How to Voluntarily Commit Yourself

If you are unable to manage your mental illness, seek help immediately.
If you are unable to manage your mental illness, seek help immediately. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you are battling mental illness -- and feel like the problem is no longer manageable on your own -- you may need to seek help at your local hospital, particularly if you are having thoughts about harming yourself in any way. Going to the hospital for your mental illness is a big decision, but it is one that you can make easier with the proper preparation.

Gather any important documents you may need, such as your insurance card, your drivers license and a list of any medications you are currently taking and the doses.

Pack yourself an overnight bag with comfortable clothes and toiletries. Your bag will be searched upon being committed, so do not bring anything with strings or sharp edges. The hospital rooms are fairly sparse, with anything that you could harm yourself with removed, but items from home can make your time more bearable.

Remove jewelry and do not bring anything valuable.

Find out whether any of your local hospitals has a psychiatric ward. If not, ask them to direct you to the closest hospital that has one.

Ask a friend or a relative to drive you to the hospital's emergency room, if possible.

Be prepared for a full physical, a mental evaluation, a urine test and possibly a blood test at the emergency room.

If doctors determine you require immediate psychiatric care, you will be transferred to the hospital's psychiatric ward, where you will stay, until doctors are sure you are no longer a danger to yourself or others.

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