the day after Christmas this last Christmas. I was laid off from my career of 15 years in October. A year ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I had a quadruple bypass in 2008. I’m stuck living with my 79 year old mother who requires constant companionship and am forced into a position of care provider. I no longer have insurance to battle the MS or depression.

    I’m lost and have no will to move on.

  • SooNah

    March 11th, 2015 at 11:26 AM


    Don’t give up.

  • chastity

    December 27th, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Ddad..I read your comment on post and really can relate to alot and feel for really tugged at my heart string and I wonder how you are doing now..there really are people who are genuinely interested and care..if you ever want a friend or would like to know that there are others who are interested and care..please don’t hesitate to contact me..anytime..please let me know. I honestly can relate to a lot. I would really like to know how you are doing and how things are going for you and if anything is any better.. at all.

  • Db

    November 28th, 2016 at 3:11 AM

    Dude, tell me about it brother. I got hit in a bad wreck at age 20, have since had every kind of pt, treatment, medication and 2 spine sugeries. I kept working 8 years after the spine surgeon urged me to stop. This year, i finally couldnt work any longer, My girlfriend that id risked my life to get away from her and her two young sons away from abusive ex left me 2 wks after i stopped working, my company forced me out and denied my short term, long term and supp lng term diaability sttng i wasnt “disabled” enough, i lost my car, my friends and now im forced to live with my dad that tells me to make sure if im going to “do something”, not to do it in the house. I cant find a doctor that will properly treat my pain because my imaging shows the fused levels but is otherwise “unremarkable”. I cant even sit comfortably anymore and lay in bed all day every day or my bad pain because excruciating and unmanageable. The only thing that has gone right is i wss approved for ssdi. I still have the pain doc quacks tell me they dont believe im in pain. This world sucks. The car wreck that did this to me over a decade ago wasnt even my fault and ive never caught a break.

  • The Team

    November 28th, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Dear Db,

    Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear of what you are experiencing, and we would like to encourage you to reach out. A qualified therapist or counselor can offer compassion and support as you address medical concerns and their effects on your health.

    You can search for a counselor through our site. Simply enter your ZIP code here to see a list of professionals in your area:

    Please know you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • alostveteran

    March 17th, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    I am a 27yo vetreran who is disabled cant work cant even do the things i used to do for fun im the father of two great boys who think im invincible and husban to a wife who thinks i used to be wonderful but now im a burden cps took my boys and i have no friends left im lost i cant father my sons or support my wife work on my car or even keep my thoughts together long enuff to fix simple electronics im of no use to anyone and im hated by all the ones i love how is suicide not the best opportunity for me and my loved ones hell im only worth about 1200 0 dollars a year alive but 400000 dead with the wife still geting about 950 a month for me being dead so where is the motivation to keep going

  • The Team

    March 17th, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    Thank you for your comment, alostveteran. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Trevor

    March 21st, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    All I can those are some good hard lessons that were learned. I have depression and suicidal thoughts so I won’t lie that I don’t. But, it does make me wonder what would of happened if I went to the ER for it. Definitely good lessons and I feel sorry for the women that wen through this ordeal.

    Another good tip is know your rights. Every hospital should have Patient Rights and Responsibilities even for ER care. Also when your restrained whether voluntarily or involuntarily you have a right to your attorney, and of course an advocate who can advocate for you. Unless your going into surgery they have no right to separate you from your advocate. The women in this article didn’t seem combative or in danger of hurting herself. She just wanted help and that’s what we go to doctors for. Also the ER should of known that inching was a sign of an allergic reaction.

    The three day evaluation is standard… They have to determine whether you’re a threat to yourself or to others. She also nailed it on the head as well. Most psychiatric hospitals are bleak similar to prisons. In this case she was definitely treated like a prisoner rather than patient. They should take in the consideration of a patients allergies and conditions.

    While I’ve never been restrained I’ve seen in it done before. They have to explain why your getting restrained whether you’re coherent or not. It’s definitely a fear of mind getting restrained against my will when I’m at the hospital. However, if they explain why it’s necessarily I’d consent to it. I’m not a combative or violent person but I will defend myself if I have to.

    AAS Candidate in Nursing

  • mike

    March 25th, 2015 at 5:28 AM

    I got diagnosed with ptsd last month after serving 10 years with the army, i had a disastrous child hood where i was sexually abused ive had to suicide attempts failed when i was abit younger i extremely hate the person ive become and have serious emotional and anger problems, ive also started to think about self harming again, i just want all these feeling to go away i get really horrible thought regarding my mother and it to me it feels as she failed me. what can i do right now to help myself before things start to spiral out of control and i do something i regret

  • jkeller4000

    March 27th, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    I just want to say, yep psychiatrists, solve every problem as though it is mental health related! if you know you are having a bad reaction to a med they will never figure it out! please if your having a bad reaction to a med and it is only a “mental health” thing just call a friend if you are truly concerned and stay away from the doctors. they will give you anti psychotics, then when you stop the anti psychotics you will have rebound psychosis, and they will say this means you need to take the anti psychotics.

  • mike d

    April 2nd, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    For many years now I’ve felt so sad….always wanted to just kill myself…only alive for one reason….but hope that all comes to a end in Aug…everything in my life sucks…family and friends stop talking to me..which is fine….but come Aug…if ex girlfriend has baby ..and I find out its not mine….the world will remember me…I’ve had all I can take…and can’t take anymore…I’ve asked for help…and really can’t seem to get any…and have asked to be locked away…they wont….its about time to give up….I’ve been everyone’s punching bag…now its time I do something for myself..

  • The Team

    April 2nd, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Mike. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • patricia

    April 21st, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    I’m a 54 year old female have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder I have been in and out of hospitals 11 times and never got the help I needed I did want to kill myself so bad but I did the wrong thing when asking for help I wrote a suicide note to police they didn’t want to deal with helping me so they dumped me to the emergency and I told them there help me I don’t need a mental hospital talking or medication would have helped but some doctors don’t know how to deal with it mistake number 2 was I had a razor blade on me and as the cop was there cut myself right in front of the cop he didn’t know what to do yes I did need help I have been victimized all my life by my parents schools everything so I isolated myself and cut myself to deal with the pain I have been sexually abused in my life I have been depressed most of my life what do I do I handle it and deal with it the best I can I don’t dare ask for help by anyone for I have never been taken serious about anything in what I did or said I still am depressed and probably always will be but I just take it day to day and just pray I don’t hurt myself I do have pets they keep me from wanting to harm myself but when there gone I’m alone again I have no family I’m alone and abandoned all I want is for someone to talk to and listen to me so they ca help me get to know me and my feeling that’s how you help someone not lock them up and don’t care that makes that person feel more worthless talk it out tell the doctor how you feel I have and now I’m starting to get back to my life I’m on medication that helps I don’t have cops at my door so sometimes it just little things that Can help I’ve learned from my mistakes yes you can get back your life without being depressed or suicidal I do feel and understand about how people who are suffering from depression and self harm it just a matter of time before that day will come just be patient yes I still gets depressed but now I can deal with it and fight it so I’m not alone or scared anymore

  • Evelyn S

    May 2nd, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    I would like to share my (success) story of finding help I needed. What helped me was to make clear what role should I play in my healing and what roles should play mental health professionals, family and friends.

    I am bipolar with recurrent episodes of major depression, suicidal intent and anxiety/social phobia. I had been properly diagnosed after a decade of desperate search for help. I met very few good psychologists, as they usually follow the standard textbook guidelines and on top of that often try to impose their view on how things should be done (I make this observation only after therapy with 5 different psychologists, but I did my bachelors in psychology and have friends who are psychologists). Then there come psychiatrists. Often, very arrogant. From my experience, they are pretty condescending and are suspicious of your claims. Things change when you are well informed. Before I went to a psychiatrist I made a list of symptoms and possible disorders. This helped immensely- the talk changed from an interrogation to a dialogue. Once, I mentioned I attended medical school and did neuroscience. Suddenly, whatever I proposed was deeply considered. Of course, there are drawbacks to this method, as it can make some of them lazy so they won’t consider other possibilities. Yet, my main point is: have an idea of what you may have, make a list, come prepared. It will show them they cannot just get rid off you with the most obvious (and often wrong) diagnosis. Also, ‘shop’ for your therapists and psychiatrists. Only stick with people you trust and feel comfortable with- they can have great impact on your life.

    I received no support from my family or friends. It was so bad that my 2 consecutive therapists (across 4 years of talk therapy) suggested I will change my friends and cut off contact with my family. I discovered that some of my ‘friends’ were indeed toxic and eliminating them from my life helped my self esteem and outlook on life, I couldn’t bring myself to cutting off my family, although I knew they were contributing a lot to my condition. I started educating them. And there it came ‘are you really that weak?’; ‘you don’t suffer from mental illness, you just want attention’; ‘if you feel bad just think happy thoughts’; ‘you want to take pills?! It will change you into a zombie and then you will really become crazy!’. At last I was strong enough to give in to their emotional blackmail and decided to give some ultimatums: if they will make this kind of remarks, I will be calling less often and stop visiting until they will learn to respect. I sent them statistics on sucide and shared about my failed attempted when I was 18. It took time, but things changed dramatically. And what I realized myself that my family’s denial was actually expression of fear. They thought that as long as nobody talks about mental illness, it won’t exist.

    Out of all support you will get, the most important is your own. Not all of us are lucky enough to have great support system, that’s why you need to remember you are your best friend (and you are stuck with yourself your whole life ;)). My confidence and self reliance was not easy to achieve but it started with a need to get to know myself (a bit of self-involvement)- what is my personality, what triggers different emotional states, what do I want to do with my life, etc. You need to set some standards for yourself and those around you and be patient. And what kept me from killing myself ( I was practically married to the thought of death) was a contract with myself- I will not harm myself no matter how badly i want to as long as there are meds/treatments I hadn’t tried. I wanted to be honest with myself because the mantra ‘sucide is a permanent solution to a short term problem’ didn’t work in my case- my problem was chronic and severe and it started in my teenage years. I didn’t remember what happy feels like. And yet, throwing all away seemed such a waste. So, I have had been trying different pills with no success and changed my lifestyle to help in the management of my disorders until at last, I found a mix of activities, meds and diet that worked. I have no suicidal thoughts, I am in a long term relationship (something very hard for bipolars) and I fulfill professional/academic passions. If I ever relapse, it’s ok, as I know that it can improve- if I did it once, I can do it again and hopefully, it will be easier with all the experience and knowledge about myself, with my psychiatrist with whom I have great contact and with my whole social support system that, lets be honest, I had to work for. I hope it doesn’t sound like bragging as what I want to convey is this: you can come out from the deepest whole if you focus on yourself and on what you can do to get what you need from your environment, from my experience. Thanks for bearing with me till the end of my looong story!

  • LjoO

    November 21st, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    Thank you for your story. I’m not well at this point so typing everything I’m thinking isn’t an option, but you helped me. Thank you ,god bless

  • Amy

    June 15th, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have had similar struggles. I had a wonderful psychiatrist and then she retired. I found one and she changed several of my meds. I unfortunately have to stay with her because I need disability forms filled out regularly. Many psychiatrist will not fill out these forms. Other psychiatrist on my insurance are not seeing other patients. I have been completely take off of Clonazapam. The withdrawal has been awful.
    I am trying to decide if I should go to the ER again. Last night I took many pills so I could sleep finally. I woke up and could not keep my eyes open. I started to think about how I have lost so much and have almost nothing to live for except my son. He will be graduating and going to college. I have financial problems, lost my job, house, family and friends. My son is all that I live for right now. I hate being put in the psych ward. It is scary and makes my anxiety worse. I am not sure what to do?

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    June 15th, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Amy. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Sam

    July 4th, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Speaking as a mental health clinician who has spent time in inpatient/emergency settings…
    You did many things right. You provided a med list. You sought help for thoughts of hurting yourself.
    You didn’t explore less restrictive options than going to the ER, such as calling your surgeon, or going to a mental health clinic and asking to be seen for a crisis.
    So you went to the ER. This is effectively stepping up the level care because you are presenting yourself thinking about killing yourself. And now the goal is “how to we keep this person from killing themselves”
    It seems like the biggest error on the medical teams part was improperly assessing the suicidality risk for you. If things are how you explain them, they put you in a higher risk category than they should have.
    When you present yourself to the ER thinking about killing yourself, it is the ER’s obligation to offer you the least restrictive level of care for your condition.
    So they have assessed you at high risk for suicide. At this point they have to give you access to the least restrictive means of care.
    By offering the day program, they gave you a chance to have reasonably unrestricted care. You said no to this. I know you had a reason to say no, but it was a no nonetheless.
    The second option you were presented with was voluntary commitment. You denied voluntary commitment.
    And so you were sectioned.
    I can’t tell you whether the suicide assessment went well or not, or if the medical assessment was right, but what I can say is that if you were really thinking about killing yourself and had expressed intent to do so, the ER team did their job… they offered you three different levels of care.

  • TD

    July 12th, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    Please please stop telling mentally ill people that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. That may be true if your problem is an allergic reaction, but major mental health diagnoses are often lifelong struggles that make daily living feel overwhelming, and there are ways to cope but no “cures” for these illnesses. Saying it’s a “temporary problem” feels dismissive and is not going to be comforting.

  • JackieMarie

    June 20th, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    Yep. Agree.

  • Carole

    July 15th, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    I’m speaking as a parent of a teen who had suicidal ideation/intent, my teen is legally an adult…..I am looking for help…what happens after the psych ward…?
    We spent 96 horrible hours in ER and followed the path described by Rose, the author. This was his second trip. My teen is where he needs to be for his safety, but he thinks he knows how to be released. He smiles, he makes eye contact, he interacts with the other patients and his risk level has been lowered. I’m strongly advocating for him to receive appropriate assessment and treatment.
    The ward is plain but it’s bright with opening windows, the staff are friendly; its very similar to his university residence.
    I was relieved when my teen was certified, he has anxiety and depression…perhaps more. His need to end the pain by killing himself was eloquently written in a note, as was his belief that a visit to ER wouldn’t solve anything.
    So we’ve done all the right things, ER did the right thing, I’m doing the right things. My teen doesn’t have any insight into his illness and may be released. I know he will be highly motivated to avoid ER next time.
    Where are the resources that prepare parents for what happens after the psych ward?

  • Lisa

    July 29th, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    My story is one of huge loss, due to a 5 year horror, nightmare of not just being in a locked up facility, assumed to be mentally ill. Documents show and I swear what I am saying is true right of the documents just seen by my PCP for the very first time. Walked into a ER in Severe Dehydration, mental confusion, bizarre behavior with psychotic features was noted. All but the Severe Dehydration and how I begged for a IV, several times, Denied. This never made sense to me until now. 5 years of continuous hell being lost in the Mental Health System with NO Voice of what had happened to me. Today I am looking for a law firm who handles something they call Intentional Tort of Patient Dumping new cause of private action for Equitable Relief, due to patient injury of EMTALA violations.
    Timeline summary: ER on a Sunday morning. The hospital also housed a CPEP unit within the ER area. (Unknown by anyone!) What happened is there was a intake report done, Documents show very accurate including 9.39
    and there was no in house beds available so PATIENT WILL BE BOARDED BACK IN THE ER until one is available.
    Long story short, I stayed in the ER for the rest of that day, Next morning Two men came to the ER made me get into a wheel chair, fully clothes no gown was given, one man pushed the wheel chair, the other was a fully armed policeman hand on his gun. They took me down many corridors, no windows, no people, felt like I was in the basement somewhere. They did not talk to me, or explain where I was going. I was then left in a area with in the same hospital as the ER, and they literally DUMPED me in this unit, and the doors locked behind me.
    My total stay in this unit was 32 days of living hell, everyday as I got weaker, mentally more confused, in a fog etc.
    numerous psychiatric drugs were given to me cocktails of them, we all lined up when it was time for the medications, we all had to listen when breakfast was over the loud speaker lunch and dinner as well. If you missed the announcement over the speaker. You missed your meal. Weeks later into this 32 day ordeal from hell, they told me since the medications are not working, I would make the perfect candidate for ECT. I had no idea what that was, nor had the mental capacity at that time to consent to it, let alone know the dangers of it, and what it was used for. There were 3 within 5 days of each other, as I was left on that weekend, staff coming and going.
    They would come in give you a shot to dry your mouth secretions before the “procedure” the cocktails of drugs,
    then with this shot, all on top of a already Severely DEHYDRATED PERSON, was inhumane and cruel.
    I begged several times and is documented for a IV for my mouth was totally dry, no saliva in it at all at the entrance of the ER that day! Denied IV. I begged several different people. I could hardly swallow, due to lack of saliva just not producing. I was weak, confused. etc. Like someone said, If your ever involuntary hospitalized you must do what they say IF you want to get out, as you are told when you are within these white walls. Anything you do or TRY to say about wrong doing, just extends your stay even longer. After these 32 days they were then going to transfer me to the State facility for the mentally ill, Transfer was pending. Documents state “we spoke with patients husband today, and informed him that his wife is worse more so than when entered the hospital 32 days ago, She will not be sent to STATE Hospital for her Mental Illness.
    The first week I was at the hospital My then husband told them, and was very adament about his feelings “I do not want my wife home until she is better! Discharged instead of State Hospital, Family member demanded they discharge me to their care, instead of sending me to State Facility for the Mentally Ill. The discharge was granted under “conditions I had to agree to” including continuing Medication Management as a Out Patient, Discharged me on 4 psychiatric drugs. they also told me DO NOT STOP ANY OF THEM ON YOUR OWN, and I had to agree to live with “family” member appointed. Intake report done a week after discharge from hospital inpatient of 32 days and nights of horror, and the out patient just ended due to FRAUD FOUND IN DOCUMENTS, on April 2015.
    Primary Care Doctor. My Medical Doctor, viewed the papers I brought her from the Inpatient stay of 32 days.
    One hospital, and the out patient documents I requested 3 times to be released to me, they would not.
    then with a phone call from my PCP. They finally released them all to her. so now all documents of “care” are in her office. DOCUMENTS SHOW I NEVER SAW A MEDICAL DOCTOR, FROM THE TIME I WALKED INTO THE ER, THROUGH OUT THE OUT PATIENT ALMOST 5 YEAR “TREATMENT” ONLY SEEN BY PSYCHIATRISTS THIS ENTIRE TIME!
    WAS IGNORED SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH OUT THIS 32 DAYS HORROR. NOW I KNOW WHY. I WAS BEING TREATED OR SHOULD I SAY “MISTREATED” AS A PSYCHIATRIC ADMITTING RELAPSE PATIENT, I WAS REFUSED MEDICAL CARE, AND ON TOP OF IT WAS Patient Dumped because they thought I had no health care insurance. and I am a disabled woman also. No prior history of any mental illness or clinical depression. I had MEDICARE PART A due to my failed back surgery in the early 90’s. Assumptions, has cost me my life, my marriage, my home, my son, friends and family, but most of all my mind has now been forever altered due to the delay of actual diagnosis which caused mental confusion, bizarre behavior with psychotic features all brought on by “stress” acute onset.
    I have damages that can not be undone, physical, and emotional, each day is a struggle due to the brain damage I have suffered due to this ECT Shock Treatment that is the most barbaric, thing you can do, ESPECIALLY INTO A OTHERWISE HEALTHY WOMAN OF 42 YEARS OLD WITH NO HISTORY OF ANY MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, OR ANY MENTAL ILLNESS! Dehydration, Electrolyte Depletion, caused the changes in my mental health.
    MEDICAL EMERGENCY, is not a MENTAL ILLNESS RELAPSE, NOR SHOULD BE MISLABELED AS “PSYCHIATRIC” if it is not! I need accountability, I need to also get the FRAUD records sealed under code 31.14? If anyone can direct me to a law firm who handles EMTALA Violations that Caused Patient Injury, Please email me, or leave a voice message on my phone. 585 -332- 9317. The Stigma of the label Mentally Ill, has held over my head now for 5 years, it is time to put it to a end. I hope my story brings meaning to others, anyone, even yourself reading this …who walks into a ER, in either physical distress (dehydration) or even in a “mental health crisis” of what ever kind, this
    does NOT make them automatically, or a ASSUMED TO BE a “Psychiatric Emergency Patient!” “crazy person” or
    “Nut Job” etc the names go on and on…
    Scary thing is I had a Advocate, whom spoke for me, and made sure “she thought” I was getting the help I needed.
    However, she never knew as I or my family ever knew what was written down in the documents, that stated
    I was being treated for a Mental Illness in a Psych Ward, instead of being treated MEDICALLY for severe Dehydration and mental confusion! BIG DIFFERENCE, SAME WHITE COATS. as far as I am concerned PSYCHIATRISTS ARE NOT MEDICAL DOCTORS, yes being able to write prescriptions I understand. However, they are
    so called “doctors of the mind” with all due respect to all psychiatrists. However it does not take a rocket scientist to know that Physical Medical Problems such as Dehydration, and and often does cause MENTAL CONFUSION, BIZARRE BEHAVIOR, AND PSYCHOTIC FEATURES!
    I hope this was alright to post here, I told the truth, it is what it is, and I am seeking legal assistance, attached to possible criminal charges. I am in need of legal counsel asap!
    Thank you for reading my comment, I wish everyone good health, I had help writing this post of my facts, for I am now forever altered mentally, due to the wrong medications and wrong treatments that i was forced to endure, for a mental illness I never had.

  • Jas

    August 6th, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    I am off my medication. With bipolar addhd ocd .. This summer has been overwhelming. I decided to goto school and had to choose between school and medication and i chose medication. I am about to get a job (I have orientation next week).. I am worried.. I don’t trust myself alone.. and thats all i experience right now..
    I am scared that if i decide not to commit suicide.. and goto a hospital i will never get a good job.. I am in school for cisco systems.. and have worked hard for my 3.8 gpa and if that future is a possiblity.. i want to get help.. but if i cannot fufill my dreams and am doomed to be controlled by my medical history.. I have lost all hope for a future.. i don’t want to lose the hope i have left.. but it seems like.. i will. If i voluntarily sign myself into a hospital will i be able to succeed in the future? Ive heard people say that suicide is a long term consequence for a short term issue.. however.. i never understand that concept.. if you are dead.. there is no longer term for you anymore..

  • The Team

    August 6th, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Jas. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Edward

    August 14th, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    I am a retired Army chaplain and suffer from PTSD. I was admitted to a psych ward after returning from Afghanistan and it probably saved my life. I am an extremely well educated man (2 BAs, a 72hr Masters, and 9 Doctoral hours) but I couldn’t help myself. Education means nothing when your mind isn’t working properly, you need a professional to think objectively for you. While in the hospital my meds were adjusted in a way that could only be done under the careful eye of a twenty four hour staff. Getting help shows strength not weekness. Suicide IS a permanent solution to a TEMPORARY problem. Please get some help, I am here too if You need someone you can talk to confidentially.

  • tinker

    September 14th, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    You have arms, you can walk, you can move. Do you and me a favor honey and go to a facility that people dont get to have our abilitys. You not only will get your lonley spirit lifted from the genuine smiles and gratitude, you will realize, no matter how screwed up we are by scocieties standards, we have value and validadion of the true harms to the heart that no one sees. Tinker

  • Punkboa

    July 24th, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    I’ve also never understood the long-term solution to a short-term problem mantra. I actually think it’s extremely dismissive and naive. For example, I’ve had a pain disorder for 15 years. How is that considered a short-term issue, especially when I’m going to have it for the rest of my life? It just goes to show how far we have to go in understanding suicide prevention, when even a website like this would spread that myth.

  • Angel C.

    August 21st, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    This is Excellent! Well thought outand very informative! I’ve had several Doctors make mistakes. They are not perfect they are human beings first thank you for writing this article I will pass it along to my other suicide survivor friends and to my family and other friends thank you and God Bless You! P.S. I am also a college Professor. Everything happens for a reason. Keep educating!!!😊

  • tinker

    September 14th, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    I help a lot of people, including myself, in the aid of advocacy and security of proper health standards. I have a plethera of life experiences and hands on knowledege. If i can volunteer for any agency’s in Caldwell,ID. Please let me know. I am retired and only 57 years old. Have a LOT of usefull giving years left. If I can help give me a resourse in my area please. Tinker

  • Jas

    November 21st, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    I just wanted to provide an update. I went to a holistic doctor who prescribed me St Johns wart and l theanine. These supplements work for me and are in my budget range. I finish my last semester of school in the spring. I am saving for when I graduate so I can move to a job. I hope to find one as a network tech. Thank you for your advice. I wanted to give an update to let you know that getting help isn’t weakness. I trusted someone who told me this here. I did not get get put in a hospital but i did seek the help I needed. This was a push overcoming but has helped me realize that I am capable of coming on top. I can’t guarantee your life will be perfect if you survive the battle going inside of you like it did me. However. I figured out i wont ever know unless I try.

  • Brittany

    November 26th, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Although I am sorry you had to go through this experience, I think it happened for a reason. You have experienced something that tons of people suffering from a mental disorder have to endure, and you don’t even have a mental illness. You can share your experience and people will listen to you.

    I suffer from Bipolar Disorder and have been hospitalized against my will several times. I have experieced things that are unethical and against the law. I now struggle with PTSD due to the abuse I endured in the hands of ER staff.

    Yes, I reported it and they did an investigation only to send me a letter saying they found nothing wrong. Leaving a calm patient strapped to a bed for over 9 hours without water Is normal. Forcing them to use a bed pan because they don’t want to undo the straps is normal.
    Which in texas is completely against the law. A person can not be restrained if they are calm and even if they are angry as soon as they are calm the restraints must be removed.

    Who is going to listen to me though? I’m mentally ill. I complain about treatment and I’m seen as someone who just doesn’t want to be there.

    Yes we do have right, but we arnt always allowed to protect them. You can’t call your advocate and complain…if they refuse to let you use the phone. And most people who are hospitalized against their will do not have an advocate.

    The feeling you had of being stripped of your dignity is a feeling I and many others know very well. Nothing will ever come of it unless people like YOU, people who are not living with the lable mentally ill, spread the word and let it be known that a change needs to be made.

    I really appreciate you writing this article and informing others of what you experienced. I hope that you inform people whenever the opportunity arises..

    I wouldn’t wish what happen to you on my worst enemy. Nobody should experience that feeling.

    Thank you

  • Cathy E.

    November 29th, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    This article is only increasing the stigma associated with psychiatric hospitals. I have been hospitalized several times in several different states, and I have yet to have an experience like this. Writing an article like this will only deter others who are truly in need of that level of care from seeking help. The ER staff did their job correctly. They presented you with several options, and you chose the most restrictive. They needed to address the most pressing concern, your suicidal ideations, first. You should be glad that they showed so much concern for your safety. I am sorry that you had an unpleasant experience, but please think about how your message may dissuade others who truly need help from seeking it.

  • Jill

    January 3rd, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Good. It should be stigmatized, until it is fixed. Human beings have a right to know what will balls to them when they seek this kind of help.

  • Brittany

    November 29th, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    Cathy E.
    You must be one of the lucky few who received the proper care they needed. To think that this article is only increasing stigma just shows how uneducated you when it comes to how the mentally ill are treated.
    You can say what you want to say, say that we are wrong, we are making it up, that we are over exaggerating, or even that we deserve how we were treated. The fact of the matter is , there are HUNDREDS of people who disagree. Including, case workers, psychiatrist, families of the mentally ill and the mentally ill themselves. Please open your mind and educate yourself . The only people that are preventing those who need help from receiving help, are the ones that have put these bad experiences of abuse and neglect into their memories.
    I too went willingly to the hospital for help once. I wasn’t suicidal, I didn’t even claim to be suicidal, I was just not myself and knew that something bad was going to happen if I didn’t get help. I will never walk into an ER hospital again when i need help for my mental health.

  • Cathy E.

    December 1st, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    My response was not intended to discredit anyone’s experience, and I apologize if it sounded that way. It was just to point out that there are plenty of instances where psychiatric hospitals are beneficial. They can and do save lives. Yes, not every experience is a good one; that’s not what I’m saying. But if someone is allowed to share their negative experience and negative opinion about psychiatric hospitals, then others should be able to share their positive ones. Attempting to negate my opinion by telling me that I am uneducated when it comes to this topic is unnecessary and insulting. You don’t know my story in the least, and you don’t know my mental illness treatment history. There is no reason to undermine my opinion or experience by jumping to conclusions based on one comment. I respect and acknowledge that this was the author’s experience and that there are others out there who have been treated in a similar fashion. I am only saying that there are plenty of times when psychiatric hospitals are a good option, and only sowing the negative side may prevent people from seeking help. It’s important to put both sides out there so that the true picture can be seen.

  • Jill

    January 3rd, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    This is a very accurate description, based on my similar experience (also in MA). I learned never to hand over my personal sovereignty to a health professional again, even inadvertently.
    One thing that really struck me during my experience being committed was that every mental health professional I encountered warned me over and over not to get upset. The rational reaction to being wrongly committed against your will is to be upset. There is absolutely no space for that rationality in the commitment scenario. The doctor is god until they release you. It is a terrible shame; I and many others do not seek mental health care of any kind as a result.

  • Karen

    March 4th, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Such a relief to find this after trying to explain to people this exact scenario. I had a drink for the first time in a year (not alcoholic; had been on several medications and was trying to be responsible) and then went to take my nightly medication and took the wrong one. Concerned about what affect that mistake could have on me, I went to the ER to have my blood checked. All that they heard was took medicine, had a drink, and saw on my record that I have OCD and attempted (lamely) suicide years ago. They took all of my belongings, did not give me my Prozac or birth control, and had my contacts in for sono

  • Brittany

    March 5th, 2016 at 6:20 PM

    Cathy E.

    You clearly stated that this article is creating stigma. I was saying that if you think that then you are uneducated about the many people who get bad treatment. Take it as an insult if you want, what’s insulting is saying the article is creating stigma. Your right I don’t know you and you don’t know the author or the millions of people who get bad treatment. This article needs to be out there to educate people like you that not many people get the care they need by health professionals.

  • Terrified

    April 13th, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    I’m a bulimic and I have suicidal thoughts a lot. I haven’t told anyone and I just can’t tell anyone because if I do I will feel like I haved failed them. I already know I have. My life right now sucks my grandpa is a depressed drunk and I don’t think I’m good enough for anything that I don’t amount. I don’t know what to do, I can’t tell my parents, so what do I do. Please, I need help

  • The Team

    April 13th, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Terrified. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Donnavm

    May 2nd, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    I’ve read all of these posts and pray you all are better. I’m a 58 yr old woman who has suffered panic and depression since little girl. Back then nobody recognized it as a problem but in hindsight I see it all. I’ve tried over 35 meds from my primary and nothing worked and some made me worse. I was having bi polar symptoms but I’d be very depressed for only a couple months and then I didn’t have what I’ve read as ” mania”, I’d just go back to being me in normal sense. About 3 or 4 years ago it all changed. My down times ( deep depression) were lasting longer and longer to the point that I’ve now been deeply down and dark for nearly 3 straight years. My panic is off the charts bad. My only partial solace is sleep. Within waking though, I start panic within 1/2-1 hour and it goes all day. New problems have come up. I can’t eat unless I force self to, which I have to. Take a bite, wash down with water. I’m weak, dizzy and scared all of the time. I’ve also developed a fear of leaving the house. I know I’m safe out in world with husband but I can’t breathe when I try to go anywhere. Only my husband can see this since I don’t see people. My primary has wanted me to see psych docs but the few I tried never amounted to help and we can no longer afford copays they charge. My sister suffers many of these same things with the panic and depression but she functions better. My house is a mess even though being in it 24/7 should make me clean it. The only places I’ve forced myself to go in the last year is doc appts or to grocery to help husband who is older heart patient on oxygen and it’s hard to look at food but he can’t do by self anymore. I’m totally lost. Everyday I think to myself it wouldn’t be bad to not wake up the next day. I understand people’s thoughts of suicide, I couldn’t do it to husband or family. We’ve lost family members to it and it’s a train wreck to leave your lived ones with. My conditions make me dull. I wish I could cry, laugh, etc. I’m basically just here. My insides scream but outsides won’t react. I think a good long cry would help but doesn’t come. I’m so weak that my muscles are not well. I’m smoking self sick with nerves raw. I may be late 50s but feel lost like child. I don’t even go with husband to his doc appts due to agoraphobia and that makes me so angry at myself. He is an angel and he’s very patient. He’s watched me go from a vibrant, active go getter to a non functioning nothing. I feel I’m a huge burden but he gets angry if I say that. There is a huge shortage of psych docs in our area. The costs of visits are several hundred dollars. We can’t pay 1/2. I feel like I won’t make 60. I just wanted to share since I’ve never done that before on forums.
    Not eating much is causing many internal problems as you can imagine. I’m in pain all the time, chronic. I need a few surgeries but can’t make self go to appts to set up. I pray for all of you and all of us who suffer greatly from mental illness . I really need to be put on meds I know, I’m afraid of them though because of past. I’m on one that’s wreaking havoc, seroquel , and I can’t get off even though it’s making me sick I know. I have tried several times but the withdraw had me on bathroom floor on day ONE each time. If it weren’t for my husband and adult kids, I’d rather not wake up. I’m nothing at all as I was before. Some days a shower is too much even. I’m of no value really to anyone.

  • Anna

    May 24th, 2016 at 9:18 PM

    I am bulimic, anorexic, I cut too, and have many occuring thoughts of sucide and have ever only told one person I am a mess and I dont know what to Do 28th myself. The thoughts of killing myself are getting worse, at one point when my parents were gone I went looking for a gun but luckily I didn’t find one. I feel as people can’t see me sometimes except the other broken people. I can hide it really well because no has figures it out. I dont want to tell me parents about this because I feel the would be disappointed in me even more than they already are and I dont know of I could handle that. This is my plea for help and I am begging for it. I need it desspretly. Help…

  • The Team

    May 25th, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Hi Anna,
    Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you may be in crisis and in danger of hurting yourself. Please know there is help available, and it is very important you seek support immediately. You can call 911 or visit your local emergency room for immediate assistance. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY), and find further help and resources on this page:

    It is very courageous to reach out, and we commend and thank you for doing so. You are not alone, and there are people who care and are waiting to assist!

    Wishing you the very best,

    Please note that is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, treatment, medical treatment, psychotherapy, counseling, or mental health services.

  • Jesse

    July 10th, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Oh god. This story gives me shivers. It reminds me of when I was hospitalized. Worst part was, my family and I were very forthcoming about the fact that I have autism but the hospital staff was very incompetent and didn’t listen to anything any of us said; I was marked as having a personality disorder and being uncooperative/disruptive for things that are very much autistic–no eye contact, having a meltdown, covering my ears or nose when it was too loud or smelly, would fight with staff (to the point of tears and another meltdown) to stay out of the cafeteria due to how overwhelming it was, wouldn’t eat the disgusting food they gave me, always getting upset because they had shitty routines (or more aptly NONE AT ALL), hand wringing/stimming, not speaking or interacting with other patients, etc. And they treated me like some defective child who didn’t know what I was feeling/what I wanted/what was going on. And the lack of privacy was awful awful AWFUL! There weren’t even doors on the bathrooms (even better since some of the patients had a history of sexual assault! wtf!) and staff would wake you up every 20 minutes at night by shining a flashlight on your face so I got no sleep.
    I’m really upset right now because I’ve been feeling awful lately (suicidal, been cutting every day) but I can’t tell ANYONE irl because I’ll be hospitalized again… I’m trying to look into the issue and see if I can admit it to my therapist or psychiatrist or SOMEONE so I can get help without them being legally bound to commit me… I just don’t know if I could make it through that hell again. I was completely wrecked, had symptoms of PTSD after my last stay, and I still have nightmares about it. My mom (bless her for being so proactive and for having some knowledge on how to deal with this stuff as a therapist) was barely able to get me out before I was long-term institutionalized last time when I got marked as regressing/getting a lot worse. She had to threaten legal action to get them to even listen to anything she said…

  • The Team

    July 10th, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Jesse. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about self harm at and additional information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • troy

    August 1st, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Sorry, but all this tells me is NEVER trust a system of institutional “professionals” to care. This article reminds me to either suck it up or simply check out (to whatever degree possible). All humanity sucks and should NEVER be trusted … ever.

  • Heather

    August 22nd, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Nice read. I wish I had an advocate because I probably need to go to a psychiatric hospital for bi-polar symptoms including suicide ideation and intent. I am afraid that I won’t be able to see my son or smoke cigarettes and that it will end up costing me $1,000’s that I can’t afford to pay because my employer’s insurance is a joke. I don’t want to come out worse than when I went in and then have to deal with paperwork forms from my employer and hospital bills and paying other bills that I missed while I was in the hospital.

  • Carl

    August 25th, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    It blows me away how much of this article and these comments are based on fear-mongering, bad information, and personal opinion/anecdotes presented as facts. People are griping about the stigma of the mental health system, and in the next breath stigmatizing it by generalizing that all psych units are like something out of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest! There are too many fallacies to address them all, but let me start by clarifying what the purpose of an azure inpatient psych unit is and is not. It is NOT a long term solution where symptoms are cured with therapy, etc. It is an acute, short term place where people are kept safe, given a monitored place to stabilize emotionally, and most importantly be set up with outpatient care where the healing can really begin. General Psych units are essentially crisis units – once the crisis is over, then they stop serving their intended function.

  • Mari

    October 29th, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Medical professionals are just people, some are good, some are bad, and some are sadistic. There is little recourse but give up all control of yourself to another. Plying people with drugs is rarely the answer. The mental health act gives doctors far more power than they need, or should have. To give drugs to someone who chooses NOT to take them would be criminal in any other setting, it should be illegal in this setting too.

  • Corey

    October 27th, 2019 at 1:01 AM

    Psych units are places where people become mentally ill. You wind up in one because you are in trouble and need help. What happens is you are traumatized, institutionalized and your life is forever labeled and ruined.
    Well over 30 years ago I was a young and naive kid. I was transgender but that was not something that was addressed, not even by the mental health system, back then. My dysphoria was creating great distress in my life at the time and I became depressed. Instead of helping me I was locked up, drugged incessantly, taught how to self harm and how to depend on medications to adjust my moods. I was raped and thoroughly institutionalized: I was in there for 3 years. Then in and out for the next 10. It took me a long time to extricate myself from the tendrils of the mental health system. But my life is forever scarred from it.
    Now I am again depressed. I have no recourse. There is no help for me because all help comes with a price I cannot pay. I cannot be locked up: dying is better.
    Psych hospitals are ineffective and harmful places. I am living proof of that.

  • Allen

    August 27th, 2016 at 4:11 AM

    Mine is not a comment but more of a question. I am bipolar, PTSD w/ high anxiety/panic attacks and was just diagnosed this since November 2015 but had the attacks and PTSD and ADHD pretty much my whole life. I recently had a manic low and was in the moment of suicidal thoughts and even went as far as getting some copper wire hanging it and putting my head through it and was just standing there til my girlfriend came in got freaked out and smacked my back which made me jump and well ya the wire got tighter she screamed for her daughter to call 911 and she helped me down. somehow there was a story that I had been hanging for awhile which is incorrect I was just standing there plus if I was hanging for awhile I would still have marks on my neck and I dont have not even one. So they handcuffed me and took me to the ER. Well went through the normal BS and finally got to see a psychiatrist and told her that I had been fighting with my girlfriend had a manic low from stress factors of 2 months late rent, completely over due other bills, the day before was my wife / soon to be ex wife 17 year anniversary which I didnt want the split up she did with her boyfriend that she was cheating with before I knew I was bipolar, and no job. I told her I originally was doing it for attention which is very wrong but I really had no intent really to do anything. something did happen while I was standing there I was going back and forth between good and bad thoughts. anyways I did 2 days in the psych ward got out and wanted to see my kids. Now when I went in they told me they could not use this against me and cannot prevent me from being able to see my kids. Is this true or did I get the run around? I asked the mother of my kids to see them and she told me I had to talk to my lawyer first and I still have not seen my kids!! I want to know if I am being wronged cause one my kids was not even with me when this event happened. I didnt ask for this condition nor do I want it so why am I getting punished for something I pretty much have no control over!! Please if I can get some insight I would greatly appreciate it!!!!

  • alexia

    October 13th, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    i am suicide and I am today I have tried everything and I just want to die and everybody tells me to and I just feel like ending the pain

  • The Team

    October 13th, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Dear Alexia,
    Please know there is help available, and people who care. If you are in danger of hurting yourself, it’s so important you seek help immediately. You can call 911 or your local law enforcement, or visit your nearest hospital emergency room. You can also call to talk to someone immediately at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY).

    If you’re interested in searching for a therapist in your area, you can do so on the directory by visiting

    Please know there is hope, and help is available. We are thinking of you and wishing you the very best! Thank you so much for your courage in reaching out!
    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Laurie

    November 25th, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    I totally agree with the part that doctors are looking more for numbers then answers. I tried to kill myself 5yrs ago after suddenly losing my 16yr old daughter, by taking 70 xanax and a bunch of sleeping pills, cocaine, and alcohol. (only thing I did before that day were the sleeping pills and xanax only if I had a panic attack. Guess you can tell someone found me and the hospital did commit me. They did not put me on the suicide floor they put me on the drug addicts floor. It was a bad hospital and I was terrified that week and swore I would never try suicide again. I realized the anti depressants the doctor put me on were making me suicidal and I took myself off them. I was doing a lot better, but I was very depressed from grief, the second year is the hardest for anyone that lost a child. I knew I needed help and wanted to get a psychiatrist. I was told to go to my hospital (one of the best in NYC) to get evaluated. I was NOT suicidal at all. I went and spoke to 2 doctors and told them I needed help learning how to deal with my grief. They brought me to another room and asked me to commit myself because I was too depressed. I said no and yes I am depressed anyone that lost a child would be but I am asking for help. Well they told me they would not let me leave. I did fight them and they shot me up with drugs. This set me back so much that I never seeked help again. It is now 6yrs since my daughter died and I am a mental mess. I am stuck and I cant get help out of fear for this walking depression. Death is so welcomed to me and I wake up each day thinking one more day closer to death. Our medical industry failed me but then again my 16yr old daughter is dead cause the medical industry failed her.

  • Nonmedicated

    January 25th, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    Very sorry about your daughter. After reading these posts of medical horrid storys. I thank you for writing, you’ve saved another human from seeking advice or help from the “System” of malfunction, greed, and legal drug pushing/addictions! Thank you again

  • Jackie

    April 4th, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    I called a hotline one night for support. They directed me to tell my parents what was going on and to contact a counselor of some sort the next day. They gave my mother the number for an assessment center. We went there – we did not understand what the place was really about – we thought they would simply match me with a therapist. After our interviews, they informed us that I was going to be admitted to an inpatient facility and that I had to alone in an ER room until a bed opened up somewhere. We explained that it wasn’t the best decision for me and that both my parents and I did not want me admitted. They did not listen and threatened us with child protective services. I spent seven days in the hospital and missed 6 days of school. I came out more distressed than when I went in because I had so much makeup work to do. My parents continually requested for me to be taken out and every time the doctor would agree and then when they would call my social worker, she would say “oh, but of course this will be AMA”. Which just wasn’t what the doctor was telling us. They refused to let me out unless we agreed to attend their IOP program – yay more money for the hospital – we said I would – I didn’t. The place was a nightmare. Kids were getting into fights and arguments. It was totally traumatizing. There was not a licensed therapist on staff – just MHTs and Nurses. They were very nice but didn’t have all the tools to help us kids. When I tried to talk about my trauma they just said “Well, at least it sounds like you learned a good lesson”. The only lesson I learned was not to trust doctors…….

  • Srsly

    June 18th, 2017 at 11:58 PM

    “As the third set of doors slammed behind me, dignity, respect, and even intelligence were stripped from me.”

    “Reminder to medical care providers – peoples intelligence doesn’t just disappear once they enter your facility. ”

    Your credibility pretty much did vanish into thin air, ” well-published university professor”.

  • Jennifer

    June 25th, 2018 at 6:49 PM

    I am a paramedic. I have worked in this field for a long time and worked in a local ER and at a 911 service. I have worked the most rural and most urban parts of the state I reside. There is no difference in how pts are treated. I am not surprised at all by your experience and am quite surprised that an advocate helped you, and that the hospital had a pt rights officer. You nailed it….the ER team has no clue about how to deal with suicidal ideations. They further shame and humiliate pts by taking away everything, including their clothing and make them wear green paper scrubs in order to spot who is whom in an escape event. This only furthers depression and anxiety. There is no help and there is no one that cares enough to change it. What most people need are someone to talk to, that wont take notes and record what you say. The reason has to do with the inability to distinguish a real threat, either to the pt or society and you can thank attorneys and the media for that. HIPAA (not HIPPA) laws scare hospitals and dr.s, so pts can tell whomever they want that xyz happened and there is no way to prove otherwise. Im in no way saying your account didnt occur, but if it did not…how does the hospital protect it self from untrue accounts. Hospitals are the mercy of the state and local govt by “pt feedback satisfaction scores” and lose funding and accreditation. Then, the dr’s do what an unreasonable, or drug seeking pt wants, thus; now we have a narcotic epedemic. I happen to have depression and have been suicidal. I have no way to get help because I know I will not really get help and only be locked up. The ER is a joke for a pt that is SI. If your SI, go to church, a friend or call a suicide hotline. Be sure to give a fake name and don’t use a phone that number can be traced to your current address. If you really want to kill yourself, nothing can stop you. Just try to remember everything you’ll be missing out on and how others will be affected by your loss. And for you kids, you dont get to look down from heaven and see who actually cares….you are dead, you have no eyes anymore.

  • "A Nail"

    August 1st, 2019 at 4:21 AM

    “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”— Abraham Maslow, 1966.
    Anyone on this thread living in Florida? I’m looking to advocate for legislative change on this “Baker Act” that is being abused and misused…nothing more than a “hammer”, destroying innocent citizens lives. It was weaponized against me by a disgruntled ex-bf….I was told by several law firms, “this is happening on a daily basis”. I wont sit idly by while innocent lives are being destroyed….I now suffer from PTSD, 8 months post having a hammer used on me, and was never depressed or suicidal. Imagine what this unconstitutional bullshxx is doing to those who actually ARE depressed or suicidal? Anyone in Florida? I’d like to pull some people together and advocate for change in this state?

  • Jason Blunt

    December 29th, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    While trying to be polite, I know first hand that this is BS…at least in this country. At best, healthcare in the USA is Medieval. I went to a large public hospital emergency room for suicidal thoughts…which are only getting worse…and I was more or less told I had to leave within 30 minutes. I didn’t have an attitude and wanted real help. There is no help if you can’t pay for it.
    Socialized Medicine is the only ethical way to approach healthcare. I know there is no help even if I told them I wanted to die. I already tried that. My last idea I have is to apply for political asylum in Canada on the grounds of “crimes against humanity” by the USA healthcare system. Comments welcome.

  • Josh

    June 22nd, 2020 at 10:12 PM

    I remember reading an article a while back on ways to help alleviate or even cure depression naturally. Some of those suggestions are to: meditate; practice yoga; have spiritual faith, even if you don’t believe in god you can still be spiritually secular; sing out loud (even if you cannot sing well); eat crunchy foods (the crunching sound helps release endorphins which raise a feel good mood); watch a funny movie/TV show; say words out loud that have an “ak” sound to them; learn to play guitar (it is said that the vibrations felt while playing guitar produce feel good chemicals in the brain); eat a healthy no fat, low fat diet. A vegan or vegetarian diet is healthiest;

  • Jason Torres

    August 7th, 2021 at 3:57 AM

    All my brothers and sisters I really wish you guys could see what is really going on and how they numb you guys when you’re on medication these doctors know so much when it comes to the biology of humans but they would never understand how are DNA works do you have to have over thousands places all around the world where they are genetically modifying DNA it’s a proven fact that test tube babies have a weaker immune system than ours humans who were born out of natural birth doctors in minute that they can’t quite get the science down and they never will because they are trying to play God. God is real guys the enemy is real he will blind u Bound u in darkness. Only if u knew it is the enemy Who makes you commit suicide. There r only two things in this world we live in. Good and evil. There is no gray area. And evil is prevailing. 1000 of people talk about getting attacked by demons. They show us movies about it. And people think it’s a joke. But this is difficult in her scripture show that people will turn evil good and good evil. This is not a fairytale book the Bible is very spiritual book and there’s millions of people that talk about they’ve been blessed with the Holy Spirit ask yourself one question are all of us just crazy and make up something that isn’t real. R we talking about something from experience. I’m it is real cuz we need to go outside you feel the wind blowing you know where it’s going or where it’s coming from but you feel it it is the same way you feel the Holy Spirit you would feel something come up on you when it starts talking to you and gives you this love that you never felt before all you can do is cry and apologize for not seeing the truth it is God who opens her eyes and makes us reborn again in the spirit. Depression is real but when you have these suicide thoughts and you have this feeling of something behind you and you’re alone and you always turn around you know what it is you can’t see anything but you know something but they are every human has felt this and it is because something is there you wake up at 9 open your eyes in around as if you heard something are you felt something sometimes you might get up and check nothing’s ever there but trust me is there watching you. Please pray my brother’s and sister’s I love u so much I literally woke up in the middle of the night at 5:50 open my phone I was reading a text message and highlighted some words in my text and I hit it and it took me to this website I have to leave there is a reason why I’m here talking amongst people today Warren my lost brothers and sisters better in darkness that have their eyes closed to the truth I pray you please study look up our history study the Sumerians Babylonians in the Egyptians. How they all had the same Biblical history as we do today. All these great monuments that you see from the skies looking down either it was aliens that visit us which is ridiculous r it was fallen angels that got cast out of heaven. The Bible teaches us that Lucifer got gas down here to Earth. Please study our history look into the Library of Congress. We r able to do so much research from our own smart phones. I pray that u do. Dnt 4get how powerful ur prayers r. God is listening u my not get the answers u seek. But if u seek him u will find him I promise u..

  • Michael

    October 14th, 2021 at 2:16 PM

    Katie, your second entry, September 2013 mentions fear of being institutionalized for a bad reaction to prescribed meds – – and I concur. What’s just as bad, though, is in my case I voluntarily entered, stayed for a week while the on-staff psychiatrist changed my anti-depressants and monitored my recovery. Everything else and I DO MEAN everything, was cookie-cutter, applied equally to all patients regardless of reason for admission so I was in with addicts, depressive, even serious psychotics. I can’t help wondering how this advanced my therapy or medical treatment.


    July 26th, 2022 at 1:16 AM


  • LW

    August 18th, 2022 at 9:51 PM

    Medicine is not a perfect science. It tries to be. I think the perception is that healthcare professionals always should do things correctly (and preferably perfectly) but that may not be the case. I also understand about treatment for mental illness being so brutal most times. I think that the psych providers are burnt out. I think it must do something to their souls eventually, having to hear all the sadness, anger and worries all the time. I have also seen and experience doctors with egos so big its astonishing. Their word is law. Most MD’s are not like this and genuinely care for their patients. I dont know why the mental health system is the way it is in our country (USA). I think some people gravitate to positions of power (likely bullies?). I also think facilities are understaffed and underfunded. I don’t have an answer to any of it. I’ve worked in healthcare (finance side, not clinical side) for 40 years and I’ve seen my share of everything. I’ve met so many good providers…and I’ve met some really bad ones. I have MDD also and am currently recovering from a recent episode.

  • Argh

    December 11th, 2022 at 8:41 AM

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. People enter certain fields for the express purpose of abusing helpless victims. In this case, people who are going through a difficult time. Explains why many politicians are sociopaths or psychopaths, doesn’t it?

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