Recurrent Hospitalizations- Am I just Weak?

I went to my psychiatrist today and immediately apologized and said something along the lines of, “I’m sure you were annoyed when I got hospitalized right after our visit last time” and he made sure to put that to rest and reassure me he thought nothing of the sort- but then he continued.

He said, “you know you have been hospitalized a lot, what do you get from the hospital that you don’t get at home?” In the end he concluded that I had the capacity to make the decision to not go and work on it at home- I just didn’t.

I know he didn’t mean it bad or demeaning but…I sure felt like I was being attacked. It’s true, I’ve been hospitalized for suicidality on acute units about 20-30 times in between the years of 2016 to 2021. I HATE that, but I’ll admit sometimes I can’t help but feel safe at my hospital I go to, it’s the place that kept me safe when my abuse initially ended violently in 2015- so now I am faced with all of these thoughts.

Am I just sulking in self pity and not willing to stay home and try?Am I just weak? Pathetic? Do I crave the attention? Am I this awful and pathetic person that just won’t move on because it’s easier to give up?

I go to therapy and do the work- I get to all my appointments and I’m super compliant- but I have this crappy record of readmission. What is WRONG with me?


Well, if you get seriously worrisome cardiac symptoms, seek medical help and doctors want to take you into a cardiac ward, does the responsibility still lie on you to not have admitted yourself? That’d be a unreasonable thought.

People do really die of suicidality. Psychiatric wards exist in order to prevent people from dying of suicide. Among other things. I can’t see why you should feel bad about seeking and getting medical help when your life’s at risk. Just sayin’.

Edited to add: I’m sorry you got such an unsensitive response from your doc. Not cool.


but I’ll admit sometimes I can’t help but feel safe at my hospital I go to, it’s the place that kept me safe when my abuse initially ended violently in 2015-
So that’s what you get out of it. Someone else might feel safe checking into a hotel in the Caribbean/Rome/2 blocks away from home, or going camping, or going for a drive.

Am I just sulking in self pity and not willing to stay home and try?Am I just weak? Pathetic? Do I crave the attention? Am I this awful and pathetic person that just won’t move on because it’s easier to give up?
Are people who check into a hotel, or load up for a camping trip, or turn their motors over and the music up sulking in self pity, weak, pathetic, craving attention, awful, and pathetic people who won’t move on because it’s easier to give up?

You’ve found something that works for you.

If there are downsides, and you’d rather do something different? That’s a different question, than “Do I suck?”

Warrior Chicken

Talked about suicidality recently with my PDoc and the messaging provided makes a great deal of sense.

Suicidal actions, planning, ideation all come about when someone’s stress level is too high or a trigger/memory is to strong (we talk about it in the context of ptsd so I’m not sure if that messaging is the same across the board for everything)

Lower the stress and/or find methods to stop the triggers/memory from playing and the suicidal stuff decreases.

For you, the hospital gives you the safety and space to lower your stress to a level where you can manage without suicidal thoughts, planning, or action. It doesn’t matter how many times you need to access that space before you’re able to do it in a different space with other assistance or on your own.

I see someone who is learning and accessing other supports by asking here, none of the words you used in your post, and not someone who’s taking an easy route. These are hard topics! That requires vulnerability which takes tremendous strength.


New Here
I could be wrong. But, here are my thoughts.

Objectively, it sounds like you are starting to open-up to address the hospital stays. That may be why he was right to the point this time. I am sure that it felt like a jab! No doubt. You acknowledged that you are starting to see and question the stays. (It seems - overall). I think talking about it more directly with him, like you did at least breaks the ice. Talking about it here also is a chance to vent or just get the ideas up into the air or out-loud so you can start to arrange your feelings and thoughts.

I think he took a big step to give you a little nudge, and it sounds like he is going to follow your que's.

Be kind to yourself. Remember that the hospital is absolutely something you don't have to drop "cold-turkey" because of pressure or even internal anxiety to do what other people think is best. Do what is best for you. You are growing. I can see that here in your words.

Just allowing some time to let yourself absorb the conversation and grow in a way that is self-loving and gentle is all you need to do.

One day at a time, like my sobriety journey.


between the years of 2016 to 2021.
I bounced in and out of hospital for a solid 6 (okay, 8) years before my reliance on really started to wane. In the first 4 of those years it was more bouncing in, and not out again.

That's not because I'm weak, right? It's because I had a serious illness that I couldn't manage alone.

I still use hospital admissions from time to time. It's shit, but necessary. Again, not because I'm weak, but because I have a shitty, and very serious, life-threatening illness (ptsd with intermittent major depressive episodes) which I can't always manage in the community.

I am definitely getting better at managing my illness in the community. I've got more skills that I've learned to manage, and time to practice those skills. I've got experience with what works and what doesn't. All of those things just took time.

There will hopefully come a time where I don't need hospital admissions as part of the management of my illness. But if that never happens, it won't be because I'm weak. It will be because I have a serious illness, which nobody wants, which I need intermittent help managing.

Yes, it's great to have reducing dependence on inpatient stays as a goal. Your psychiatrist is doing their job encouraging you to keep that goal in mind. The question "what will I get out of it" is something I ask myself every single admission.

But that's different from "I shouldn't need this". It's just, "what am I getting out of this", so that I know what parts of my illness management still need work.

Try and have some self compassion. Ptsd isn't an illness you asked for. Sometimes it requires hospital to manage. And that's okay.


Seconding everything everyone’s said. Really brilliant stuff!

I’d like to introduce one more thought, though. What if you were weak? Wouldn’t that in fact mean that you need help even more acutely? That you need and deserve more care than people who are somehow ”strong”? I’m by no means suggesting that you are weak, but this kind of play with thoughts helps me sometimes. Especially at times when I use my self-diagnosed ”weakness” to disqualify myself for help or care.


Ok, what your psych said makes me really angry on your behalf—not AT you!—and I’m going to wait until I cool off a bit and get home to respond. Instead of reacting.

The second thing is I don’t know how many times something like that has been said to me but it’s a lot of times. It is definitely NOT OK whoever said that. And no you are NOT weak, you are going where you feel safe, and I don’t personally think most people go to psych hospitals or any kind of psych unit because it’s “fun” or get “secondary gain” out of going there, as I have been accused of. Being suicidal means you are in a serious amount of distress and are considering or planning on ending your life. That’s serious. And for trauma survivors, it can happen a lot.

May have more to say later but I have to run out the door now. So NO you are NOT weak or self pitying.


New Here
I d encourage you to practice self-compassion. You have done the best that you could. You have made reasonable choices - seeing the psychiatrist, seeking inpatient care when you felt you had the need. Give yourself the credit for these good things.