Mind Over Matter

I work in consults at my hospital, which means that I see medically sick patients who happen to have psychiatric issues going on as well. Common reasons I see patients are for drug or alcohol issues, depression, anxiety, and dementia. I enjoy this work because I really believe in the mind-body connection. For example, when someone’s depressed, they won’t be able to participate in their treatment as well, and physically may not get a whole lot better. Also, sick people get depressed about their health. I feel like I’m able to improve someone’s entire well-being when I address their mental health issues.

One thing that I like to discuss when seeing such patients, is what can the patient do to help themselves in the hospital. A lot of times, we may start a medication, or we may provide supportive therapy in the hospital, but treatment always takes time. While waiting for treatment to start working, what can the patient do on their own in the meantime to start getting better? An expression I like to encourage patients with, is “Fake it til you make it.” Even if someone does not feel at his best, he can remind himself that eventually, things will improve–so in the mean time, why not put in a little more effort, even when it’s hard. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least the patient feels he has some control over his own situation. This in itself can be very empowering.

Just some thoughts after a day of seeing patients today. Thanks for reading, and as always I welcome any comments or questions.

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Explore posts in the same categories: General Mental Health, Psychosomatic medicine

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