What do you do when the mental health resources available would hurt you more than they would help you?
That’s a question I had to sit with recently, as passive suicidal ideation became active, and for the first time in my life, I became a danger to myself. While the moment didn’t last long, it was jarring enough that I knew I needed some form of help because at that moment I did not trust myself. I would have text or called the suicide hotline, but I live in Florida where we have the Baker Act law; where I probably just needed to talk to someone and be talked down to, they would have put me in an involuntary hold for some time. Realistically knowing myself, I’d wake up the next day not feeling this way, so that was out of the question, but maybe a voluntary hold would be different.
Here on The Mighty, we have so many stories about the pros and cons of hospitalization. It’s genuinely saved lives, while it’s harmed others. I see these stories every day, and read the comments. I’m a firm believer in reaching out for the help you need, and if that means you need to be hospitalized then I think you should do it. At that moment I realized being hospitalized wouldn’t give me what I needed and it’s partially because I knew myself, but also because of the health care system at large in the state that I live in.
Florida ranks 41st in health care, and it shows in how they treat their mental health inpatients.
When the feeling came over me, I called a friend who had been hospitalized fairly recently, asking their honest opinion and if this is something I should do, and their answer dismayed me. Once again, this is their individual experience. The largest takeaways were that bottom line — they’d keep me alive, but that’s all they
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