Welcome to the letter H post in the #AtoZChallenge on mental health. I’m very tired but still managing to schedule my posts in advance. I hope the week-end brings some relaxation. Anyway, here goes.
The nurses’ discussion of patients at the end of one shift and the beginning of another. At least, they’re supposed to discuss patients but may discuss whatever’s on their minds. Handover, like evening and afternoon breaks for nurses, tends to last much longer than it’s supposed to.
A significant number of patients on long-term inpatient units don’t have a home outside of the institution. Some have actually been homeless before they were admitted to the hospital, while others, like myself, gave up their housing. I didn’t have a home for over 2 1/2 years between giving up my student accommodation in 2010 and getting the small town apartment with my husband in 2012. Unfortunately, if your official residence is the institution and you want to rent a home later on, the housing corporations may make a problem out of it. It wasn’t too bad when I got the apartment – they just needed my psychologist’s approval to move -, but I’ve heard of people being kicked off the housing list for being institutionalized.
Hormones are often thought to play a role in mental health, especialy if the problems start in puberty, during or after pregnancy or during menopause. Postnatal depression or anxiety is fairly common, although skeptics believe it’s a fictional disease. Unfortunately, when people get ill and hormones are being blamed, they may miss out on potentially sanity-saving treatments. The reverse is, of course, also true: people getting treated with psychotropic medications when really their hormones are acting up.
Hygiene is often a big issue for mentally ill people. Of those in long-term inpatient units, most, including myself, need reminders or even bribing to get showered, use deodorant or brush their teeth. With some people, staff leave this responsibility with the patient, but with others, they’re very asseritve in their attempts to get the patient to take proper care of themself.