Schizophrenia: When Hospital Care is Needed
People who have schizophrenia sometimes have to spend time in the hospital. This can be because of severe symptoms or for other reasons.
You may have to go to the hospital if:
- You're having a psychotic episode. This means that you can't tell the difference between what is real and what isn't real.
- You talk about suicide or hurting yourself or others.
- You have severe medicine side effects, such as tardive dyskinesia.
- You need special tests.
- You need to change or adjust your medicines.
- You have problems with drugs or alcohol.
- You need a special medical procedure, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Doctors will try to find the best way to get you back to your family and community as soon as possible.
For the caregiver
Sometimes people who have schizophrenia are too sick to seek treatment on their own. If the symptoms are severe, you may have to force the person to get treatment.
Talk with your health care providers and/or local law enforcement officials about the laws and procedures in your area for getting treatment in this situation. You'll need to think about your loved one's legal rights. States have laws that protect people who have mental health problems from being forced to go to a hospital or get treatment. These laws are different in each state. Having this information ahead of time can help ease your fears and concerns and may make it easier for you.
Working with a mental health care expert and putting your loved one into a hospital may not be an easy thing to do. But it might be the only thing you can do to prevent your loved one from harming himself or herself or others. In the hospital, your loved one will get treatment to help relieve symptoms and ease the danger.
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health