We Are The Patients’ Family

Interaction With Psychiatric Patients

Some psychiatric patients have been institutionalized for so long, that they no longer have a family on the outside. Their family has either moved on and away from their lives, have passed away, or simply feel distant and disconnected from them. After many years of hospitalization, the psychiatrists and the team have become the patients family.

Many patients have different goals and objectives. Some patients are goal-oriented and comply with the team’s instructions: they take medications, attend groups, follow instructions and are working towards discharge. But some patients are too psychotic to even take a shower or utilize the toilet; these are the ones who end up staying institutionalized for years or even life.

Some patients avoid prison time by malingering that they have a mental illness. They will literally feign symptoms, in order to convince the court to send them to a psychiatric institute to serve the rest of their time. These patients may have an underlying mental illness, but not the one they are obviously feigning.

And then there are the patients who have a mental illness, are functioning and not symptomatic at the moment, but refuse to be discharged because they have no where else to go. Some of these patients do not even have a family anymore. They are so comfortable living in the psychiatric hospital, that it has become their home and we have become their family!

No matter what situation or state of mind a psychiatric patient is in, the primary team adopts a family role in most patients eyes. We are the ones providing medication, comfort, treatment plans, diets, mental and physical support, encouragement, time and care!

The moment that you see their eyes harboring a release of tears, is the moment that you come to the realization that we are in fact their family!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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