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Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Avoid Depression When You're Hospitalized


19 Nisan 5769

I'm interrrupting my vacation time again to let you know about serious health care issues you can and should address with your medical team.

I read the

A serious component of relevant
research seems to be missing
in this doctor-oriented program:
A multi-pronged study
from the patient's point of view!

This study should include
mental health experts
or specially designated
actors/actresses acting as
ICU patients who experience
the factors leading to post-ICU
depression first-hand
(the "Walk a mile in my shoes"

(I suggest that you copy down
or print out the suggestions below,
then share them with the
head nurse on your unit or
post them above your hospital bed)

1. Some patients are verbally
and/or physically abused by
medical staff being unnecessarily
harsh with patients in their care.
As staffing becomes scarcer and
patient load mounts, it's more
difficult for nursing staff to
give tender loving care
(TLC) in the massive doses
that ICU patients need.

And, nurses weaken in strength
as they move patients without
sufficient support from colleagues.
The result? Bumps, drops,
pain, bruising, etc.

Better planning is a necessity.

2. Some visitors upset ICU patients
with scarey stories and
negative speculation.
Patients are not in a postiton
to shoo them away.

Researchers should

A) Determine if patients prefer
that specific visitors
not be allowed on the floor
in their rooms, access to doctors
nor allowed to call the patient.

AND B) Medical staff should take
appropriate action to preserve
the patient's mental health.

Nasty patients can also
intimidate fellow patients.
They need to be quarantined
to the greatest extent possible.

Abusive patient behavior must be
addressed and ended by
ICU or social work support staff.

Incessant, intrusive, noisy 24/7
cell phone calls worsen matters:
ICU patients can't sleep, relax
focus on positive aspects
(e.g., improved test results)
or on getting better.

Sleep deprivation is a huge
precursor to depression for anyone!

Medical and social work staff
should forbid after-hours
cell phone calls.

3. Lack of sunlight, sounds and flavors of normal life
can depress patient function.

People crave their
favorite foods
(or anything other than
hospital fare),
social interaction without tubes,
blue pads, pain and weakness.

Researchers need to factor in the loss of normal activities
to post-ICU depression:
missed events such as family weddings, reunions,
job responsibilities, promotions,
holiday celebrations, etc.

4. Some patients have a knack for
coping with adversity.
It serves them well post-ICU.

Researchers should learn
what those techniques are,
and guarantee that these techniques are taught
within the community
AND within the ICU.

Lessons are especially appropriate
for patients and their visitors.

5. ALI (Acute Lung Infection) and
Benzodiazepine use are not
the only factors worth considering
to evaluate why patients
become depressed post-ICU.

Patients (including infants and children) with other
diagnoses and medications
also become adversely
affected by ICU care.

Hospitalization is an
infantilizing experience.
Patients are desperate
for personal power
let alone better health.

Patient preferences are often ignored, rudely dismissed
and lost in the shuffle of
documentation, bed transfers, pressured medical
staff scheduling etc.

That leads to
worsening depression.

A woman who wrote a highly
acclaimed book about how to survive medical crises, I know that the proper mindset for everyone is crucial before, during, and after medical care.

I teach that mindset to clients and to my readers.

Click on
Coax Your Medical Team Members to BUY "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To" so they'll Learn to Appreciate Hospital Life from the Patient's Point of View.

To your good health,

Yojeved Golani
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life

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