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«У комунікації приховано набагато більше сенсів, ніж нам здається. Цей Довідник допоможе розкрити нові, додаткові смисли, коли в центрі уваги – людина та її різноманіття. І це стане першим кроком у формуванні нової етики спілкування».

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Олена Зеленська

What to do if a person with a mental disorder isn’t reacting to danger

04.03.2022

In a stressful situation (such as explosions, shelling, mass panic), people with mental disorders may not understand what is happening, ignore the obvious danger, be confused or fall into a stupor.

It is necessary to lead the person to a safe place such as a bomb shelter and provide them with clear instructions. While leading them to safety, calmly explain what you are doing, where you are taking them, and for what purpose.

A person with severe disorders may go into a catatonic state, in which the reaction to a request, command or instruction is the opposite of what is necessary.

For example, the person may stand still when you ask them to go to a shelter. Or walk away when you ask them to stand still. In such cases, you need to voice the plan of action in reverse.

In general, patients with severe mental disorders are not a danger to others. However, the following behaviors may be a sign that they pose a threat to others:

  • the person claims that they are being watched
  • they are ready to attack an imaginary stalker
  • they hear imaginary voices that are telling them to harm themselves or others

These symptoms can let us know that a person poses a threat, and may help us guess what their next action might be. In any case, it is necessary to do the following:

  • calm the person down
  • take them to a safe place
  • establish contact and evaluate the person’s symptoms
  • help them get attention from a medical professional

* Based on the recommendations provided by Yuri Volnykh, a psychiatrist of the highest category, psychoanalyst

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