when i\’m feeling it…

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My first community psychiatry visit

some of the poor houses…Actually I wanted to put the title as “my first community psychiatry experience”, but since i has been involved with comminity psychiatry matters for already several months, I thought that title was not suitable.

  My first home visit was on Monday 10th October 2007, accompanied by 2 dedicated community psychiatry team (CPU) nurses and a sister initially. We started by bringing one dilinquent ‘adult’ back to her home where we wanted to have a talk with the mother. Luck was not on our side as she was out to the wellfare department to collect the monthly aid. The house was a low cost house, but was well renovated. It was not like the low cost house which I used to go and visit when I was a child in my hometown. It was surprisingly kept clean except for some empty snack packets outside the front door.

  Reality really strucked me when we started visiting those who live in the rural areas of this large Malay heartland. I usually used the road at night to reach the seaside for the not so delicious seafood thus missing the real view of the villages. But, my visit that day opened my eyes to the harsh reality of life. These people were actually living in a really really small house that I think fit to be lived if we just achieved independence. The house was small to accomodate a large family, the surrounding area was dirty and smelly with animals and pets excrements, the inside areas were dark and damp (it rained that morning) although the cloudy, slightly wet and cold weather did lightened up my feelings, the furniture was not properly arranged, the toilet was not properly covered, and even the doors were not closed eventhough the occupants were either enjoying their late morning nap or out to work or town. Those conditions really surprised me! I’m confident that my sister-in-law will not take off her shoes and step into the house although she’s wearing her socks!

  These people don’t have a proper transport to come to our hospital for their follow-up, but we still insist them to come all the way. Their houses were located far away from the main road and far in between houses. Some of them are lucky enough to have motocycles, but imagine riding a motocycles with a yet-to-be-stabeld mentally ill patient! Yup, those houses I visited were the really poor people, and these people don’t have ASTRO satellites on their roofs, and no 16-inches TVs in their living room.

  I wonder how a mentally ill patient gonna take his/her medication properly with that kind of environment? They have to slug it out just to live, but with proper medical care, maybe they can’t even think of slugging it out.

    So, is home treatment the answer? 

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Thursday, October 11, 2007 - Posted by | Community Psychiatry

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