Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness

  • Murad M. Khan (a1)
Extract

He was only 18 years old but over 6 feet tall. Strong, muscular, well built and handsome. He had already played club cricket and had been selected to play for the province. He could bowl fast and move the ball both ways. He certainly had the physique of a fast bowler and the potential to reach the highest echelons of the game.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 38 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 17th July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness

  • Murad M. Khan (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

Rewarding Career

Ruchi Thakur, Specialty Registrar ,Old age Psychiatry
18 February 2008

I was very touched by the above story. Indeed, there are many illnesses which are incurable but one should retain an empathic and caringattitude until the very end. After several treatment failures achieving a cure should not be the aim but maximal functional recovery shouldbe sought.

Dementia is one such illness. At a recent conference which I attended 70% of psychiatrists said they would prefer an advance directive for euthanasia than having to live with dementia when they grow old. This is sad because at that time in life just a warm touch or simple things such as holding hands would mean a lot. Even if we are unable to fully comprehend what others are saying we may understand the unspoken language of love and care.

Unfortunately many doctors are unhappy in their careers due to excessive stress and the perception that they are not adequately rewarded financially. However, if we appreciate the emotional and personal rewards we get while treating those who are ill and how deeply we touch the lives of our patients and their families, we will not need to look any further for fulfillment.
... More

Conflict of interest: None Declared

Write a reply

Stressful therapeutic relationships and the Psychiatrist

Adeniyi S Adetoki, Medical Doctor
18 January 2008

Declaration of interest: none.

Dr. Khan's article tittled "Travellers on a dark journey: caring for a patient with chronic psychiatric illness" illustrates that one of the most important aspects of the therapeutic relationship is the development of the bond of mutual respect, trust and hope among the parties involved. I believe that this happens possibly more frequently and more intensely inPsychiatry than in any other specialty in Medicine.

Unexpectedly, the article prompted me to think about how stressful some therapeutic relationships could become.

Notably Dr Khan was able to hold back his tears. Regardless of this,it is remarkable and commendable from the article that his normal reactions of empathy and sympathy remained intact. It would therefore appear that Dr Khan has 'survived' in this field of Medicine without 'damage' and has been able to cope successfully with what is likely to be just one out of several (and possibly concurrent) stressful therapeutic relationships over a prolonged period of time.

This raises the issue of the stamina needed to run the race of psychiatric care, which in several instances is a marathon for the patient, his carers and the Psychiatrist. This is something that is probably furthest from the minds of the 'starry-eyed' junior doctor embarking on specialist training in Psychiatry. It is important to remember that there have been Psychiatrists who unfortunately, in the extreme, got to the point where they concluded that it was no longer possible to cope- with fatal consequences.

Studies have shown that the suicide rate of Psychiatrists ranks among the highest. The stress of some therapeutic relationships must at least be partly responsible. It is worth keeping this in mind, and taking steps to minimise this as much as possible. Before the stress begins to be problematic, it is vital to recognise it and deal with it appropriately, as denial is often one of the first steps on the slippery slope to catastrophe.

References

Suicide in doctors: a study of risk according to gender, seniority and specialty in medical practitioners in England and Wales, 1979-1995 K Hawtona, A Clements, C Sakarovitch, S Simkina, J J Deeks J Epidemiol Community Health ( May 2001);55:296-300
... More

Conflict of interest: None Declared

Write a reply

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *