Skip to main content

mental health mondays :: a share of the blame

one of the trickiest parts of treating mental illness is the sheer number of patients who are "non-compliant". that means that once their doctor prescribes a regimen of treatment and medication, it isn't followed and, unsurprisingly, the patient doesn't improve.

there are a lot of reasons given for the particularly high rate of non-compliance, including a lack of tangible results, intolerable side effects and the stigma of being on psychiatric medication and/ or being told that the problem is psychosomatic. other reasons include not being able to afford prescribed medications [particularly in the united states] and simple forgetfulness, particularly if the regimen is complicated.

these all seem pretty straightforward, but i was interested to find a slightly different perspective reading this article from 2007, that takes a slightly different perspective. while acknowledging that most patients are responsible for their own patterns of non-compliance, the article also apportions some of the responsibility to the doctors treating them, citing studies that show that the poorer the communication between doctor and patient, the less likely the patient is to take their medications.

it seems that simply having regular follow-ups helps in keeping patients compliant, and establishing an empathetic relationship is even more important. given how brief and automated most check-ups can be, this last part is a real challenge, because empathy requires careful listening and giving a the patient time to express themselves- something which is often difficult for people who have mental disorders.

with waiting times to see psychiatrists stretching into the years, making more time for individual patients is going to be a longer term project. but i am happy to see an acknowledgment that there is more at issue with non-compliance than just the patients' intransigence. and clearly, the way to deal with mentally ill patients is not simply to medicate them, but to treat them. there's an important difference.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

eat the cup, 2018, part one :: open up and say 'da'

as always at the beginning of the world cup tournament, i spend my first couple of days trying to decide which country to feature first. i had pretty much made up my mind that i would follow last cup's example and honour the hosts first off, but then i decided that it would be even more fun to come up with a meal that combined the cuisines of both teams in the first game.

of course, that would mean accepting that there were two teams on the pitch in the first game and i think some fans would say that was arguable. no one expected much of saudi arabia, to be fair. but no one expected a lot from russia, so having the hosts welcome everyone by stampeding over their first opposition like a herd of rabid camels was, to say the least, unexpected. their 5-0 mauling of the saudis gave produced a new hero, denis cheryshev, a man who didn't even rate inclusion in the "panini" sticker booklets that fifa produces, and the first meme of the tournament when russian president vlad…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…

eat the cup 2018 :: welcome, comrades!

even regular followers of this blog might be surprised to learn that the longest-standing tradition on more like space is not tied to politics, makeup, mental health or even writing, but sport. i started the quadrennial eat the cup "challenge" [in quotes because i'm not actually challenging anyone but myself] way back in 2006 as a way of combining my growing love of soccer, my love for cooking and my still-new blogging habit. i determined that, as i followed the world cup, i would cook dinners to honour the winners of different games, meaning that the meal would, as far as possible, feature traditional dishes from those nations. in subsequent iterations, i started to do dishes that were combinations of different winners from the same day or, as the competition wore on, combinations of the different combatants.

finding certain ingredients can be a challenge, even in a diverse city like montreal [and i live on the cusp of some of its most diverse neighbourhoods], but what…