What Do You Do When Someone Is Hallucinating And Hearing Voices And Is In A Peer Run Respite. How C

Question

Asked by margie

What Do You Do When Someone Is Hallucinating And Hearing Voices And Is In A Peer Run Respite. How C

I just want to know how I ( peer) help a consumer that is experiences hallucinations and hearing voices in a Peer Run respite?

Answer

Hello Margie,

I understand you want to provide the best possible care and comfort to a fellow peer who is living at your respite center. I understand that a lot of people want to have the right to choose respite care over a hospital. In some situations, respite care can be the way to go if the patient is not actively psychotic.

A disclaimer:

My problem with peer-run respite care is that the medication is placed in a lock box and the patients at the respite center do not have to take their medication if they don't want to. So someone could have symptoms. They could also be taking the medication and experience symptoms sometimes as well when the medication is not at the appropriate dose or needs to be changed.

In these cases, a psychiatrist needs to be called in for help with the medication.

As a peer who is running the respite center, you are aware you've been put in a position to care for the patients at the respite center.

So what can you do? You need to evaluate if the person is actively psychotic and a danger to himself. If so, he needs to be in a hospital. If the patient is experiencing "command voices" that tell him to harm himself that is another instance where a hospital might be the better choice of treatment.

Dave Robbins, a community member at the Connection, has written here extensively about his battle with the voices. His technique is to push them out by not paying attention to them. He also listens to music and has a baking hobby. I will enlist him to answer your question as well.

You might want to sit and talk with the person who is hearing voices and be there for him in the same room so he feels safe. Ask him what the voices are telling him, how often they come on, what kind of stressors prompt the voices and so on. You can let him know that you understand it is hard right now and that you are there for him. Maybe an activity like cooking a meal together in the kitchen would help calm this person and distract him from the voices. Asking him to keep a journal of when the voices come on, what was going on when the voice appeared, and to rate the voice on a scale of 1 to 10.

HOWEVER, since at peer run respite care the patient can come and go as he pleases, this person should at the very least be seeing a therapist (MSW or otherwise) on the outside while he is living at the respite center.

My contention also is that if he is not taking his medication that is a big problem because it will only get worse with the symptoms. That is why I made the disclaimer about my position on peer-run respite care.

Milt Greek, a peer, has developed a DVD series that will shortly be available for purchase that gives suggestions about how to work with a person who is experiencing symptoms or delusions. Write to me privately at the Connection and I will e-mail you when the DVDs become available, if you are interested in watching any of them for future reference.

I take it the length of stay in your respite center is short-term. Also I do not know if you are the one responsible for evaluating whether the patient has gotten better or for figuring out when he is well enough to leave the center.

I wrote the disclaimer because I have mixed thoughts about peer-run respite care. I definitely believe if someone is actively hallucinating they need to be in a hospital where their medication can be managed on a daily basis.

At the very least, this person you're referring to here should be routinely seeing a psychiatrist on the outside while he is at the respite care.

Regards,

Christina

Answered by Christina Bruni