Is A Brain Chemical Imbalance Medical Care?



She was out of control.  She was kicking the food tray away from her, spilling all of the contents onto the hospital floor.  She was screaming that she had lost her mind.  She was repeatedly given psychotropic drugs, and anxiety medications through her IV lock in her arm.  The security in the hospital was called because of the chaos in her room, and her lack of mental stability.

The Social Worker on the floor of the Medical Facility was trying to get her admitted into a mental health facility.  Yet she was being told that the patient was too ill to be admitted.  Only the state psychiatric facility would be a place where she would be able to be taken.  Her husband refused because of the knowledge that he knew his wife was terrified of being admitted into the state facility, where services and therapy groups, or any type of milieu care was lacking.  The patient knew this because she worked there as a nurse herself.

So why is it then that as soon as her husband was unavailable at the medical facility, approximately twelve hours after security was being called, and she was still manic with psychotic symptoms and an altered mental status, she was discharged from the hospital?  They were just told that she was too ill to be put into any facility other than the state hospital, yet she was discharged home to where she would soon be in her own care.  She had been in the hospital for four nights and was being administered psychotropic drugs through the IV.  She was delusional most of the time with brief periods of lucidity.  How could this happen?

Initially she was thought to be having a Stroke due to altered mental status, word salad and inability to express herself.  A CAT Scan was done.  Later an MRI was also performed to check for physical reasons causing her condition.  Her blood pressure was elevated and medications were administered to control the elevation.  She lost her ability to reason and think for herself, and she was being pumped with medications.  Though there was now no PHYSICAL reason for her to stay in the hospital.

The brain is part of the body.  It is quite mysterious and misunderstood, however it is the main part of the body.  If there was a brain tumor, the patient would be taken care of – wouldn’t they?  Why is it then, the patient who is having a chemical imbalance with delirium due to medication changes and is unable to care for herself, ie… taking her medications, be alone for the entire day making rational decisions – would be released to her own care?  There was no aftercare, no support from the medical community such as daily mental health workers coming to the home to help with care or decision-making skills, medication management, the ability to drive herself to appointments, NO SUPPORTS FROM THE HOSPITAL!!!

What is it – too sick to go into any facility, they will not accept her for care, or be released from the hospital because physically they have no reason to keep her?  There is such a break in the medical community to let someone who is that sick to be released to her own care.  THE BRAIN IS PART OF THE BODY!!!  Even if the symptoms are psychiatric, the brain is still part of the body.  Wouldn’t somebody with delirium due to sepsis be taken care of until resolution, or there was the ability to care once again for themselves.  Yes this hospital did not have a psychiatric facility, however there cannot be such a black and white approach to mental and physical healthcare.  It is ONE person.  AGAIN, the brain is part of the body and part of the HOLISTIC measure of care.  There has to be a more comprehensive approach.  Just because someone is having a problem due to medication changes, that does not always imply that they need to be in a PSYCHIATRIC facility.  Perhaps a MEDICAL facility can help with stabilization.  Treating a person like a person instead of an object of dissatisfaction as soon as “physical” means of admission are unwarranted is absurd!!!

All she needed was to be stabilized, yet she was discharged due to her mental illness (not physical illness).  Let’s wake up and combine the person into a whole being.  The brain and a chemical imbalance in the brain is MEDICAL and yes, physical.  The body’s homeostasis is out of balance.  Let’s not discard somebody because of a brain dysfunction.  Maybe we need to change the definition of MENTAL ILLNESS into what it is.


© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nejron

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