When a mental crisis hits, and symptoms are severe, such as severe depression, suicidality, or extreme or psychotic symptoms, then hospitalization or a residential program is necessary. In those cases, you need 24-hour medical care. But what if you know you need help, but you don’t need 24-hour care? What if you don’t want to miss a lot of school or work? What if a residential program would interrupt not only your life, but the lives of your family? This is the perfect example of why you should enroll in an outpatient program.
Assess Your Needs
When you are still at the point that you know something is wrong, you might be okay with outpatient care rather than residential care. Perhaps your symptoms of depression, anxiety, substance use, etc. are interfering with your sleep, school, work, and family life, but you are still able to reason and function on some level. You definitely need help, you can see it could get worse, maybe even quickly. But you are still able to participate in your life most of the time.
When in doubt, ask someone else very close to you. They will know all of your habits and what is your “normal” in terms of function, sleep, school, work, and more. Consulting with those around you can give you a good idea of the level of help that you need. Consulting with others who are close to you also gives you a second opinion, based on what they are seeing outside of you.
How Well Are You Functioning?
To determine what type of help you need, you need to look at your mood and how well you are functioning in your life. For example, if you are experiencing depression and are consulting a doctor and receiving medical care while still being able to function most of the time, then residential care might be for you. If your substance use is interfering with your life, but you are still able to make it to school or work most days, then you might be a great candidate for an outpatient program.
If you haven’t slept in days, go seek medical help. If your sleep has been impaired for a while or you are sleeping too much, then you might be a good candidate for an outpatient program along with your regular medical care. If your grades are dropping, or you are having troubles concentrating in school because of your mental health, then an outpatient program might be a good fit for you. You know deep down inside how much your mental health or substance use are interfering in your life.
The Burden of Care
The time, costs, and stresses of residential care can be a burden for you and your family. Residential care takes you away from school and work, so if it can be avoided, then that means your life is not so interrupted. That also means your family’s lives are not so interrupted, as well. Obviously, outpatient care costs considerably less than residential care or hospitalization. But your mental health is the most important thing, so be sure to make the decision that is right for you and for your situation.
Residential care can also increase the stress and burden on your family, to make arrangements and attend visiting hours and other meetings that may interfere with their work and their obligations. Whereas outpatient care is fewer hours and less of a burden for family members. At the end of the day, it is a decision that should be based on your mental health and the availability and obligations of your family, too.
Outpatient programs can be used more as preventative care before a major episode occurs. By getting help before you are in crisis, you can actually prevent the crisis and prevent the interruption to your life and everyone else’s lives that a residential stay demands. Especially for those who have received treatment in crisis before, you know that there is a window for you before you get to that point again, and the opportunity to enroll in an outpatient program is much more appealing than needing hospitalization or residential care.
Better than taking Vitamin C every day to prevent a cold, the treatment you receive in an accredited outpatient program should actually give you the skills you need to manage your mental health both now and in the future. Programs like Embark Behavioral Health are designed to teach you how to live and thrive in spite of mental health issues or past substance use. The ideal is that you attend an outpatient program, continue your medical treatment, and then manage your mental health going forward, hopefully averting any kind of crises or hospitalizations.
So why should you enroll in an outpatient program? An outpatient program allows you to continue with school and work, while healing at the same time. An outpatient program can be a preventative step to help you stay clear of a mental health crisis, a step toward lifelong mental health. Embark Behavioral Health has an outpatient program for you. We provide you with the skills to get your life back on track before your life derails. Call today and choose longterm mental health with short-term treatment.
Outpatient care and adventure awaits you at Embark Behavioral Health. Call 1-855-809-0409 today. Make a great decision now to prevent a difficult decision later.