A psychiatrist is a medical Dr. Typically, they diagnose and prescribe psychotropic medication only and do not engage in extended talk therapy.
Psychologists conduct research, diagnose disorders, and supervise interns. A therapist usually chooses a field of specialization, such as marriage or family therapy, and guides clients to help them overcome personal issues.
This is where treatment is conducted primarily outside of a psychiatric hospital setting and does not require overnight stays. It is much like seeing your Primary Dr.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
IOP is treatment that is more intense than outpatient treatment but does not require overnight stays. Generally, they meet for a half day or a full day and consists of group therapy.
Inpatient treatment involves staying at the treatment center or hospital overnight. Stays can last from 24 hours to several days or weeks.
I was admitted to Laureate Psychiatric Hospital, which is part of the Saint Francis Health System. Due to my circumstances, I first went to the ER after consulting with people at COPES. I would suggest the ER as a last resort, as they were legally forced to take all of my items (including my phone) and provide me with hospital clothing. I was given a bed in the hall of the ER and forced to wait about 10 hours while someone tried to find me a bed at a psychiatric facility. Ideally, calling COPES or 988 will provide you with the resources to find inpatient help without the need to spend time in the ER.
Upon arrival at Laureate I was checked in. I was told to remove my jewelry. They checked to make sure my shoes had no laces; if they take your shoes they will give you grippy socks. I had the option to remove any strings from my clothing or give up the clothing (they have approved clothing for those who need most of their clothing removed). I had to remove my bra as it had an underwire. They will also take your phone if you have one with you. Once that was done, I walked through a metal detector into the waiting area.
The waiting area is temporary holding while the hospital staff prepare for your arrival. There are rooms with chairs and a desk where someone will take an assessment of you. There are also more chairs in the general area for comfort. They do provide food but it's generally just snacks, fruit, or a sandwich. Eventually, staff takes you to the ward on which you will be staying.
I arrived after dinner had been served, so I was allowed to eat a hot meal before going to bed. The ward was split into two hallways full of rooms and a TV area, with a nurses' station and the cafeteria between them. All genders share the ward but not rooms. There are two people per room with a partition between them for privacy. Each room also has one bathroom.
Family is allowed to bring you items, such as electric razor, shampoo, clothing, toothpaste and brush, books, and other approved items. Basic toiletries are provided for those who don't have access from the outside world. Do note that all books will be marked inside with your name. While they had several drink options, I was also allowed to have family bring me soda in a plastic bottle. Some items, such as shampoo and electric razor, are kept in a locker behind the nurses' station and lent out to you upon request.
There is a community couch and TV; of course, all shows must be approved by staff. I spent time in two different wards, so my experience may be slightly different as my memory of the specificities of each individual ward is not great. One ward had coloring sheets, crayons, books, and puzzles. Upon Dr. approval, we were also taken off the ward once a day. If it was nice out, we went to the basketball court to listen to music and play ball or use sidewalk chalk to color; then we stopped by the Koi pond for 10 minutes or so. There is also a swimming pool for hot months. If the weather is too cold or rainy, we went to a building where there was a small gym and an art room. I usually split my time between the gym and art room. It's a pretty great art room, too, with lots of options for many kinds of art.
In the acute ward, we would sometimes have group or art therapy in the cafeteria. On the second ward, we focused on group therapy most of the day. I also met with my psychiatrist and therapist daily on the second ward. I was told of psychiatrist and therapist options upon leaving the ward. I was also introduced to Laureate's Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). It is a half day of intensive group therapy for 20 days. The therapy focuses on CBT and DBT. Several people I knew from the ward went to IOP so I was not alone.
You may want to get help for any mental health issue if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you with your mental health.
This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:
Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline