A thirty year old man told me what had occurred when he’d taken his psychotic wife to a psychiatric hospital for help. He added that dealing with psychosis was like getting hit by an avalanche in mid-summer. “We were escorted into the on-duty psychiatrist’s office and then the doctor said; ‘It’s unusual for a family member to come here unannounced,’ which seemed a strange way to introduce oneself to a highly stressed husband with an adrenaline level way beyond what is considered normal. I wondered whether a doctor at any other emergency room would have said the same thing if we’d come in after an accident or after heart failure. The doctor wrote out a prescription for an anti-psychotic medication and handed me the piece of paper. I asked whether there could be side effects and he looked rather surprised but added another pill to the prescription without any explanation. I knew about side effects of anti-psychotic meds as I’d worked as a nurse in one of these hospitals for a while. Then he told me when it was advisable to bring my wife again and added that it would be advisable for me to remain during the next examination. I asked whether it was not standard procedure to hospitalize my wife due to her psychosis but he said she did not appear to be a danger to herself or to others. I wondered how he could be so sure after spending so little time with her.” Not long after this, she was hospitalized and remained there for some months.”
Family support is most important where mental health care is concerned. Of course, there are dysfunctional families but most are willing to learn and help their ill relative. Family support can reduce relapses and readmissions.