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Next To The Mentally Ill: Five Rules Of Conduct - The Quality Of Life
Next To The Mentally Ill: Five Rules Of Conduct - The Quality Of Life

Video: Next To The Mentally Ill: Five Rules Of Conduct - The Quality Of Life

Video: Next To The Mentally Ill: Five Rules Of Conduct - The Quality Of Life
Video: 8 Secrets of a Healthy Mind 2023, April

Schizophrenia is one of the most famous mental illnesses. Unfortunately, this disease is incurable and any person who encounters it needs to understand how to behave with the patient. There are only five problems, but each requires special attention. It:


Aggressive behavior can be observed in a patient both during an exacerbation and during remission. What to do? First of all, never argue. This is ineffective and also unsafe. It is necessary to try to verbally calm the patient, go to another room, give him the opportunity to recover. Be sure to seek help from a doctor, do not postpone hospitalization out of pity.

In what situations can aggressive behavior occur? For example, if you interfere with the patient from doing what they love. As strange as this hobby may seem to you, it can be of great importance to your loved one. And any interference will be regarded as an encroachment on his personal space. You need to learn to control your negative emotions. In response to your dissatisfaction, the patient may respond aggressively.

Refusal to take medications

In schizophrenia, in addition to thinking and the emotional sphere, the patient's critical attitude towards himself also suffers. Often patients ask the doctor to reduce the dose of drugs, and often they themselves "quietly" cancel the drugs. They motivate it with the words “I feel better”. Persuasion fails to influence the patient's decision. The result of refusal to take medications is hospitalization. After discharge, the script is repeated. What can you offer your relatives? In modern psychiatry, there are prolonged drugs - drugs that are prescribed in the form of injections once or twice a month. In terms of effectiveness, they are not inferior to tablets, and they are more convenient to take.

Energy in a peaceful direction

A patient with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a young beautiful woman, after being discharged, independently canceled the medication. Within a month, there was a sharp deterioration in the state: delirium of religious content, aggression towards relatives and, as a result, forced hospitalization. This was repeated until a certain point, until something changed her attitude towards treatment. Perhaps, the reluctance to be in the hospital again affected. Maybe endless conversations with the doctor influenced me. But the following happened: she began to regularly take medications and visit the attending physician. The woman directed her irrepressible energy to help homeless people. She picked them up on the street, gave them food and shelter for a while in her house, then escorted them to a shelter for those in need. She enthusiastically talked about her charity work. This patient was never hospitalized again.


Suicidal behavior is another problem that relatives of patients with a psychiatric diagnosis may face. And the most unpleasant thing about this behavior is the fact that a suicide attempt is difficult to predict. A person can carefully hide his intentions if he has made a final decision. Sometimes the patient manipulates in order to attract attention or get some kind of benefit. However, it can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to distinguish between a demonstrative patient and a patient who has decided to commit suicide. The most dangerous is the so-called extended suicide, when the patient decides to "get rid of suffering" other people, such as his family members. And first he kills his relatives, and then himself.


Hallucinations are the perception of non-existent images. There are several main types of hallucinations: auditory (voices), visual, tactile, and gustatory. The patient believes in their reality, it is useless to dissuade him. Hallucinations are a sign of an exacerbation of the disease and require immediate medical attention. There are types of schizophrenia, when hallucinations take on a chronic form and cannot be treated. As a rule, the patient in this case retains a critical attitude towards them, he understands that they are the product of his disease and do not affect his behavior.

Personality change

The two most unpleasant facts about schizophrenia are: the disease is incurable and it irreversibly changes a person's personality. You can have a variety of feelings about this: fear, resentment, anger, frustration, but this will not affect the situation in any way. In the emotional sphere of the "mentally ill" there is a kind of split (splitting). On the one hand, coldness and even cruelty towards others, including relatives, on the other - vulnerability and hypersensitivity. Psychiatrists use the expression "wood and glass" on this occasion. That which previously brought pleasure and delight to the patient no longer arouses any interest in him.

Gradually, he becomes more and more immersed in his autistic fantasy world. Personality changes also affect appearance: such patients neglect the basic rules of hygiene. Relatives take a lot of effort to get the patient to wash or brush their teeth. The disease slowly but steadily isolates a person from society.

Legal grounds

Law No. 3185-I. Article 29. Grounds for involuntary hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital

A person suffering from a mental disorder may be hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital without his consent or without the consent of his legal representative before the judge's decision, if his examination or treatment is possible only in a hospital setting, and the mental disorder is severe and causes: a) its immediate danger to himself or others, or b) his helplessness, that is, the inability to independently satisfy basic vital needs, or c) significant harm to his health due to a deterioration in his mental state, if the person is left without psychiatric care.

How can a family help their sick relative and themselves?

Confidential contact with a doctor

"Mentally ill" patients are very sensitive to criticism and encouragement from the attending physician. Ask your doctor questions that bother you, because for many, schizophrenia is an obscure condition. However, there is a small "but" here. If the patient's mental state does not fall under Article 29, then information about his health can be reported even to close relatives only with his consent.


If the doctor insists on hospitalization, this means that the patient's mental state cannot be corrected in a dispensary. What is the advantage of this treatment? Firstly, in a hospital it is easier and faster to find adequate therapy, since the patient is under medical supervision around the clock. Secondly, all medicines that are prescribed to your relative, he will receive free of charge. And thirdly, in the hospital, the patient is guaranteed to take medicine. Many people are intimidated by the forced placement of a loved one in a hospital. Relatives feel guilty about the patient. But in reality, involuntary hospitalization is similar to surgery to open an abscess: an incision is necessary for the abscess to heal.

The risks are close

At the end of 2015, disappointing figures were announced at a specialized conference on the dangerous behavior of people with mental illness. Now in Russia there are 50,000 patients who are under constant dispensary supervision, and coercive measures in connection with aggressive and unsafe behavior towards others were applied by a court decision to more than 26,000 living in families. It should be noted that we are talking only about people with official diagnoses, meanwhile, some experts believe that at the moment about 40% of people in the country suffer from mental disorders that have not yet transformed into serious diseases.

How to live nearby?

There is a temptation to completely control your sick relative. However, by overprotection, you deprive him of the healthy part of the personality (and it certainly is) of the right to at least some kind of autonomy. It is necessary to learn to separate a person and his disease. When the patient behaves aggressively or inappropriately, understand: now this is not your beloved son, grandson or husband. It is in him that the disease speaks. Later, "coming to his senses", your loved one will calm down and be able to interact with you in a different way. In our society, mentally ill people are treated with extreme caution. And that is why it is especially important for your relative to feel your support and love, to understand that you accept him as he is. And the last thing: do not try to punish yourself, take responsibility for what happened. You are not to blame for what happened. In spite of everything, life goes on.

Calling as salvation


John Forbes Nash is an American mathematician and Nobel laureate in economics. The scientist suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Nash fell ill at age 30. At first, his wife made attempts to hide the terrible illness from colleagues and friends. But after a few months he had to be forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital. The scientist's illness progressed. He spoke of himself in the third person, was afraid of something, wrote meaningless letters. Nash's colleagues gave him a job and found a good psychiatrist who prescribed potent drugs. In 1980, the disease, much to the surprise of psychiatrists, began to recede. Perhaps this happened because the scientist again took up his beloved mathematics. In 2015, John Nash received the highest honor in mathematics - the Abel Prize.

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