How to help a person with a mental disorder deal with stress
Reaction to stress might look different depending on the person. If the reaction is acute, a person might:
- be in a state of mental agitation, fidget, blurt out words, phrases or sounds
- act in a uncoordinated way
- be unable to help themselves
- be unable to take care of themselves or take care of their basic needs
- look disheveled or dirty
- act in an aggressive manner and endanger themselves or the people around them
In this case, the person needs treatment in a specialized facility. You can call an ambulance or take the person to the hospital yourself. Alternatively, contact social workers or the police (they have instructions on how to act and where to take such patients).
If the condition is subacute, and the person isn’t displaying acute symptoms, it is necessary to find out what symptoms were manifested earlier, what medication was used to treat the conditions, if the person is taking them now and has access to the needed medication. You also need to find out what dosage was prescribed.
Perhaps the person has an extract from the medical history, treatment regimens or prescriptions on hand. Help them buy the medication prescribed by a specialist so that they can immediately start taking it again.
Continuous medical treatment is vital for patients with severe mental disorders. Abolition of drug treatment (“quitting cold turkey”) leads to exacerbation of the condition, reduced social interaction and a worsening of their self-care skills. The most dangerous consequence of refusing treatment is suicide.
* Based on the recommendations provided by Yuri Volnykh, a psychiatrist of the highest category, psychoanalyst
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