What Is it?

For those of us dealing with more severe depression, inpatient services provide intensive and comprehensive treatment while at the hospital. Formal individual therapy is sometimes provided while there (depending on the particular clinic), but various forms of group therapy are common, focusing on strategies such as stress management, coping with depression, and discussions about medications and their side effects.

It provides a way for us to recover in a safe and stable environment, allowing us to take a break from some of the daily stresses that contributed to our depression. An inpatient stay can last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on how much time we need to get back on our feet.

Who Is It For?

Inpatient services are reserved for more severe cases of depression.

If we are at risk of (or have attempted) hurting ourselves or others, an inpatient stay at the hospital is appropriate; preventing suicide and violence is the most common reason for hospitalization. A stay in the hospital allows us to get back in control.

If we are unable to function on our own, accessing inpatient services could be discussed with a psychiatrist. Hospitalization makes sense if we are so depressed that we can’t take care of ourselves.

Common Concerns

There are a lot of misperceptions about inpatient services. Yes, staying at an inpatient clinic can feel awkward and unnerving, but they’re not the scary places you may be thinking of. Common concerns that guys tend to have include:


Inpatient services at the hospital are for anyone who has reached the point where depression is too hard to handle while at home. Just like with other serious medical problems, sometimes depression requires treatments that can only be provided in a hospital.


When in the hospital, there will likely be some tight restrictions, some of which may be hard to accept, but keep in mind that they are in place for our safety as well as that of other people staying at the clinic.

Access to Inpatient Services

Access to inpatient services will likely differ slightly depending on where you live. Generally, admission to an inpatient clinic must be done by a psychiatrist affiliated with the clinic. Admission is also made through the emergency room services of the hospital where the clinic is located.

Discharge from Inpatient Services

When the inpatient service staff determine that we’ve come along well enough to continue our recovery from home, we will be discharged from the clinic.

Discharge will include putting into place a recovery plan that can include community services or other mental health professionals. It’s very important to follow up with other services and professionals to which we are referred.