Caring for Patients with Schizophrenia and Other Psychiatric Disorders

Read Transcript

It's a dangerous disease because schizophrenia and depression are the two of the most likely reasons for suicide. In my early years I did a lot of psychiatric practice and I was fortunate that I never lost a patient to suicide. But my feeling was I wanted the patient any time they walked out of my office to feel there was some hope, you never let them go without hope.

And you're there for them, and you try to make yourself available at any time they run into trouble. We got to stop thinking about other people as in some way being bad, terrible, kill able whatever that has effects on wide populations and certainly on the psychically ill. There is for many people, unfortunately there's nothing that makes them feel better than to be able to point to somebody else's worst in there.

Psychiatric patients are not generally violent but actually more victims of violence we had homeless shelter and the psychiatric patient how to be protective from the criminals. However when they do become violent, they become violent in waiting and public, public attention gathering ways that are disturbing.

So the impression is, you know, there bunch of crazy people in danger there are people who are not that crazy who could be dangerous. The way we treated psychiatric patients in past years was horrendous. And what's happened is more humanity brought to a decrease, but not an elimination of a stigma and efforts which are rehabilitative, they focus on employment, they focus on housing, they focus on family relationships which restore to some degree the functioning of a lot of skills of many patients.

At the worst we had close to 600 thousand people housed in state hospitals, in the midst of these and on, that's down to about 25-30000 in the country. That isn't all good some of them perhaps still need something like that, but we've made some advances but we still don't have precision with regard to what actually [xx].

We're becoming increasingly convinced that very early intervention of many of the psychiatric illnesses as well as other illnesses I would say has value in that outcomes are better. So what you try to do is you try to go backwards and look for signs that this is developing even when it's not as fluores as [xx] as it might otherwise be.

But what you'd like to find is a trusted therapist with whom the patient will work and a focus on finding that person reasonable places to live, to work, to have relationships, and that should be done with a therapist with help, support and help of the family or sometimes organised provider enterprises.

There is nothing I find more attractive than playing a role in taking somebody who hurts and getting rid of that hurt. And my feeling is if we can keep doing the research we should do, then we're going to be able to do that with more and more and more people.