To psychiatrists and other therapists

Please don’t let your patients feel that you are judging them. Your job is to make them feel as safe and as comfortable as possible. I am aware of the fact that this is not easy.

If a doctor comes on time to his appointment in a hospital, it will show his patients that they do matter. If you were in a regular hospital and called for emergency surgery, that would be different but you are working in a psychiatric hospital because you chose to do so.

When a patient’s parent calls, they are desperate and go from one crisis to another, so please take their calls or call back.

When a person with a mental illness is psychotic and maybe out of control, what are the parents supposed to do? They need your immediate input, you know. Those parents don’t have an orderly with a ready-filled-syringe to administer a shot the way you do in a hospital. They need help that minute.

A good sense of humor is helpful here too. I have seen it in action and amazed at the change in a patient when someone jokes with him. Maybe because it is such a common, daily, ordinary thing to do and makes them feel more ordinary.

Psychiatric text books tell a psychiatrist to keep his distance but they omit to add – a little distance only. Your patient needs some empathy; needs to know that you are human .

Doctor, can you imagine what it must be like for a person to lose his/her sanity? I can’t begin to imagine this. What I can suggest is that you give your patient something to hang onto – maybe even some hope. I know that nobody can live without any hope. Try this because no sanity and no hope is not the recipe for a return to a more or less healthy existence.

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