I was in the psychiatric ward for twenty-eight days. On day number twenty-eight I had not yet recovered, but I wanted to go home and my doctor could not force me to stay. At this point I still believed some of my closest friends were actually aliens from another planet, but I suppose I was not a danger to myself or others.
I guess that I believe in involuntary confinement, but it is hard to tell when it is necessary. I had not done anything to make it seem like I might hurt someone, but does being floridly psychotic mean that it is possible? I do not know. I do know that it is much harder to get the services you need when you are out of the hospital, so in this way it helps to be inside.
After I was out of the hospital, my family realized that I would need services in the long term. At the time I could not hold a job to support myself and so I needed Medicaid to assure that I would be covered for those services. The problem with Medicaid is that it requires you to make several appointments and then wait months for the decision. Without some kind of support, in my case my family, there is no way a person could ever recover in this system. They would need a place to stay, and help in getting to the appointments. They would be out of the hospital before they had recovered, and then not be able to get the services they need to fully recover.
A solution to this would be an intermediate step between hospital and home in which a doctor and caseworker could work together in making sure the person got services. The doctor could provide the caseworker with a diagnosis, and the caseworker could file the paperwork necessary for Medicaid. Services would be extended under this intermediary step until a decision on Medicaid is made.