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What Happens During a Psychiatric Emergency?

Everyone knows how to deal with the situation when a family member or relative is physically unwell. However, when it comes to mental health, most families find it difficult to understand what the issue is, some may not even give it a second thought.

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In India, there is a powerful stigma around people experiencing any kind of mental health problem. Often, society labels them as lunatics. This social treatment may push them to a vicious cycle of shame, inner sufferings, and self-isolation.

The growing number of patients affected by several mental health issues is a warning sign to India. Therefore, it is high time that one must develop insight into what psychiatric emergency is all about.

It comprises situations in which people start acting in a manner that would harm themselves or others. Even when the patients are aware that their actions are dangerous, they may not be able to refrain themselves from engaging in harmful actions.

For instance, a schizophrenic often follows his or her hallucinations to commit theft. It happens because the patients, in most cases, lack insight and judgemental ability. That is why they need the attention and care of psychologists, family members, friends, and society.

Agitation is a common symptom of psychological emergencies and it may be threatening to the patients and others. Intentional self-endangerment may breed suicidal tendencies.

Hence, it must be treated with the help of the professionals before the situation goes out of control. These days, the emergence of psychological emergency care providers is showing us a ray of hope.

How Can Professionals Help?

When someone experiencing mental health problems visit doctors for their routine check-ups, doctors can recognize the issues that need immediate care. In such a situation, the doctor should:

  • Arrange a complete assessment of the identified behavioral issue
  • Transfer the patient to Emergency Department
  • Treat the patient with care (if the issue can be resolved without the help of psychologists)

When the situation is critical, the patients need help from psychologists. Most psychology clinics consider the importance of the physical environment as it has a direct impact on the patient’s mental state.

Therefore, they arrange an evaluation room to enable the patients to soothe their minds. At the same time, the room must allow an escape from an agitated patient who can harm others. When it comes to healthcare, be it physical or mental, professional training is of immense importance.

Even people sitting at the front desk must be properly trained to identify the warning signs of an agitated patient so that they can be prepared for avoiding an unpleasant incident.

It must be noted that the main responsibilities of the staff at a psychological care clinic are to protect the physical safety of the caregivers and to assess the mental status of the patients and treat them accordingly.

In the initial assessment, the doctors should focus on the factors that may reduce the patient’s inclination towards dangerous actions such as suicide, homicide, intoxication, etc. If the patient shows no sign of improvement after the initial treatment, the doctors may consider admission of the patient to the emergency department.

Bottom Line

According to a study, one in seven people in India in 2017 has been suffering from mental issues including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc. To decrease the number, all we need is awareness and empathy.

If society starts treating mental disorders just like other health issues, more people will come forward to report and treat their mental illnesses. It will help the psychological emergency care clinics to help more and more people recover from psychological challenges.

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Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.
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