On 16th of Oct, Journey Into Madness Class took us to the Caritas Wellness Link in Tsuen Wan to visit patients who have suffered from mental illnesses and patients who are suffering from mental illness. Stephen, a Social Work Supervisor of the unit, first showed us the training program routes and also provided us chances to listen to the sharing from service users. We also watched an impressive video about a recovery story of a mid-age man.
Additionally, a sharing from Winnie, a lovely lady who has recovered from OCD has impressed me greatly. She suffered from OCD occasionally and I could feel the hopelessness and loneliness during her sharing. A lot of symptoms went away and recurred during the first 19 years of her life: she had a bowel problem (and still suffering from this even today) and had to check notes with her ...view middle of the document...
She did not have a friend and during her sharing, she said even her dad does not understand why she would spend a long time in the toilet, she supposed to be old enough to handle these basic problem in life. The huge difference between the way her parents treated her in the past and after the occurrence of symptoms would stressed her up; this will lead to a feeling of being ignored and not as being loved like the old days. Apart from this, the feeling of not being understand by her friends and families can cause depression and make the symptoms occur more often.
As for treatment, cognitive behavior therapy is used as a treatment of OCD, we have learnt various treatments for behavioral therapy such as respondent conditioning, extinction, operant conditioning etc. Exposure and response prevention is used for OCD and it is considered helpful in reducing compulsive behaviors. Such as the example showed in the video in our lecture: the doctor stopped the patient from washing hands and the patients have to eat and act normally after putting hands in the toilet.
I had no idea about the symptoms of mental illnesses until I met Winnie and listened to her experience. I was surprise to find that the symptoms actually troubled her so much and made her living much harder than normal people. I feel that no matter for patients suffering or has suffered from mental illnesses, they need love, care and attention from the public. As I chatted with Winnie, she told me it is hard for her to find a job after her recovery. Government should cope with organizations or companies to solve this problem. During the visit, I also found that the abnormal behavior usually starts with “normal” behaviors, it is hard to find out and sometimes no one will notice. It is important for us to pay more attention to people around us, and help and understand those suffering from mental illnesses in the future.