Mental Health: General Hospital Psychiatry


People suffering from severe various mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or even eating disorders may need to spend some time in psychiatric words so that their disorders can be addressed. When one is experiencing psychosis symptoms, it is advisable to visit a mental facility before the problem can advance to stages that may have serious negative consequences. Mental illnesses should not be ignored for a long time because this may cause further complications.

According to Sharfstein and Oldham (78), psychiatric wards are beneficial if one visits them at the early stages of mental problems. At these early stages, one would only need proper counseling or minor therapeutic treatment. The main problem that society faces is that it may not be easy to determine when it is the right time to visit these facilities.

Our government has invested a lot in psychiatric hospitals in terms of the workforce and the machines used in the treatment process. These facilities are meant to help address any form of psychosis among the citizens of this country. It is the responsibility of the members of our community to identify cases of mental problems and to visit these facilities as early as possible. This research paper will look at the activities, which take place in psychiatric hospitals.


Psychiatric hospitals play an important role in addressing a variety of mental problems. At this stage, it will be important to analyze some of the important processes, which take place within these hospitals

Admission into psychiatric wards

Admission into a psychiatric ward is the first stage when one visits the facility. According to Thienhaus (113), admission can be made voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary admission takes place when one makes a personal decision to visit psychiatric hospitals to help in addressing a mental problem. Such a person will visit the facility voluntarily and explain his or her problems that are causing mental stress.

Voluntary admission is the most recommended form of getting into the psychiatric wards because the mental problems are at the initial stages. That is why one can make a rational decision to look for a solution before the problem gets out of hand. However, Stern (90) says that this is the least common form of admission in most of the mental hospitals.

This is so because people always live in denials. When one starts experiencing mental stress, there is always a belief that the problem will disappear after some time. Very few people would admit that they have mental problems for fear of victimization at work or within the family.

The second and most common form of admission is involuntary admission. In this case, a person will be taken to a mental hospital against his or her own wish. Sometimes they are taken to these facilities without their knowledge. This happens when the mental problem is pronounced. The affected person may become a threat to members of the community or even to him or herself. At this stage, family members and friends will be forced to take the patient to a psychiatric hospital so that the problem can be addressed.

Activities within the wards

When one has been admitted into the psychiatric wards, a series of activities will take place to ensure that the problem is addressed. This will depend on the condition of the patient. When the mental problem is at an advanced stage, and the patient is violent, it may be necessary to give injections to help calm him or her calm down.

According to Carson (48), in cases where a patient is physically aggressive, the doctors may be forced to chain him or her at the bed in order to protect the medical team and other patients who are in the process of recovery. Such a patient may have to spend most of his or her initial days at the hospitals in seclusion for the purpose of the safety of others. The psychiatrist will monitor such a patient for a given period as he or she gets medication.

The psychiatrist will need to ensure that the condition of the patient has remarkably improved before such a patient can be allowed to mingle freely with other patients. According to Sharfstein and Oldham (56), cases, where patients attack and injure or even kill medical staff or fellow patients in psychiatric wards, are not unique. This means that before transferring a physically aggressive patient from seclusion to general wards, care should be taken to ensure that they do not pose any threat to the people around them.

Group discussion is always used among patients who are in their path to recovery. According to Carson (97), in most of cases, people who suffer severe mental problems always have a feeling that their problem is unique. However, when they are allowed to share their life experiences, they come to realize that their problem is not unique.

In fact, some may come to realize that their problem is minor compared to what others are facing. This eases the burden in mind. It helps in eliminating the stressor that causes mental problems. Such discussions also help the patient to forget about past problems. This is very important in speeding up the recovery process.

Individual therapy is another important activity within the psychiatric wards. In such sessions, the patient will have a one-on-one counseling session with a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, or social worker. The patient gets to share all the issues that cause stress in his or her personal life. The officer will listen to the problem and offer advice on how the patient will manage the problem. The focus of the officer will be to eliminate the stressors. It may not be possible for the officer to change a given fat that is causing stress.

For instance, if a person loses a loved one is a tragic manner, it is important to note that this is a fact that cannot be changed. However, the officer will introduce a new perspective on this issue in order to make the patient realize that his or her case is not unique. The aim is to help the patient learn to live with this sad fat without being consumed by stress associated with it.

When one is within the psychiatric wards, he or she gets personal time to meditate over the issues causing stress. According to Thienhaus (83), personal meditation is one of the best therapeutic processes that are used in helping mental patients to overcome their problems.

They are allowed to think and put everything into perspective. This way, they can figure out how they can make a personal effort to manage their problems. Patients suffering from mental problems are also allowed to have quality time with their family members. This makes them feel comfortable, a fact that enhances the healing process.

Discharge Planning

When a patient’s condition has improved considerably, the psychiatrist will need to determine whether he or she can continue with the medication as an outpatient. According to Stern (45), the family environment is very important in improving the healing process. However, this can only be done when it is confirmed that the stressors that affected the patient are not prevalent at home because this may worsen the condition of the patient.

When discharging the patient, the doctors will need to ensure that he or she is in the path of recovery and that the patient will not be a threat to family members or self. There will be a program to be followed by family members to ensure that the patient makes regular visits to the hospital so that his or her condition is monitored. In other cases, a nurse may make regular visits at their homes to monitor their progress.


Psychiatric hospitals are very important for patients suffering from mental problems. The society has a negative impression of these institutions. While others feel that they are forms of prison, others consider them as institutions for the mad people.

This negative impression limits the ability of people to take personal initiative to visit these facilities. However, the truth is that psychiatric hospitals are meant for anyone with a mental problem that may alter their normal behavior. The earlier one visits these facilities, the higher the chances of getting better.

Works Cited

Carson, Verna. Mental Health Nursing: The Nurse-Patient Journey. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2008. Print.

Sharfstein, Steven, and John Oldham. Textbook of Hospital Psychiatry. Washington: American Psychiatric Pub, 2009. Print.

Stern, Theodore. Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of General Hospital Psychiatry. Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2010. Print.

Thienhaus, Ole. Manual of Clinical Hospital Psychiatry. Washington: American Psychiatric Press, 2005. Print.

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