My Mental Health Journey Through an Intensive Outpatient Program – Part 1

Recently I’ve been having suicidal ideations. It’s scared the crap out of me. I want it to stop. Since it’s not stopping, though, my therapist recommended an intensive outpatient program (IOP). I agreed. I want to document my experiences in the program. I think it will help me to make sense of what’s happening.

Today was my intake appointment. It took about an hour and a half. It consisted of questions. Lots and lots and lots of questions. Some were purely practical, contact information and things like that. Some were questions that I’ve been asked at every psych intake I’ve ever had. In the past two weeks, how often have you had trouble sleeping? How are you eating? Blah, blah, blah.

There was a whole section of questions about substance abuse. I found that a little amusing. I’ve literally never had a drink in my life. Nor have I used any other non-prescription drugs. I’ve never been drunk, stoned, buzzed, toasted, high, or anything else. I’ve never tripped or licked a toad. But I answered what seemed like dozens of questions about illicit substances. And after all the questions, I had to take a breathalyzer (my blood alcohol level was shockingly zero) and get a urine test.

Then, I had to sign a bunch of forms. I consented to all sorts of things. And I signed several releases so the IOP can talk to my other care providers.

When I was all done, they said I can start tomorrow. It’s going to be group therapy for three hours a day, five days a week. That’s a lot, but I think it will be good for me. I’m a little nervous to start. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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