Strategy for getting out of long term hospitalization?

I was told recently by a friend that if someone tries to have you sent to a state hospital in the USA and you refuse to sign anything, they can’t keep you very long because they won’t get paid.

Is that true? I don’t think that it is.

I don’t know about the US, but in the UK, they will keep you as long as you’re a threat to either yourself or others.

Given what I have seen in the US media with everything that goes on, not so sure they take that precaution…

Makes me so sad to see those headlines where they blame mental illness, but never it never seems to lead to a conversation about how to treat people

Like the gun laws… The narrative is always ‘make it harder for mentally ill to buy them’, not ‘lets improve treatment to stop it happening’…

IDK, it’s hard to imagine what it must be like for all those people in Prison in the US with MI


Behave. Co-operate.

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In the US emergency hold for up to 72 hours (hours vary by states)

Then a court order is required to keep you longer term.

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Must have changed from the 1980’s. I was put on a 72 hour hold in a psyche ward around 1989. When I talked to the head psychiatrist after three days, he decided I wasn’t ready to leave and tacked on an additional 14 days. I ended up getting out 4 days later.

Yes, the maximum days in every state is different from 1 - 10 days but 72hours / 3 days is the average for half the states. After admitted against your will, court order is required. Not sure when this law put in place. But its how it works now.

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I don’t think that’s true. I’ve been admitted both voluntary and involuntary and pretty much always had to stay at least 2 weeks.

You’re right 8 states don’t require court orders.


I don’t know about the us.
But in Denmark, they can put you on a psychiatric hold for up to 72 hours if you’re a suicide risk, a risk to others, or floridly psychotic.

After that amount of time, they assess the case, and either hold you for longer, or give you the option to stay voluntarily.

This is decided by your previously mentioned risk factors, and whether or not your decision making is impaired, like if you’re too psychotic to know what’s what.

I’ve been hospitalised many times, only once have I been on a hold.
I went in voluntarily to the psych er, but after staying in the room for a few hours, they decided my suicide risk was too great and invoked a 48 hour hold.
I stayed for three weeks total voluntarily afterwards.


A number of US states have introduced legislation that allows people to be put in the background check database voluntarily. I’m not opposed to asking people if they would like to be voluntarily put on the list in certain cases.

I asked a doctor who worked in a prison what psyc patients get in prison and he said most go into the general population and the psychotic people go to a cell with a hard bed, metal toilet and they just drug them and leave them there.

Sounds about right… It’s not fair at all how they get treated in those places. I saw a documentary about mentally ill inmates in Chicago, there was a guy with Bi-Polar who got himself in prison to get meds. Crazy stuff

I don’t know about other US states, but in Alaska if you are involuntarily committed for 30 days (after an initial 72 hour evaluation) then you are put on the NICS database and can no longer legally buy or own a gun. You automatically show up on the background check. You can appeal if you need one for hunting food but they almost never overturn it.

Really. I thought it was any involuntary commitment whether it be 30 days or 30 minutes.

Tell them only what you have to and act “normal”. It’s so messed up how someone can just basically kidnap you and keep you in a building when you clearly have your rational capacity intact. Hospitals abuse this power so much. Hope you can get out soon. Play it cool and just do your best to work with them.

I’m not sure…I’m sort of scared of state hospitals

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