MENTAL HEALTH IN TWO CITIES: TORONTO AND VANCOUVER

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Here is Karen’s story… She was a highly intelligent young woman who experienced a manic episode with paranoid delusions. The world was evil. She was being pursued by bad persons.

She had an emotional crisis in Toronto and was admitted to a big mental health hospital. Her diagnosis was bipolar mood disorder and paranoid psychosis.

This centre has a unique approach and philosophy as regards patients with psychosis. The doctors encouraged her to take medications. She was not willing. They asked every day for 2 months while she was in hospital. She refused. She saw the medicine as poison.

She is manipulative and talked her way out, untreated. She ran. She was last seen jumping into a tractor trailer on the 401 heading West.

She got to Vancouver.  She had gotten money from a friend. She got into trouble again and was admitted to the mental health unit of a Vancouver hospital.

In Vancouver, the philosophy about treating psychotics is different. The doctors knew that she needed the medications. The doctors realized that she did not have capacity. Her decision making was flawed and self destructive. The hospital strongly urged her to take the medications. They were prepared to force her to take the medications using the provincial legislation. She agreed to take the medications. She got better.

The irony in this case is that she ran to Vancouver to escape treatment in Toronto, but ended up being effectively treated for her psychosis by a empathetic team with a philosophy that imposed a solution that, in the long run, will help her.

Now, Karen realizes, in her new state of healthy insight, that she will require medications for life. Amen.