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Finding Help for Suicidal Thoughts in the Hospital

Help for suicidal thoughts in the hospital is important. In recent weeks, I spiraled into negative thinking patterns that induced suicidal thoughts. Usually, I have a pretty good handle on my schizophrenic or schizoaffective symptoms, but this time I knew I needed professional help. Here’s what I did to get help for suicidal thoughts related to my schizoaffective disorder.

Suicidal Thoughts and the Emergency Room

You can get help for suicidal thoughts at a hospital, and you may not be admitted as an inpatient. Here's how to use the hospital as an opportunity for change.

Three weeks ago, I asked my husband to drive me to the emergency room of our local hospital because I didn’t think I could hold the suicidal urges at bay anymore. (Why People Kill Themselves, Commit Suicide) I had to take off all my clothes except for my underwear—I even had to take off my wedding ring—and sit on a hospital bed in one of those wrap around gowns that’s open in the back. A security guard sat outside my door to keep me under observation–a safety measure, but unsettling. My husband and parents were with me as well.

I expected to be admitted to the psychiatric ward, which is what happened nine years ago when I checked myself into the emergency room for feeling suicidal (What Is It Really Like to Stay in A Mental Hospital?). But instead, the doctor who talked with me offered the option of going into the hospital’s day program, an outpatient program offering therapy and group support sessions.

Outpatient Hospital Program for Suicidal Thoughts Help

I’m still completing the program now. I’m learning lots of skills—like cognitive behavioral therapy—to use when I find my thoughts are making me feel bad. The whole premise behind cognitive behavioral therapy is that our thoughts trigger our emotions and so, by changing our thoughts, we can alter our emotions. It’s a little more complicated than that (and there’s a lot more to it than just positive thinking) but that’s the basic idea.

I wish I could stay in the day program indefinitely, but my insurance will only cover so much and I know I need to move on. Luckily, the program I’m in recommends workbooks. I am so glad I actually bought these because I can use them with my private therapist after finishing the day program. I also plan on going to weekly support group meetings when the outpatient program ends. I know that the way I think is a big cause for my searing anxiety and it needs an overhaul, and my life literally depends on making that overhaul.

Getting Help For Suicidal Thoughts at the Hospital Doesn’t Mean You’re Fixed

When people ask me what happened that led me to the emergency room, I compare myself to a car that ran out of gas and so I just stopped. Unlike a car, you can’t fill the tank, change my oil and I’ll be good as new. I need to work on myself even more deeply than I already was. I tend to put on a brave face, so the people closest to me—including my therapist—thought I was doing better than I really was. But although I may not be “fixed” now, I have a blueprint for what to do to get better. Suicidal thoughts help in the hospital really has been good.

It’s hard to change the way you think. But I have to do it. I am making steady progress. Like I said, my life depends on it and the happiness of a lot of people I love depends on it, too.

If you are feeeling like hurting yourself, please call a suicide hotline phone number or go to your nearest Emergency Room.

Photo by Elizabeth Caudy

Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and her personal blog.

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and on her personal blog.

2 thoughts on “Finding Help for Suicidal Thoughts in the Hospital”

  1. Elizabeth, let me share with you what I’ve learned. A psychiatrist cured me of OCD. I didn’t follow through and he later died. You train the subconscious to give up it’s secrets. Read the patient’s repetitive thought pattern aloud as the patient free associates, in brief word groups. Spread it out over the course of three and a half months till the patient acts out the repressed experience(s) and relates them to the therapist. Get the patient to face them so the therapist can reverse them. Make sure the patient follows through with the therapy or they could end up in worse shape like me. You can learn more at schizophreniarepressioncured.blogspot.com (Oct 24, 2016 post). I swear dead childhood pets are the primary cause of repression. Take care Elizabeth.

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