Should I Attend Inpatient or Outpatient Care?
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In this modern age of information, there is a wealth of resources available on mental health treatments and services. It is easier than ever to stay educated about your mental health and the different treatments available to you. Although there are so many sources to help you get educated, there are still some things that may be confusing.
Deciding between inpatient and outpatient care is often one of the more perplexing issues to explore. The differences between the two forms of care and who needs one or the other are often unclear. You may be wondering what benefits each form of care offers and which form of mental health care is right for you.
What Is Outpatient Care?
Generally, outpatient mental health services are ideal for individuals who are struggling with their mental health but are not in need of intensive or full-time care. During outpatient care, you receive treatment and still return home daily. You might meet with a therapist for individual psychotherapy or attend group therapy as part of your treatment. Your general practitioner may provide some services or follow-up as needed for your outpatient care plan as well.
Outpatient services can fit the support you need into your existing lifestyle. The intensity of outpatient care depends on the severity of the challenges that you are trying to work through. Often you will have appointments once or twice a week during outpatient care, but you may need more frequent appointments or other services. At the start of outpatient care, you will work together with your mental health team to come up with a treatment plan that benefits you.
If you have a strong support system in your life at home then outpatient care may be the most beneficial for you. You may also benefit the most from outpatient care if you have responsibilities that you will need to continue to manage while receiving treatment. Outpatient care also gives you the opportunity to continually integrate the skills you are learning into your regular life.
What Is Inpatient Care?
Inpatient mental health services are essential if you are having a mental health crisis. You will be admitted to a hospital or mental health facility to receive a life-saving level of care. Common reasons for inpatient care include severe depression, altered mental status, or self-harm suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Whatever the reason for inpatient care, you will receive the treatment and support you need to help you through the crisis and beyond.
The services provided during inpatient mental health treatment are often similar to outpatient treatment but at a higher intensity level. You will have access to support 24 hours a day, and you will have a medical team to help monitor your status. The expectation is that your inpatient care will act as a starting point for your mental health treatment and help you move toward outpatient services.
Unfortunately, there can sometimes be a lot of fear and stigmatization surrounding inpatient care. Hospitalization for mental health is often portrayed negatively in popular culture. This leads to deep misunderstanding and shame surrounding inpatient care. At Alter Wellness Care, we believe that seeking the appropriate level of care for your mental health should be no different than seeking appropriate levels of care for your physical health. Whether you are seeking help in an emergency room for a heart attack or seeking help in a mental health facility for a major depressive episode, you are receiving life-saving medical treatment.
Which Type of Care Do I Need?
It is important to educate yourself on the difference between inpatient and outpatient care, but it is also crucial to consult with a trained mental health professional. A mental health professional can provide an assessment that will help them gather the information they will need to better understand your situation. While speaking with your doctor, it is crucial to be completely honest so that they have the information they need to make the best recommendations for you.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your mental health. Your mental health needs will be as unique as you are. Both inpatient and outpatient care have a specific purpose and can be highly beneficial. You just need to find the right path forward for yourself.
There are some basic but crucial questions you can ask yourself when considering inpatient care, such as:
- Do I pose a danger to myself or others, including suicidal thoughts or behaviors?
- Am I struggling to take care of my basic physical needs?
- Am I having delusions, psychotic episodes, or other altered mental states?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it is essential to reach out for help immediately.
Where to Turn for Support
If you are experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, it is vital to seek help immediately. At Alter Wellness Care, we offer many services, including outpatient care. If you require a higher level of care, we have several options available. We want you to be happy, healthy, and confident. Our team will work with you to formulate the best treatment plan for you.
The decision between inpatient and outpatient care can be confusing. There are many factors to consider and different options to weigh. If you have been struggling with the decision between inpatient and outpatient care, Alter Wellness Care is here for you. We strive to make each of our clients feel comfortable during every step of the treatment process. Our compassionate team will work with you to assess your unique situation. Together we can decide what level of care meets your needs and fits into your life. Let us help you get the care and support you need. Call Alter Wellness Care today at (866) 311-3510 to see how we can support you.
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