Depression and Suicide

Behavior: how a person acts

Abnormal behavior: deviates from society’s norms and expectations
Maladaptive behavior: unable to properly adapt to challenging circumstances
Behavioral Emergency: disorders characterized by abnormal and maladaptive behavior that family/social group can’t tolerate

Causes grouped in three categories:
Biological/Organic: diseases, drugs, toxins, biochemical psychiatric disorders
Psychosocial: childhood trauma, bad parents, dysfunctional family
Sociocultural: life events war, death of loved one, economic problems

Management: first and foremost scene and personal safety

10 Useful Interview Skills for Behavioral Emergencies:

  1. Listen, use eye contact and empathy
  2. Elicit feelings and facts
  3. Respond to feelings, validate them
  4. Correct misconceptions
  5. Provide info on follow up care
  6. Offer honest support
  7. Ask effective questions
  8. Don’t lead the “testimony”
  9. Structure the interview chronologically
  10. Conclude by asking about other events or feelings

Restraining a Patient: Have adequate help, use only necessary force and approved equipment, and document all your and your patient’s actions

Depression: common reaction to major life stresses, may present as another disease
Suicidal Patients: suicide gesture is a cry for help. Suicide attempt shows true desire to die. Ask directly “Were you trying to kill yourself?”

Legal Issues: know specific regulations for handling these individuals

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