Bipolar Disorder Community
Danger to yourself or others?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Danger to yourself or others?

So what things do you have to be doing where it crosses the line of being a danger to yourself or others?  Would they consider the unwarranted urge to commit acts of violence or seeing visions of yourself committing acts of violence from first person perspective as a danger to yourself or others or do you have to actually act out on it for the first time before they do start considering you a danger to yourself or others?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have two concerns here in these questions; one I was once almost committed involuntarily which I did not like at all so I would like to have an idea of when I am reaching that point so it's not a surprise one day which I already get disoriented with surprises and two I want to know if this ever gets really severe for me if they will take measures to stop me before I do something stupid.
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952564_tn?1268372247
I'm not sure about the acts toward others part. I have no idea when they consider you an actual threat. Maybe if you start verbalizing it like threats? Not sure.

But for yourself I think it is pretty quick. Like that day I had that melt-down at work and was threatening suicide, they made me call the employee assistance program hot-line. The woman on the phone asked me if I had a plan and I said yes and she asked me when I was thinking of it, and I said no specific date but it would be on "a Friday." She took this to mean, that exact Friday, which was not what I had meant at all. I meant if I ever acted out my plan, it would be on A Friday, not a specific Friday....  and kept saying that if I didn't promise that I wasn't going to do anything on that Friday coming up she would call the cops on me. So, if you threaten it to anyone who is serious about suicide accusations, they take action pretty quickly. To this day I am still shocked that more was not done to get me in to a psychologist or psychiatrist instead of just a regular therapist that day.
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585414_tn?1288944902
Yes okay I don't want to provide too much details but one time (before my current recovery) I realized I was losing control and I went to the psychiatric hospital. I explained to them what had happened and then decided against signing myself in but when they called my psychiatrist he said that because I had (I was manic with psychotic aspects, it had started as a joke and gotten out of control) made some random prank calls that were harassing in nature that I would have to stay. I did not want an involuntary hospitalization down on my record so I asked if I could admit myself and my status changed to voluntary and they said that was fine so I was there a few days and then I was released after I was stabilized. I had no active urges to harm people at the time but what I was doing was violating people's boundaries and showed a loss of control. I don't know their exact definition (although I suppose it could be looked up but it might vary from state to state) but the basic ground rule is if you have these kind of urges contact your psychiatrist and if they in some way impede on your reality testing and you feel you are going to act on them it might be best to go to the appropriate place as I did.
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1167245_tn?1353882100
This is something that I've wondered about. I think actual threats/plans or deliberate behaviors combined with being in a state where it is evident that the person has begun to lose control over their actions/ shows real determination may qualify for being at risk for causing harm to others.

If you are experiencing a severe crisis but luckily have enough insight to recognize that you need help before something bad happens, then if you reach out/ have someone reach out for you (take yourself to the emergency room, make an emergency appointment with a psych doctor, etc.) your chances are good that they will try to do as much damage control as possible. Many factors play into exactly how this damage control will play out; if you don't have a solid support system in place with people to monitor you closely at home, then they might then consider inpatient care. They can really only take measures to stop you before you do anything bad if you or someone monitoring you is able to reach out to them and tell them exactly what the situation is. Sometimes, people just can't do that, for whatever reason.

If you're the one admitting that you're scared of what you might do, then a voluntary commitment might be recommended. I haven't been involuntarily committed before, only voluntarily (there was deliberate self harm already carried out, and it was suggested strongly by my doctor, but I was frightened by it and in a state where I could still recognize that I just needed/wanted help), so I really don't know how bad things would need to get. I'm guessing pretty darn bad. It's probably related to just how imminent the threat of harm is and your level of insight/willingness/loss of control like IL said, and the severity of your overall psychiatric state. Unfortunately (or, well, perhaps fortunately), I don't personally know how to know for sure then that level of severity has been reached.

This issue might just be a subjective one, left up to the discretion of the people in charge of evaluating the crisis. There might be some practitioners who won't think of it as being serious enough to warrant it, while another would (god forbid you are seen by someone who won't even recommend any real emergency intervention). Heh, I suppose I don't have a good answer to this, and this might have been structured confusingly, but I've wondered about this too in the past.
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1311328_tn?1273669292
I know I May not be in the same Country as a lot of the members in this community and it is differant in each Country.
But in Australia;
It is quite common to be admitted into hospital for these thoughts, this is what puts most sufferers in hospital the thoughts and urges of wanting to hurt themselves or others.
I do not know about other countries but I would like to think it would qualify for someone being commited
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Avatar_m_tn
The standard is, in theory, is imminent danger to oneself or others in the United States of America.  In my state, other laws pertain to the length of time permitted to hold a patient under certification by two psychiatrists.   Furthermore in my state, a psychiatrist is not needed in order to legally involuntarily commit someone for initial hospital admission purposes, and the evidence provided may consist only of a witness who knows the patient or prospective patient.  The mental health system in my opinion can and does involuntarily commit just about anyone because of this laxity in evidence needed.  The laws in my state require two psychiatrists to certify, generally within 48 hours or in some cases 72 hours excluding Sundays and holidays.  In my local hospital this requirement is routinely not adhered to and deliberately ignored in a "pattern and practice"  in my opinion  My local hospital likes to substitute "nurse practitioners", who routinely behave without ethics at all and only toward the opinion to villify and overpathologize the patient in every single case no matter what.  It's as if their jobs depend on doing so, and may well depend on same....  
  To add to my frustration, the evidence upon which I was involuntarily committed consisted of words in writing that consisted of one statement meant to be a political statement not a literal one.  The local newspaper printed both online and in print editions a story on the item(because I had contacted the reporter first because was never confronted with the details of what the apparent evidence was to substanitate this involuntary commitment.  I now have additional trouble legally if I want to pursue the matter under state law because now I have to contend with pretrial publicity--in addition to an entire system statewide which takes absolutely no concern with the scenario of the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest": type situation.  Every single organization that I have become aware of in my state is in fact glued to the premise that anyone who enters the system has a legitmate reason for being there.  Newspapers are more concerned with the sensational, and may not check all statements made therein to support such a "flavor to the story."  "Extra, extra, read all about it....."
  However in terms of civil rights, these still exist in this country, although often they must be attempted to be secured in an "after the fact" manner and it is most certainly not guaranteed that Federal Courts, who initially hear such cases, are free from having already changed the Amendment to the Constitution to suit themselves, without the help of Congress, the President and or the states in approving new amendments, ie, in a Consitutional manner.  The applicable right here is to due process and the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the Fifth Amendment, is applicable.  In practice there is no due process for many.  I believe that the major reason is, in addition to politicians responding to public fears by passing Kendra's Laws and so forth, is the tremendous amount of money that accrues to hospitals in the running of these wards.  The primary oversight agency over the mental health system carries the premise that huge percentages of people in the nation and state are mentally ill, and every single policy and procedure set as a result flows from that premise.  
  The National Institutes of Health has commented that it is "not easy" to involuntarily commit someone in this country.  I beg to differ:it is ridiculously easy in fact to do so, although what apparently is not as easy as it once was is to KEEP a person involuntarily committed for any great length of time.  The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken in the 1979 landmark ruling Addington v. Texas in furthering the usual civil standard of proof in cases of involuntary commitment from a "preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence." ,  however, once again, such rights are rarely secured or securable in advance, the mental health system almost always treating the prospective patient as "guilty until proven innocent", in point of fact legally criminal defendants have many more rights including the right to confront their accuser, cross examine witnesses, and even know the charges against him/her. and as such due process is regularly denied patients who wind up involuntarily committed regardless of the reasons or facts behind such.
  I realize there are antipsychiatry groups out there who would want to shut down all involuntary hospitalizations and certainly there is another side of the coin here'it is only that the entire system remains unbalanbed to the side of the coin which demands treatment rights for the mentally ill without also acknowledging that abuse can and does very often occur within the system against those who have no business being in the hospital much less involuntarily so. I am happy there are those diametrically opposed to the loss of due process that goes on in the mental health system however some information puts forth the experiments, which were poor examples because they used so-called normal people who complained in the first place of hearing things(not a good experiment at all).  Well of course once anyone complains of hearing things they immediately become a mental patient if then admitted to the hospital.  The entire point of the experiment was that many people who enter the hospital and remain there involuntarily are indistinguishable in reality from normal folks except for the fakery involved.  There is however a better point to make in that the system itself institutes its own fakery, quite apart from what is needed, on the basis of assuming everyone who enters the system is mentall ill and most if not all do not know what is best for them once in the hospital.  That destroys the basis of due process in this country and as such renders this country no better legally than what was routinely carried out in Soviet Siberia, the most famous case of which most of us are familiar is that of the late Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.  
  Thankfully we have this forum which has begun to address this issue, and I am most happy at this time knowing I was one of the initial contributers to make this website possible.  Although it was not much at the time I am glad that Pastor Schmidt acknowledged same and that this website has grown into the forum it has.  Thank you all.
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1360950_tn?1277660203
Hi, I can only speak from my own experience.  I have voluntarily been admitted to the Hospital Physc ward a few times because of suicidal ideation.  Basically if you have a plan to committ suicide and fit the "critera" of crisis, you will be admitted.
I have also been locked in a room and given a shot of Haldol that I did not want and transported handcuffed by the police to a physc hospital.  The doctor filled out a form asking a judge for permission to admitt me because he felt I was a harm to myself and out of control......it all happened in a matter of a few hours.  Both times my life was saved by being admitted.
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Avatar_f_tn
Whether or not you are considered a danger to yourself or others you have a responsibility if you are thinking and feeling these types of thoughts to get yourself some emergency help. You should at the very least see your pdoc within the day. I would say go to the emergency room of a hospital with a mental health centre and see what they say.

You don't want to cross the line before getting help because then you will add jail time to mental illness.
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1360950_tn?1277660203
lindahand...well said.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well my therapist already knows all this and she works together with my psychiatrist and case manager and everyone else so I'm guessing they don't think it's a danger if they haven't put me in the hospital yet, although they are cautious about any small changes I have.
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1237757_tn?1323146719
I know this may sound silly but is there anything wrong with being admitted either voluntary or involuntary as surely people are doing this to help us?  I haven't been admitted yet but did go down to the local psychiatric hospital on Friday to get a tour of the place.  I did it on the recommendation by my psychologist as she said it's worthwhile having a look at the place that way just in case you do get hospitalised you will have some idea of the place first and it may help to reduce anxiety at the time.

I think the tour has actually helped with me, just another part of my toolkit I'm putting together while I'm good.
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Avatar_m_tn
If you ever see this, I hope you're doing well.  I think it's a good idea to preview places before going.  Nothing wrong with previewing the psych ward.  But, are you planning on going?  A toolkit "while I'm good".  Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought most mental illness started in the teen years.  If you are already a professional, odds are you are in the clear.  I'm glad you have a psychologist.  If you were really on the way down, you'd probably have a psychiatrist, and if you follow their instructions with medication, you probably won't have to worry about trips to the hospital.
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