If you are considering a residential treatment center as an option, you may be concerned with some of the myths surrounding them. In fact, you may not know they are myths at all. What you have to keep in mind is that times have changed and even the stigma for mental illness itself has changed. With those changes have come new laws and accommodations for treatment that were not in place before.
You will be restrained if your don't behave. To begin with, those whose behavior is so out of control that they require restraints in order to protect them from themselves are not usually candidates for long term treatment. The behaviors that do require restraints are those that would hurt the patient or others, like cutting on themselves or attacking a fellow resident. Patients are never restrained simply because they misbehave in a nonviolent manner. Some facilities even use a “hands off” approach that eliminates restraints altogether. The hands off approach is becoming the most common approach.
Sexual abuse is common. This myth is probably the most disturbing one. Though there may be sexual predators in residential treatment centers from time to time, special precautions are taken so that no abuse does occur. Please keep in mind that most children who are sexual predators are such because of the abuse done to them. They are seeking treatment for that abuse and their own behavior.
There is no privacy. Although privacy is limited due to the need for careful monitoring, patients do experience enough privacy to take care of their hygiene needs and bodily functions without any observation. For the most part, children who would need monitoring in those situation would be in acute care rather than in a residential treatment center.
Keep in mind that there are very strict guidelines for residential treatment centers, including the amount of staff that needs to be in place according to the amount of residents that are in the facility at the time. The staff is thoroughly screened and goes through intense training before they are put in contact with the residents. Residents are also able to contact a patient advocate should they have any concerns.