Encountering the Psychiatric System

Yet another client who is so cognitively impaired by the multiple psychiatric drugs he is on that I’m not sure I can help him. He wants a way out of the daily suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety he is having. He’s on 4 different drugs, an antipsychotic, anti depressants and 2 benzodiazepines.

His eyes are so damaged and he can’t read or see properly. I looked it up and it’s a side effect of the antipsychotic he is on. I can’t tell him that. I don’t know if there’s a connection though suspect there may be. So of course I can’t tell him to come off them. I don’t know if that is safe or possible. I don’t know enough, and it’s not my place to question the GP and psychiatrist he has. I’m not sure I can even point him to the side effects that could be connected to his eye problems. It’s his lack of sight that is most depressing him.

The guy can’t think straight, can’t concentrate on anything. I start a conversation and he goes to multiple places unrelated to what I said, mostly rehearsed stories he has told many times. Because he can’t think clearly. He has been in and out of psychiatric residential hospitals for 6 years. 5 long term stays, sectioned with psychotic breakdowns and one after being taken off a high bridge.

I don’t know what to do to help him. I’ve had 2 meetings and what I’m planning on doing is just giving him time and space to talk, simple human warmth and positive regard. Nothing I say goes in.

I read Peter Breggin and Mad in America, places of education about what is going on.

I’m seeing my supervisor this morning and imagine she will suggest I no longer see him. Then I’ll be another mental health person in a system that has badly let him down already.

Update-supervisor said I can’t have him as a client. So I told the manager and he will be passed to someone more experienced to assess him. Sending that guy love and best wishes.

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