As I walked into my Admin Manager’s office on the 30th of March, 2015, I met a guy sitting at her desk. He happened to be a psychologist. He exclaimed “so you own this place?” and I answered “yes”. He said his wife had some issues he need help with and we got talking….
Later that day, he brought in his wife who was accompanied by her mother. She was a young and chubby lady who appeared quite restless. The stories told about how his wife got to this stage were varied with a lot stemming from stressors from family and work. This man was exhausted from lack of sleep as a result of tending to his wife. After careful assessment, admission and treatment on an inpatient basis was decided upon. To this, he however refused pleading to be allowed to take his wife home. Two days later he returned with her claiming she had not improved. Then began the inpatient care for her.
It was a roller coaster ride, one minute she seemed to be responding, she would be out of her ward speaking with the doctor and other members of staff, the next minute she would be in a trancelike state, hallucinating, floridly, gesticulating, fighting or struggling to get up, go out. She would call out names of co-workers and family members. Once this trancelike state was over, she appeared completely oblivious of the incidence. These incidences could occur 2- 3 times daily at the initial stage of treatment. It reduced to about once daily after about 2 weeks on admission.
Medications were reviewed and doses changed from time to time with frustrations on both the part of the wife’s family and her husband. There were several tense moments during the course of her admission and treatment. One of my frustrations was the fact that his wife’s family were of the opinion that she was under a ‘spiritual attack’ and hence the need for several ‘prayers’. Her husband however stuck with my opinion and was willing to allow her continue treatment. The period of her admission was accompanied with extremely hot weather and power was almost non-existent. This made her very restless and uncomfortable especially when she was hot or hungry which sometimes lead to hallucinations.
Finally, after about 4 demanding weeks on admission, there appeared to be a steady improvement in her condition and she was discharged. This was followed by counselling / therapy sessions to sort out unresolved emotional issues which directly or indirectly contributed to the stressors and eventual breakdown of the patient.
Dupe has remained well and stable till date.
I found a way to cajole my doctor to summarize her experience with me.
It is a fact that so many people out there suffer psychological illness and are too ashamed to speak out. It is also a fact that some of us still attribute illnesses (mostly things we don’t quite understand) to spiritual attacks and so on. If only we speak out and reach out to encourage one another…