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Knowing when you’d benefit from inpatient psychiatric care is an important first step in your mental health recovery. There may be obvious signs that you and your loved ones notice when your mental health symptoms worsen or subtle ones that tell you it’s time to find more support. Inpatient treatment centers offer highly trained professionals to help you with immediate stabilization and a longer-term recovery plan.
Signs You Need Inpatient Psychiatric Care
It can be scary to recognize that your mental health symptoms are worsening, and it takes courage to take the next step of finding inpatient psychiatric care. It’s important to seek inpatient treatment when you:
- Aren’t able to manage your feelings of distress
- Are you in danger of harming yourself
- Have thoughts of suicide
- Can’t control your use of alcohol or drugs
- Are engaging in risky behaviors
- Feel in danger of harming others
- Hear sounds that others don’t hear
- See people or objects that others don’t see
- Feel constantly worried that someone is watching you or is about to harm you
More Subtle Signs You Need Inpatient Psychiatric Care
Often, before more severe signs of a mental health crisis occur, you or your loved ones notice a difference in your behavior. You might show more subtle signs that you need inpatient psychiatric care. The earlier you catch these signs, the more effectively you can prevent your symptoms from worsening. Inpatient psychiatric care may help you if you:
- Feel constantly numb
- Experience mood swings
- Sleep too much or not enough
- Stop eating
- Struggle to take care of yourself or your home
- Are withdrawn from supportive relationships or community
- Have less or no energy for activities you previously enjoyed
- Aren’t functioning well at school or work
- Feel too exhausted to continue normal hygiene like showering
- Stop taking medications that stabilize your symptoms
Benefits of Inpatient Mental Health Treatment
There are many benefits of inpatient mental health treatment, and it’s one of the most effective ways to manage and recover from a mental health crisis. Advantages include:
- Extended observation by mental health professionals
- Treatment strategies implemented by highly trained professionals
- A safe, structured environment
- Dedicated time to focus on your recovery
- Protect yourself, your family, and your friends from the impact of risky behaviors
- Peer support from others managing mental health symptoms
- Support in creating a long-term recovery plan
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab
You may wonder about the benefits of inpatient vs. outpatient rehab in managing your mental health crisis. Suppose you aren’t experiencing mental health symptoms that severely impact your ability to function or put you or others at risk. In that case, outpatient rehab offers similar benefits without the commitment of being away from home. Some people have responsibilities they can’t easily leave or experience distress thinking of staying in an unfamiliar environment. Benefits of outpatient mental health treatment include:
- Continuity of your home life
- Less expense
- Ongoing individual counseling sessions
- Scheduled activities to support your recovery
- Peer support
- Consistent monitoring of your symptoms and treatment by highly trained professionals
Duration and Cost Considerations
The nature and duration of an inpatient treatment stay influence the cost, but the cost of treatment doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the services. For example, some luxury treatment centers have very high costs but may not have higher success in mental health treatment than a lower-cost center with highly trained professionals and high-quality ongoing care. The longer it takes to stabilize your symptoms, the higher the cost.
How Long Is an Inpatient Mental Health Stay?
The average length of an inpatient mental health treatment stay is 7-14 days. The duration of treatment is influenced by how long it takes to stabilize your symptoms. For some, that may mean weeks rather than days if it’s necessary to experiment with various medications and treatment strategies and to learn symptom management strategies and coping skills before discharge. The more mental health diagnoses you have and the higher the severity of your symptoms, the longer your stay is likely to be.
Understanding Inpatient Psychiatric Care Costs
Most insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of hospitalization The cost of inpatient psychiatric care depends on the following:
- The education and experience level of those treating you
- Whether or not inpatient treatment is deemed medically necessary
- The cost of providing services in that area
- The cost of your medications
- Your needs during your stay
- The length of your stay
- Whether you pay privately or with insurance
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Inpatient Psychiatric Care
There are ten essential health benefits that every health insurance plan sold on the Marketplace must cover, and these include mental health and substance use treatment. Medicaid covers the highest amount of mental health services of all insurers. Around 80-98% of private insurance carriers cover inpatient psychiatric care, depending on whether it’s provided in a hospital or other treatment facility. Kaiser, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Aetna have the highest customer satisfaction ratings for access to and coverage of mental health services. Insurance plan details can be confusing, so check that your insurance coverage includes a certain facility, provider, and services before utilizing them is important.
Frequently Asked Questions About When Do You Need Inpatient Psychiatric Care
What is the main difference between inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care?
Inpatient psychiatric care involves spending at least one night in a treatment center. In contrast, a person in outpatient care remains in their home environment aside from visiting a clinic for appointments and sessions.
How do I know if I need inpatient care or can manage with outpatient sessions?
If your symptoms make you or others unsafe, keep you from eating or sleeping, cause extreme distress or confusion, or prevent you from basic functioning at home, work, or school, inpatient care may meet your needs better than outpatient care.
Are all inpatient psychiatric care facilities the same?
Inpatient care facilities vary by services provided, expertise level of their providers, activities, and cost. It’s a good idea to explore how each can meet your needs and whether or not your insurer covers the services. If you’re wondering what kind of treatment and environment are ideal for you, take the first step and contact Alter Behavioral Health for more information.
Can I leave an inpatient facility once I’m admitted?
Unless you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or others, you may choose to leave an inpatient facility at any time, though it may be detrimental to your treatment.
What should I bring with me if I decide on inpatient care?
If you decide on inpatient care, you should pack comfortable clothes, medications, hygiene items, and items like books to enjoy during recreation time.
Will insurance always cover the cost of my inpatient psychiatric care?
Medicaid and Medicare cover inpatient psychiatric care at certain facilities, and most private insurance will cover at least part of the cost.
How do family visits work during an inpatient psychiatric stay?
Family visits may be allowed and even encouraged during your inpatient psychiatric stay. This may depend on the severity of your symptoms and the impact of certain individuals on your mental health.