What is mental health?
Mental health refers to our emotional wellbeing, it is all about how we think, feel and behave.
The relevance of working with patients with mental health problems for me will be a challenge to start with. While on my placement I come across many patients why are suffering with Alzheimer and Dementia and most are suffering with mental health disorders of various kinds.
In my central discussion I intend to cover the case of one patient named Joe who has metal health problems.
Mental health is a term that encompasses a range of experiences and situations. It can be an on going experience from mental wellbeing through to a severe and enduring mental illness affecting a person’s overall emotional and psychological condition. Incidents in life such as bereavement, financial and personal happiness such as the way we feel about ourselves can lead to depression and anxiety.
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Mental illness may be experienced by people who have a mental health problem to such a degree that they may be diagnosed as having a mental illness, requiring the involvement of specialist services and support. Consequently, some people with mental illness will need no support, others may need only occasional support, and still others may require more substantial, ongoing support to maintain their quality of life.
To understand the difference between mental health and mental illness specifically relates to both the length of time and severity of the changes to a person’s behaviour thought patterns and display of emotions. The more severe and lengthy the impact of these changes, the more a person may struggle to manage their everyday life and the greater the chances of them developing a mental illness.
One mental health problem that an individual may experience could be through the loss of a loved one. People who are already suffering with a mental health issues are going to find that the trauma of discovering that some one who they loved has passed away will be an even greater burden on their already mental fragility. Such feelings that one will experience after being told about the death of a close relation can range from depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and unable to cope with daily life.
The mental health state of this individual patient would give me a lot of concerns after such a shock as a bereavement of a close relative. His mental health state before this news was given to him, was giving me great concerns as he was already showing signs of suicidal tendencies. This gentlemen’s demure was one of a frail individual lacking any self esteem and of a nervous disposition. Other symptoms noticed were a sense of instability, inability to communicate verbally in a precise and understandable manner.
As a nurse the care and assistance I can assist the patient with would be to speak to the patient in a quieter none judgmental manner and listen in attentively to what the patient has to say dependant on the severity of the mental illness the patient suffering and his behavior would really be an indication as to what help I could be most useful to assisting him/her in. If the patients mental illness is severe and of a violent nature the nurse would have to understand her limitation and abilities before confronting the patient. Otherwise one you could do more harm than good and put your self in danger. If you as a nurse feel comfortable and confident in your own judgment with the placement you can then start to talk and listen to what the patient has to say. It is important to talk to the patient in a non professional spoken manner, using none technical word and phrases, so that the patient feels comfortable and confident in your approach to them.
For this assignment the chosen topic will be depression. The patient in this case study will have his name protected by the NMC code of professional conduct 2009 and for that matter he will be referred to as Joe. Joe was admitted into hospital during my placement.
Joe was admitted onto the ward after suffering a fractured femur when he fell to the ground coming down his stairs in his house. He was calling out for help and was discovered one hour later by a neighbour who was passing by his house.
On admission Joe’s medical notes indicated that Joe has a history of depression and is on a daily medication of Fluoxetine which has a brand name of Prozac.
Joe is British gentlemen aged 68 years old and Joe has now been separated from his wife for the last 8 years. He has three grown up sons but does not now have any contact or get any support from them. Joe dwells alone in a council run flat and his occupation was a bus driver.
His depression over the years had made him isolated and a reclusive person.
He stated that he had been a depressive person on and off for his whole life and that his depressive state had only now in old age become a hindrance to his normal lifestyle, thus accumulating in recent bouts of dizziness, fainting and the subsequent breaking of bones after falls. Joe was quite lucky this time around in that his fall from the stairs was quite a short fall of some 4 steps, if he had fallen from the top flight of stairs he could be in hospital with far greater injuries than what he actually sustained and his fall could have been fatal.
Mental health http://www.liv.ac.uk/counserv/self_help/mental_health/definition_mhealth.htm
Difference illness and health Bowers, L. “; The Social Nature of Mental Illness”, 1998, Routledge.
Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life (Paperback) by Colin Murray Parkes (Author), Holly Prigerson (Author) 1st edition 1972, page 1
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