I'm going to an intake (evaluation/show-and-tell) session at a psychiatric partial hospitalization program, due to severe social anxiety, ADHD and most importantly my current acute bipolar depressive episode. What kinds of questions should I be asking? How should I prepare?
The session is supposed to take around two hours. The program
is a general one that helps people with all kinds of serious mental illnesses and also substance abuse problems. This intake session is supposed to be me plus a social worker and maybe a brief conversation with a psychiatrist - I was really super nervous on the phone (they won't tell me anything via email) so I didn't do well on getting the exact details.
I already plan to bring a list of my current medications, the notes I made for therapy since January, a prioritized list of the things that are making it hard for me to function, fourteen years' worth of blood tests, and contact information for my entire support team. I'll also have insurance paperwork (certification numbers, contact info, etc.)
The only questions I've been able to come up with are:
- what are the rules that they have for conduct within the program,
- how am I supposed to know if it's helping,
- will they be helping to optimize my medications,
- what will determine when I stop,
- do they know a lot about how to deal with comorbid anxiety/bipolar/ADHD/etc.,
- why should I go here instead of the other hospital
in the area,
- is this really the right level of care for me, and
- are they really going to make me do group therapy when I'm terrified of strangers and groups.
I have no idea what else to prepare, and I feel like I must be missing something because my gosh this is partial hospitalization
we're talking about here (they also have an evening program, so they could suggest anything from 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, to 3 hours a day 3 days a week.)
I'll also be asking my therapist about this, and I've posted on the DBSA forums
as well, but I've seen other questions here about partial hospitalization and I thought MetaFilter might have more advice.
For what it's worth, the main reason I'm looking into this is that the last two years of biweekly therapy and monthly psychiatric appointments have not brought me to a level of functioning that any of us are happy with, and my medication needs are apparently a lot trickier than normal psychiatrists are equipped to deal with. I woke up at 1pm today and took a two-hour nap at 4pm and am ready for bed again at 10pm, and that's barely the tip of my iceberg. My psychiatrist suggested it at my last session with her, right before upping my antidepressant and telling me to come back in 7 to 14 days. My counselor at work agrees it's probably a good idea.
TLDR: How can I make the most out of this two-hour intake session for partial hospitalization?
Bonus question: I am very, very socially isolated, but someone I don't know well from church has reminded me that they are "there to help." What kinds of general social support are likely to be helpful, bearing in mind that for me it's a real accomplishment to have worked up the strength to tell anyone I was doing this?