How to Know If You Need Inpatient Depression Treatment

a-woman-with-a-depression-thinking-if-she-needs-Inpatient-Depression-TreatmentIf you’re struggling with depression you’re not alone. Today, an estimated 8.8% of the adult population or 22.5 million people over the age of 18 struggled with a major depressive disorder and depressive episodes in 2022. For many of us, that means dealing with depressive episodes, down periods, and increasing difficulty dealing with and managing life. That often translates to having difficulty sleeping, changes in self-care habits, having trouble keeping up with chores, and feelings of life being off. In some cases, that also means feelings of heavy depression, suicidal ideation, and no handle on life or ability to live your daily life..

In every case, you should be getting mental health support and treatment. No matter how bad your depression, you can get treatment and it will help you to improve your quality of life. Whether that’s by helping you to overcome temporary depression or by giving you the life skills to manage and mitigate your depressive disorder doesn’t matter. Treatment and therapy will help you improve your life. Sometimes, you can go to that treatment on an outpatient basis, meaning you stay in your own home and  you visit a clinic for treatment. In other cases, you’ll want to go to inpatient treatment, where you stay at the clinic for several days or even months.

When do you need that inpatient treatment for depression?

You have Major Symptoms of Depression

If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, struggling with suicidal ideation, or aren’t able to keep up with your day-to-day life, it’s a good sign that stepping out of that and going to inpatient depression treatment is important. For example:

  • You can’t do self-care such as showering every day, eating meals on schedule, or cleaning your home
  • You struggle to get out of bed and are spending a lot of time asleep or not sleeping
  • You can’t motivate yourself to keep up tasks when you start doing them
  • You feel overwhelmed in your daily life

Any of these symptoms is a good sign that outpatient treatment won’t work for you, because chances are it will just add to your workload and your inability to keep up. Here, inpatient treatment gives you a chance to step outside of the responsibilities and to learn new skills and new habits in an environment without the pressure of everything at home.

Home Life is Stress

If you constantly feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up at home, you live with people who can’t be supportive and helpful to you, or you have too many responsibilities at home to also focus on recovery and treatment, inpatient treatment will be necessary. Sometimes that’s impossible to avoid, especially if you have a busy family life. In other cases, it might simply be because life at home has gotten out of hand and depression has meant you aren’t taking care of things. In that case, stepping out of everything, getting treatment, and then getting help with putting your home to rights when you get out of treatment may be the best way to go.

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a-man-with-depression-struggling-to-keep-up-with-daily-routineYou’re a Danger to Yourself

If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation, self-harm, or simply don’t want to live, it’s critical that you get support and do so in a place where you have support around you all the time. An inpatient treatment center can give you the emotional support you need around the clock – ensuring someone is there for you no matter how late it is, no matter how bad you’re feeling, and no matter what is going on. That’s especially important if you’re going to be bringing up trauma and things that make you feel bad or insignificant while you’re in therapy. Treatment is often a traumatic thing and it can involve making you feel worse before you feel better.

If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation, you need extra support and you should be asking for that.

You’re Not Keeping Up

If you’re not keeping up with routines, work, hygiene, life, you probably can’t add extra responsibilities to that. This means that it’s important to evaluate how you’re actually doing so you can figure out how much professional support you need. For example:

  • You’re struggling with basic hygiene like showers and cleaning your home
  • You have trouble making yourself do things outside of the home like groceries or visiting people
  • You can’t keep or maintain a routine especially with things like sleep and exercise
  • You frequently go to work late or call in sick
  • You have trouble washing dishes or putting them away
  • You have trouble cooking and taking care of yourself and may routinely binge unhealthy food or not eat at all
  • You’re dropping responsibilities like childcare or going to work or making payments on time

Each of these is a sign that you’re overwhelmed and you’re not doing well enough to take on extra responsibilities. Therefore, they are also very good signs that it may benefit you to go to an inpatient depression treatment center rather than getting outpatient care. That will allow you to step outside of everything you aren’t keeping up with and have the temporary crutch of people helping you to manage exercise, cleaning, self-care, and cooking for the period. Afterwards, you can work back into those things on your own and on your own time.

Your Doctor Thinks You Should

It’s always a good idea to discuss your mental healthcare with your doctor or your therapist. They can offer insight into what they think will work for you and can give you advice on how to get the most out of your treatment. That can include helping you to honestly evaluate how you’re doing, what you need, and what kind of energy and motivation you have to dedicate to treatment and recovery. If you’re struggling, it’s important that you have someone help you figure out your capabilities and what you need to succeed with treatment. Your doctor won’t always have advice for you. In some cases, you’ll have to seek out a mental health professional to get an evaluation, diagnosis, and recommendation there. However, your doctor is always a good place to start.

Inpatient treatment eventually means that you’re setting time aside to dedicate to your own recovery and treatment. It often means 3+ weeks to live in a clinic where you can get treatment, can get full contact with your mental healthcare professionals, and can entirely dedicate your time to learning to manage your depression, to learning the skills that will improve your life, and to improving your life. At home, that won’t always be possible, especially if you have childcare, difficulty keeping up with cleaning and cooking, and having to worry about maintenance and chores at the same time. Stepping out of that can be healthy and good for your recovery even if you aren’t struggling with severe depression. Therefore, the best approach is always to evaluate what’s right for you, what feels good, and then talk to a counselor and a mental health treatment clinic for advice and support. There’s no one-size-fits all approach to treatment and there shouldn’t be. You’re unique, your mental health problems are unique, and you’ll need a custom treatment program, unique support, and a unique path to recovery. Good luck getting treatment.

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