Research Report

Before coming to us, the patient had received a feeding tube and a foley catheter from a "normal" hospital. I knew I had to inject this young man with a high dosage of neuroleptica, straight away. I was reluctant, however, since this treatment often causes irreversible side effects. That evening, I stayed by the young man's bed side until midnight, with my hand resting on the blanket, just over his stomach. I repeatedly encouraged him to come back to himself. I explained to him that, with one part of his body, he could have risen over his solid body and I prepared him mentally to expect a feeling of extreme rage or hate in his stomach, when he would come back to his own body. This rage or the hate might be so intense that he might simply wish to kill someone. I also told him that he should not be scared and assured him, that we can work this out together, when he returns to himself. I did not even know whether the young man was able to hear me or not. He still lay there, motionless like a stone. After about two hours, I asked him whether he would like me to leave.

I thought that I saw in his eyes an inkling of a negating motion. Because I was unsure, I asked him a counterquestion: Whether I should stay. Now I observed a small affirmative motion. So I stayed for another two hours. Around midnight, I explained to him that I would be going home now, but would come back tomorrow morning, and we would continue our work together.

The next morning, I reconsidered all that had happened the night before. How could I possibly explain to my chief why I had not injected this patient with a high dosage of a neurolepticum? Suddenly, my concern for this patient started to disturb me. How could I possibly have left a patient in such a critical state without medication? In a worried mood, I unlocked the ward door, intending to head straight into the emergency room to check on the young man, prepared for the worse. However, this proved unnecessary.

Research Report - Page 3 of 11