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13 Viktor E. Frankl Quotes

Viktor_Frankl1. Evermore people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.

2. Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater.

3. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

4. Faith is trust in ultimate meaning.

5. For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.

6. For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.

7. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.

8. In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.

9. Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.

10. Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.

11. Religion is the search for ultimate meaning.

12. Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.

13. We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: 1. by doing a deed; 2. by experiencing a value; and 3. by suffering.

man washing hand

The Reality of OCD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source link: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/the-anxiety-and-reality-of-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/article31832099.ece

Cover your face, scrub your hands, repeat. The pandemic has heightened anxieties of infection, even more so for people with obsessive compulsive disorder

Once in every 20 minutes, like clockwork, Sivakumar Bharati* washes his hands and checks if the window are shut. “I have not ‘relaxed’ in three months aside from my REM sleep,” he says. “There is the prevalent fear of germs and contamination which is why the pandemic has been particularly stressful.”

This is the reality of OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder.

“You don’t really take notice of it until someone else points it out — and a lot of people did,” says 59-year-old retiree Sivakumar . “And back in the 70s, mental health was not taken seriously. People back then just thought I was militant about being neat, some poked fun at it.”

Sivakumar’s home in Hyderabad is evident of his obsessive compulsive disorder: to want everything symmetrical, no clutter, even the presence of muted tones. There are moments of anger and frustration where if things are not lined up, there would be a meltdown, curable only by the correct positioning and considerable time to cool off.

Chennai-based Professor Dr Gauthamadas Udipi, specialist in neuro-behavioural medicine, who has worked with people with OCD for almost many years explains, “OCD may only be the behavioural marker of a more extensive systemic disorder. “After all, the mind is only an expression of the functioning of the brain, and the brain is only a part of the body. At one end of the OC spectrum is ‘normal’ obsessive thinking and ordered behaviour in daily life, which does not interfere significantly with daily functioning. At the other end is severe obsessive rumination and compulsive behaviour that does not allow daily function.”

Essentially, the underlying pathology is in the Salience Network (SalNet) or ‘worry-loop’ of the brain, which sees a person having uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and/or behaviours that they feel the urge to repeat over and over; it can be especially harrowing now, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which invites uncertainty, rising tensions and innumerable risk factors. Often caused by severe psychological stresses, OCD manifests in different forms, from ritualistic obsessions to suicidal compulsions. Sivakumar is on the lower end of this spectrum, and it took a long time for him to realise what he had.

‘I’m OCD about that’

Sivakumar, during the late 2010s, was finally formally diagnosed by a neurologist in South Africa, who stated that OCD is a legitimate condition — and not one about which to be ashamed. “I remember him mentioning how popular culture had not even normalised but trivialised OCD. The parameters of what was ‘deemed’ OCD had shifted in a big way; people thought being tidy was OCD,” recalls Sivakumar.

And things have not been easy as the pandemic trudges on.

Dr Udipi affirms that the pandemic can be a heightener, explaining, it could “result in triggering underlying OC spectrum disorders in a genetically prone person, tilt the balance from ‘normal’ obsessions to a pathological OC pattern, or worsen an already existing OC disorder.”

The International OCD Foundation, Boston, sees the unique challenges for the OCD-afflicted and has offered numerous online resources, which are free-to-use and which help people run through their OCD anxiety with some ease while maintaining physical distancing. These options include WHO-approved tips on how to deal with contamination fears, video teletherapy, which helps those with OCD find a licensed teletherapy provider while retaining physical distancing, and printable coping cards. These cards, not a replacement for help from a medical professional, are written reminders and questions for the self to be mindful, breathe easy, take back control and understand that progress is better than perfection.

Dr Udipi adds that empathy from close friends and family is helpful. “[They] must understand that this is a disorder originating in brain circuits over which the person has little control, and advising the person that ‘it is all in the mind’, and ‘learn to control it’ is of no use, and that yoga, meditation, and other ‘self-therapies’ will not work in the case of a ‘pure obsessive thinking’ (which occurs in a very small percentage of people with SalNet disorder), as the person cannot bring the mind to focus on them due to pure circuit overdrive.” He emphasises that early identification and proper treatment by a qualified psychiatrist and team is the key.

Sivakumar agrees, concluding, “There are times you may not feel worthy because you feel like you are adding stress to home life or work life. But when you start humanising yourself with the help of a mindful and informed healthcare professional, it helps tremendously. It also helped that my family and I could find common ground with patience. But for other OCD folks out there, you have to want to accept it as a condition and not as an extension of the self. It’s emotionally taxing to go through it because your mind is telling you that this obsessive order of things is paramount.”

* Name changed to protect identity

Schizophrenia and the Evolution of the Human Brain — Dr. Elliott Gruen

An experienced psychiatrist, Dr. Elliot Gruen currently practices in Maine. Dr. Elliot Gruen draws on experience with a range of psychiatric conditions, including an in-depth familiarity with schizophrenia and its development. Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness that affects approximately 1 percent of the population. It causes abnormal activity in many different areas of […]

via Schizophrenia and the Evolution of the Human Brain — Dr. Elliott Gruen

Compassionate nurse

Where Is the Compassion in Psychiatric Care?

“There is nothing weak about kindness and compassion,” former President Barack Obama said in his eulogy of Elijah Cummings, the Democratic Congressman who died last week. “There is nothing weak about looking out for others. There is nothing weak about being honorable. You are not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.”

While President Obama was speaking about a man working in the highly polarized world of partisan politics, I heard his message as a psychiatrist, working in a field that too often views compassion as unnecessary and even as a professional weakness.

One local hospital’s psychiatric services website states of its mission:

“To provide our patients with the best care, we depend on the compassion, expertise, and strength of one another. We come to work knowing that our patients need us and that our colleagues support us and this allows us to strive daily to be the best health care providers — and people — that we can be.”

Frankly, talk is cheap. Too many hospitals fail to live up to the mission statements they proudly display.

I know many excellent psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses whom I would confidently recommend to someone I love. To me, this is the greatest mark of professional respect. However, a few of my colleagues disgrace their profession and blemish the work of the compassionate, enlightened majority who strive to maintain their patients’ dignity.

Sadly, I have learned from too many of my own patients about unprofessional, demeaning, abusive treatment they suffered at the hands of both doctors and nurses at psychiatric clinics and hospitals across the country. I have witnessed this offensive behavior first-hand since I was in medical school.

Most of my patients who have been admitted to a psychiatric unit describe the experience as traumatic, terrifying, or both. One went directly from my office, accompanied by a parent, to the hospital. Within a few hours, her clothing had been forcibly removed by a group of security personnel, including men, one of whom groped her breasts. She was so traumatized by the abusive treatment she endured that she refused to return to the hospital when she needed help. Instead, she took her own life.

Other patients have recounted being held down and forcibly injected when they were not being aggressive or combative. Another was humiliated by the taunts of a nurse and a ward clerk. (I witnessed this myself.)

Due to the cruelty my patients have encountered, and through many years of experience, I fear for the safety of patients when they become acutely ill. Of course, I worry about the harm their brains and bodies may sustain due to their illness, but I also fear how they will be treated by the staff they will encounter if admitted.

Those admitted to a psychiatric unit are usually very ill, sometimes disruptive, and potentially violent. Due to the severity of their symptoms, they might lack insight regarding the nature of their illness and their need for treatment, yet they are still human beings worthy of respect.

Some staff on psychiatric units excuse their hostile, dehumanizing patient interactions as a necessary response to a dangerous working environment. Their appalling behavior is not about the safety of staff or patients; it reflects a desire, whether by an individual or the entire clinical team, to exercise power over a vulnerable individual. If their behavior is acceptable, reasonable, and appropriate, why do they always deny it occurred? Invariably, the patient is blamed or accused of dishonesty.

Psychiatrists and their clinical teams are given extraordinary power to limit a patient’s freedom and to treat an ill person who lacks insight, sometimes against their will. Patients and families trust us to use that power responsibly.

We are judged as a society by how we treat our most vulnerable members. The abuse of power and the use of humiliation and violence demonstrated by some staff on psychiatric units have no place in a just and civilized society, much less in a medical setting, which is meant to be both safe and settling.

Those individuals who abuse patients, or fail to protect them, must be held accountable by colleagues, professional licensing bodies, and patients and their families. Regrettably, a complaint from one doctor is easy for a hospital to ignore. To provoke meaningful change, we all need to speak up.

I urge anyone who experiences or witnesses a dehumanizing, threatening, traumatizing or humiliating psychiatric clinic or hospital interaction to speak out. Write to the hospital, health authority, or professional college where the event occurred. Then, perhaps the hospitals and licensing bodies will demand that mental health professionals do what they’re supposed to do — care.

Source link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/psyched/201910/where-is-the-compassion-in-psychiatric-care