Helping Patients to Feel Comfortable with the Use of Antidepressants

Mar 10, 2017

“Each friend represents a world in us. A world possibly not born until they arrive.”

Anais Nin

Helping Patients to Feel Comfortable with the Use of Antidepressants

TISA Description of the Problem: I recently had the privilege of presenting in Saskatoon in Canada on the Medication Interest Model (MIM) as well as on a variety of other topics in clinical interviewing such as uncovering dangerous psychotic process and working effectively with clients with severe personality disorders. During one of the breaks one of the participants Norm Grayston shared an excellent clinical interviewing tip that can help patients to feel more comfortable when using psychoactive medications. I think you will like it, and it clearly can be added as another excellent clinical interviewing technique for use in the Medication Interest Model (MIM). Here is how Norm conceptualizes it:

Tip: I have found the following interviewing technique can help patients to shed unnecessary feelings of guilt about using medications. These guilt feeling can be generated by the culture’s stigmatization of both mental illnesses and the medications used to help people overcome them:

“Taking medications is like making sure that a baseball field or soccer pitch that one is playing on is level so that each player has the opportunity to play his or her best game. This medication is returning your biochemistry back to its normal functioning, exactly the way it works with other people, so that you have a fair chance to function at your best.”

Patients seem to respond well to this analogy, especially if they have an interest in sports.

TISA Follow-up: This is an excellent tip from Norm and it also shows how we can shape our examples, analogies, and metaphors to the unique culture that every patient represents. In this case, the analogy fits beautifully with patients who are keen on sports and/or the concept of fairness.

To learn more about the Medication Interest Model (MIM) you might enjoy the book Improving Medication Adherence: How to Talk with Patients About Their Medications, which has become popular in teaching medical, nursing, physician assistant and clinical pharmacy students (more information including reviews and a sample chapter are to be found by clicking on Book #4 on our TISA home page).

Tip provided by:

Norm Grayston
Yorkton, Saskatchewan

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