On Shrink Rap, psychiatrist Dinah Miller, who is working on a book called Committed: The Battle Over Forced Psychiatric Care, discusses some of the discomforts people have with being forcibly treated in psychiatric hospitals. Miller asks readers if there might be ways to improve patients’ feelings — like giving them pizza or cake.
“This is what I wonder. Would it help to have an exit interview?” writes Miller. “To listen to what of the treatment made patients suffer. To listen, not to throw in people’s faces that it had to be done because they were embarrassingly out of control, but to acknowledge that the treatment was difficult, hard to endure at times, and to simply validate the distress the patient felt without the assignment of blame to either party?”
Miller also wonders if having little celebratory parties might improve the situation. “So would it help when people left a psychiatric hospital feeling badly, violated perhaps, and certainly shamed because this is something we hear over and over even if the patient did nothing shameful at all, if we listened?” she writes. “What if we acknowledged how difficult it can be to get treatment and participate in it, to let people know what a tremendous job they’ve done in getting through such a difficult time (even if it wasn’t all graceful)? Would it help to have a celebration when someone was discharged –even if just pizza or cake or something a little healthier, but to bring in family and print up a certificate to be read aloud and not make this all about shame?”
Are There Ways To Lessen The Violation That People Feel After Psychiatric Hospitalizations? (Shrink Rap, February 21, 2015)