Should you go to the ER for a mental breakdown

Should you go to the ER for a Mental Breakdown?

01 Oct 2022

An emergency room serves a vital function in any healthcare system. When you require immediate help, you call 911 or rush to an ER. It’s, however, not clear which health emergencies require a visit to an ER. You can visit an ER when you have a condition that requires immediate medical intervention. Even though conditions that necessitate emergency care are broad, a mental breakdown is often overlooked.

A mental breakdown is a medical condition that involves a period of extreme mental or emotional stress that makes it impossible to function normally in your daily life. It is a severe mental health emergency and requires immediate treatment from a medical expert.

If you experience a mental breakdown, mainly when alone, it’s advisable to seek immediate help. Preferably, visit a facility with no wait ER. You can go to a walk-in ER, such as Memorial Village Emergency Room, which has an emergency room in Houston. It’s normal to visit an ER due to mental health crises. About 6% of adults’ ER visits to ERs are due to mental health problems.

Mental Health Problems that Necessitate a Visit to an ER

Although a long list of mental health problems could trigger you to visit an ER, several are very common. They include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizoaffective disorder

When to Visit an Emergency Room

When experiencing mental health problems, you should visit an ER if you worry about your safety. For instance, if you share thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide, you should immediately go to an ER. You should check out the following symptoms to determine whether you need to visit an ER.

  • Severe insomnia
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Mania
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Severe medication side effects
  • Visual/auditory hallucinations
  • OCD symptoms

Even though a visit to the ER seems like too much, it’s beneficial. Most ERs are busy, loud, chaotic, and sometimes long queues. If you brave these odds, you get instant help. Luckily, ERs are available in most regions, and thus you can easily find one in your locality. When you visit an ER, they strive to make your stay worthwhile. They give you food and drinks and make your stay worthwhile as they seek a solution to your problems.

What to Expect in the Emergency Room

When visiting an ER due to a mental breakdown, you should remember that they handle all sorts of emergencies. Their priority is to save lives, and it’s normal to expect a chaotic environment. When you get to an ER, the staff will first ask you several questions, some of which may seem ridiculous but aren’t. Answer the questions frankly.

Depending on your answers, you may need to visit a professional mental health expert. In other instances, you may be admitted or transferred to a more capable facility. Also, be ready to spend a couple of hours in an ER following your visit. Depending on your symptoms, the hospital staff may confiscate some personal items which you could use to cause injury to yourself or others.

Some essential tips when visiting an ER include the items you can carry and the clothes to wear. They include:

  • Headphones
  • Comfortable and warm clothes
  • Slip-in shoes
  • A computer or book

If you get hospitalized due to a mental breakdown, follow up with a professional mental health expert after you get discharged. Mental health experts will help you to improve your situation gradually and help you how to act in case of another mental health emergency.


Since a mental breakdown lasts several hours to a few weeks, you should seek immediate mental health care as soon as you realize the first symptoms. Getting help is normal and will help you return to your normal state more shortly. Getting help also enables you to get the capacity to survive future episodes of mental breakdown.

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