• There is no general rule about how long you should stay in the hospital. You may stay a few days or as long as a few weeks, depending on your situation and the specific treatment you are receiving.
  • You may be in a locked unit. At first, you may not be able to leave the unit. Later, you may be able to go to other parts of the hospital, or get a pass to leave the hospital for a short time. This is for your safety and the safety of others within the unit.
  • You may have jewelry, personal care items, belts, shoelaces or other personal belongings locked away during your stay. You may not be allowed to have items with glass or sharp edges, such as picture frames or spiral notebooks. Even if you do not have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, these rules are in place for the safety of others in the unit.
  • You may be expected to follow a schedule with set times for meals, groups, treatments, medications, activities and bedtime. A regular schedule, especially a regular waking time each day, can help to stabilize your mood.
  • You may have physical or mental health tests including blood tests to find out your medication levels or look for other physical problems that may be worsening your condition.
  • You may share a room with someone else.
  • Hospital staff may check on you or interview you periodically to assess how you’re doing.
  • Your regular doctor or therapist may not be able to see you right away. You will probably talk to several different doctors, nurses and staff members while you’re in the psychiatric unit.

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