How to help an Alcoholic?

It is painful and overwhelming to see someone you love destroy their life due to an addictive behaviour. Alcoholics usually tend to deny their addiction and only realize it when its negative effects have spread into almost all areas of life. Here the role of friends and family members can be effective in encouraging them […]

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First aid for Panic Attacks

Panic attack is a condition which is episodic in nature marked by high anxiety and fear, also discomfort that develops suddenly and reaches heights within 10 minutes.   Observable symptoms: Trembling and shaking Sweating Short breaths and sensations of choking If the person reports – palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, abdominal distress or nausea, dizziness […]

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Panic Attack in Child

Did you know that a panic attack in children often manifests in the early stages of adolescence? And, it is the most common psychological problem in the western countries, usually affecting about 2-3% of the people especially the younger ones in a year. There is no specific event triggering the first panic attack in children, […]

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Alcohol Detoxification

Do you know that Delirium tremens kills one in  20 people during alcohol withdrawal? Yes, It is estimated these tremors occur in 5 percent of the people who go through the process of alcohol withdrawal. This is the time where the alcohol detoxification comes into the picture.   It is good if you have decided […]

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How To Stop Panic Attack

Dying on EMI basis?   In the spur of a moment suddenly thinking of losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. No clue of what’s happening in and around? That could be a panic attack. Yes! A panic attack is a sudden impact of intense fear that creates severe physical reactions in the […]

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Respect in mental illness hastens recovery process

p2Does respecting someone beg a reciprocal response? Yes, so far as the normal social behaviour goes in a civilized grouping. If we say hello to someone, we expect a return ‘Hello’. That is in fact quite natural to expect. What if our hello is not reciprocated? This is likely to result in various misinterpretations of human behaviour and a mountain of misunderstandings.

Cause of disrespect

Miscommunication is the root of the problem, when it comes to dealing with persons with mental disorders respectfully. Deep rooted misconceptions and ignorance about the mental health issues further complicates the situation. The obvious fall out of it all is: recurring incidents of abuse and disrespect to mentally ill persons, at home, on the street and worse still at the hands of the staff, nurses and doctors in mental healthcare centres.

Big hurdle!

This is not an attempt to generalise that incidents of ill-treatment and disrespect is all pervasive, but to sensitise common people and professionals dealing with mental healthcare problems. The key lies in making efforts at understanding the mindset of people with mental disorders. Given the complexity of the mind and brain functional disorders, opening a channel of communication with a mentally disturbed person is the first big hurdle to overcome for a healthcare professional.

Striking a chord

The first and perhaps the easiest way to strike a chord with a mentally ill person is to show respect to him or her, his or her likings and disliking and instil a sense of being cared for and loved and respected despite all shortcomings. Numerous symptoms of mental illness are beyond the patients’ control. A helping and respectful presence around, it has been proved, goes a long way in hastening the recovery of patients and bringing them back to the life’s mainstream.

Communicating respect: key

The ability of the mental healthcare professionals to communicate respect, whether through spoken words, gestures or expression of feelings, plays an important part in opening up channels of communication with patients.

There are various ways of communicating respect to a mentally ill person. These are:

  • Console a patient in the midst of a bout of crying
  • Show genuine happiness over any action of patient, including his or her creativity through music, painting, etc.
  • Be truthful to the promise you made to a patient to keep his or her secrets or experiences – a childhood incident, first love, etc.
  • Don’t hesitate to beg pardon of a patient, even if you have committed an intended mistake
  • Don’t hesitate to apologise if you have caused hurt to a patient by your utterances or angry outbursts, may be in the spur of the moment.
  • Be unmindful of any untoward action of the patient and don’t take any rebukes personally

Respectful approach

The above mentioned points have largely proven to be useful for a professional in the effective handling of patients with mental problems. Experts say that such a respectful approach to mental healthcare help build a strong therapeutic working relationship with the patient.

Quick recovery

A respecting attitude towards patients with mental illness has been greatly instrumental in removing misunderstanding between the patient and his or her doctor, caregiver or nurses. It helps instil in the patient a strong sense of confidence about the professional’s ability to lead him or her to a quick path of recovery.

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