Archive | 11:45 PM

The Real 5150- Useful things to know

4 May

A 5150 is a 3 day psychiatric hold (at least in California where I live.)  Most of my inpatient stays have been on 5150’s.  Usually I actually ask my case manager, therapist, or psychiatrist to put me on a hold.  Sometimes my case manager or therapist just think I should be on one and try to convince me and most times I’ll go.  Most people probably have some pretty crazy ideas (excuse the pun) about what a psych hospital is like.  There are patients there that are talking to themselves, but not as many as you would think.  Most people these days are medically restrained rather than physically restrained, in other words given a shot of an anti-psychotic or tranquilizer to calm them down.  There is surprisingly not a lot of crying in psych wards, but much more screaming.  You never see an individual therapist and lay down on a couch to sort out your problems.  Psych hospitals are there to stabilize you and get you back out to the real world.  In fact most stays are 5-7 days.  When you are placed on a 5150 a medical professional at the hospital, usually your psychiatrist, can remove the hold if they think you are no longer a danger or were misplaced there.  When the 5150 is up, you can chose to stay voluntarily (that’s what I usually do) or if they think you need to stay longer and you don’t want to they can place a 5250 (14 day) hold on you and you can dispute that by arguing your case in front of a judge.  And yes there are longer forced stays and out of the psych hospital’s I’ve been to none cater to that.  Lots of people have differing opinions on inpatient stays.  I’ve heard a patient say that she considers it a vacation, where she is taken care of.  I’ve also seen people kicking and screaming and sometimes escaping to get out.  I think there is good and bad and to see a more detailed account of my opinion go to this post.