How to communicate with patients

un chemin qui descend vers la mer entre les arbustes en Corse
Each patient has a path.

Already as a doctor, I believe that we should not put too much pressure on ourselves, indeed even for a person who has experienced schizophrenia, it is complicated to understand another schizophrenic person in delirium.

I think you have to be polite as you have to be with everyone.

I also caution here about insisting on understanding what the patient is thinking at all costs. It can be very badly experienced, that’s why as a doctor you have to ask questions, but you shouldn’t insist too much either, indeed as I explain at the bottom of this page: it is disturbing to share one’s fantasies , sharing your ideas can be annoying in schizophrenia when you’re feeling bad.

It is therefore difficult, can sometimes be impossible to persuade a patient to treat himself if he does not want to. You don't necessarily have to put too much guilt on yourself for not being able to persuade your patients, or harass your patients too much, unless they are very, very bad and may be dangerous for themselves or for others, I think ethics is to let people free to act and just to have a conversation of equals.

Some tips for communicating with the patient:
  • Try to understand how he feels, I think he won't mind you asking the question of what he thinks and feels, unless he is in a period without treatment or a period when he is really bad and he can be too susceptible.
  • Another element facing a patient without treatment and never treated: I think it is necessary to specify to him that the problems he feels are known and happen in some people and that there is a treatment even if each patient has different thoughts, a different experience, so giving him a treatment will really solve his worries as it helps these other people and it will allow him to 'see more clearly.
  • Especially for psychiatrists or caregivers in psychiatry, I think you have to ask the patient for certain symptoms, I think that most patients will not talk about themselves being timid or doing knots by fearing to be part of a group, those of timid people, and so they will do everything to hide that they are timid, because they feel it as a little shameful for example.
  • I think that as a doctor, you have to ask the patient if there are things that do not satisfy him in his life, precisely to be able to improve them, it is for example only recently that my psychiatrist has understood that I sometimes feel too paranoid, that it bothers me to be too fat because of the treatment, that I have trouble working and carrying out my projects while I have seen him for a long time, although I really appreciate my psychiatrist and I find him very good. Finally the doctor and especially the psychiatrist is there so that the patient is satisfied in his life, so it is important to ask him.

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