13. September 2017

Health, family and personal difficulties

Starting position and situation description
Mr. B. came early in the morning to talk at short notice. He said he couldn’t go on anymore, he was at the end of his tether. The man looked very nervous, tense and sad. Mr. B. described how he had been having family difficulties for years, consuming cannabis and repeatedly having depressive moods. He often awoke in the middle of the night in panic, because terrible moments from the time in his home country came back to him. When he was on vacation last time, a conflict erupted in violence. Then he went to a psychiatrist. The doctor gave him psychotropic drugs without exact dosage. A regular medical check was not possible after he had left. Since then, Mr. B. has often had thoughts of suicide. “The farewell letter has already been written,” he whispered. Actually, he did not want to talk to anyone about it, but since Proitera's consultant had been introduced to the team some time ago and Mr. B. had heard good things about her, he would pick up the phone.  Mr. B. burst into tears during the conversation and was speechless.

Request to Proitera
We had to do something to give him ground under his feet. “Help me,” he said desperately. “I cannot stand this anymore!”

Crisis intervention
For Proitera, this was an emergency situation that required swift action. Luckily, the man could have used Proitera as anchor. It was necessary to offer understanding and support and to convince Mr B. that the family needs him and that there are ways out of this deadlock. Yes, he had completely forgotten about his children as he felt like sinking into a “black hole”. Stabilising his mental state was considered top priority.  Imminent self-harm could not be ruled out. Also, the statement that he took medication without medical supervision, was an indication of how quickly he acts and that other medical professionals need to be consulted. The consultant picked up the phone and was able to obtain immediate admission to a psychiatric clinic. After consulting the employee, the consultant contacted the supervisor and then his wife. She was shocked and at the same time relieved to hear that her husband had finally got help and now she had a contact person. She was visibly relieved. Mr. B. signed our “agreement for the suicidal”, confirming that he does not need to be accompanied to his place of residence and that he will not harm himself. His wife was summoned to pick him up at the train station and drive him directly to the clinic.

Result
Mr. B. was relieved that someone took his situation seriously and reacted. The agreements were respected on all sides. Mr. B. felt immediately better in the clinic. The medication was changed and Mr. B. found that his thoughts brightened. It was a relief to hear from the doctor that the previous medication could provoke suicidal thoughts if dosed incorrectly. When his health was stabilised, he was released home. A week later, he was able to return to work. His co-workers and supervisor were happy about the reunion and were very sympathetic. The HR department also welcomed and supported him. The consultant continued to accompany him with regard to stability in the workplace. In order to avoid role mixing, the external marriage and family counselling service was included. He went to the psychiatrist to work on his traumas and control his emotions.

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