Help Me Find An Inpatient Psych Program
June 1, 2009 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Please give me advice on inpatient psychiatric treatment programs for depression. I'm looking for recommendations and advice on specific clinics anywhere in the US. I'll spare you the long detailed background and try to give the most essential and relevant details.

After a long and unsuccessful history with the entire gamut of psychiatric meds, ECT, and various forms of therapy, I'm still struggling with disabling depression. After some productive conversations with my current psychiatrist, it looks like the next best step is to try to make a sustained effort to get better within the framework of an inpatient treatment program at a psychiatric clinic.

Since this is not an emergency hospital admission, and because I've had such frustrating and unsuccessful experiences with previous attempts at managing my depression, I'm trying to find the best possible inpatient program. I'm willing to travel anywhere in the United States. I have private insurance that includes coverage for inpatient psychiatric treatment.

Obviously, much of the definition of "best" depends on the relationships patients develop with therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers within the clinic environment, and that's very much an individual process. However, I'd be grateful for any information, advice, and recommendations you might have about various inpatient treatment programs. I've heard some vague good things about the Meninger Clinic (in Houston, TX) and the Harvard-affiliated McLean clinic, but they're too vague to give me very much confidence and mostly consist of the fact that these facilities are well-known.

Of course, any more general thoughts you might have on what to look for in a treatment program would be welcome.

I've left more personal information on my situation and various details about my treatment history out because I wanted to try to make this as concise and direct as possible. Please post in the thread if you feel like you need more information, or you can write me at my AskMe email account:

I'm grateful for your help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A close friend of mine was an inpatient at McLean about 4 or 5 years ago. I visited several times, and was in direct contact with family members who were talking to my friend's doctors. The whole process struck me as very institutional and not personal in the least. The facilities were abysmal, and my friend's issues continue to this day. This may be due somewhat to denial and a general unwillingness to be helped (but this person was not at McLean against their will), but I did not come away from the experience with good feelings for McLean.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:20 AM on June 1, 2009

I've been on every psych unit in Philly and not suprisingly UPenn's Founders 11 is far and away the best.
posted by The Straightener at 11:21 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have two friends with life histories of chronic intractable depression, self-injury, and other self-destructive behaviors who got immense benefit from stays at The Meadows.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:38 AM on June 1, 2009

I have a friend who really had a good experience at The Meadows, but she also said that it was for dual diagnosis of drugs + MH issues. I've also heard good things about Hazelden, but again I think they have a large focus on addiction, which you didn't mention in your post.
posted by Lullen at 12:30 PM on June 1, 2009

she also said that {The Meadows} was for dual diagnosis of drugs + MH issues

Neither of my friends had alcohol or drug addiction issues, though they may certainly have had other addictive behaviors they haven't discussed with me. I know that a lot of clients at The Meadows do have dual substance abuse and mood disorder diagnoses, but I don't think that's true of everyone there.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:46 PM on June 1, 2009

I don't know anyone who's participated in it personally, but you might want to check out the Mayo clinic's inpatient program.
posted by jasper411 at 1:15 PM on June 1, 2009

follow-up from the OP
Thanks for your suggestions so far. To clarify, this is not a dual-diagnosis situation -- that is, I'm not seeking treatment for an addiction in addition to the depression. Also, while I appreciated the suggestions of the Meadows, a 12-step/spirituality-centered program would not be right for me. Thanks again for your advice and ideas.
posted by jessamyn at 2:01 PM on June 1, 2009

The Institute of Living in Hartford Connecticut is supposed to be good. It was good enough for Marilyn Monroe, at least. It seems like your therapist would be the right person to ask about this. Good luck.
posted by Maisie at 2:15 PM on June 1, 2009

I'm a therapist, and I would comfortably discuss Mayo Clinic with people with er, unlimited financial resources, based on the kind of research that they produce. But your own therapist/psychiatrist/other MH care provider will be the best person to know, integrating what you're experiencing specifically, what might suit YOU the best.
posted by so_gracefully at 2:42 PM on June 1, 2009

Okay, other places people I know have had good experiences with:

Austen Riggs; The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt; and the above-mentioned Institute of Living.

Apparently, I know lots of depressed people with money. I suppose this comes from being a writer, a WASP, or both?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:45 PM on June 1, 2009

I had a close friend who had such a debilitating depression that she could not take care of herself -- personal care, activities of daily living, interacting with family or friends... and all this resistant to any anti-depressant medication and ECT.

She went to an inpatient program at Cooper Riis and it was spectacular for her. It was a miraculous change but really reflected a change on her part in terms of how she approached herself. She's now able to go to school and live on her own. The program saved her life and completely turned it around.
posted by davidnc at 6:58 AM on June 2, 2009

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