When is psychiatric hospitalization indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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If suicidality is present, hospitalization with the patient's consent or via emergency commitment should be undertaken unless there are clear-cut means to ensure the patient's safety while outpatient treatment is begun. A child who is suicidal or has made an attempt at suicide should be admitted to a protected environment until all medical and social services can be employed.

In addition to suicidal or homicidal ideation, indications for psychiatric hospitalization include the following:

  • Severe depression

  • Gross disorganization

  • Inability to care for self (ie, inability to provide basic needs such as eating, drinking, and other activities of daily living)

  • Failing medical status due to depression

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