Sunday, June 25, 2017

My thoughts on the types of mental health problems we see in General Practice

I think a lot of mental health issues we see in the General Practice setting is an adjustment problem with depressed mood or anxious mood of "some sorts" and taking a benzodiazepine, seroquel or an SSRI might "numb" the emotion but it does not necessarily equip our patients with skills to increase awareness, solve the problem or in many instances, to let it go and find "sustainable acceptance".  When I ask patients what aspect of their life is not meeting up with their expectation, the answer will generally highlight to me the "adjustment" issue.  Often it will have a relational flavour to it or some sort of a "loss"... e.g. lack of intimacy with partner, conflict, kids are sick, someone is sick, conflict with parents, conflict with friends, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, conflict with boss or colleague etc etc ... Often acknowledgement and validation will go a long way and once that "relationship and safe connection" is more established, helping them to defuse from that and let go of the things they cannot change and change the things they can, will do a world of good. Not easy of course for many....

It will take time along with a lot of compassion!

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