Communication within the realm of addiction and mental health recovery can be challenging due to a variety of factors. For example, language and cultural barriers can make it physically challenging in healthcare interactions, due to a lack of shared understanding. Additionally, symptoms that occur alongside addictions and mental illnesses can make it even more challenging for a client to fully comprehend conversations with their healthcare team. Misunderstandings do occur in mental healthcare settings, but those misunderstandings have been shown to be a little more prevalent among those with schizophrenia due to stigma and symptoms associated with the disorder.
Schizophrenia is a disorder characterized by symptoms such as:
- memory loss
- unusual mood and behavioral patterns
- impaired motor coordination
- and more.
Previous research has shown that because this disorder is so complex, healthcare teams must ask many questions to get a better grasp of the patient while also trying to accommodate their communication style as to not trigger the individual with the disorder. Thus, the question of perceptions regarding those with schizophrenia comes into play.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry sought to understand the perceptions of client-clinician interactions among those being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Fourteen individuals completed semi-structured interviews relating to their experiences of communication with their healthcare team. Results from the study showed that most participants were happy to receive their diagnosis but acknowledged the distress of having this information. Many participants reported having difficulty obtaining information related to their condition and were dissatisfied with the way their diagnosis of schizophrenia was communicated to them. Why would this occur?
From this study, it was concluded that physicians weren’t direct about the diagnosis, potentially because they thought the patient already knew based on their symptoms, or because of stigma. Patients from the study could clearly indicate which physicians had treated them well and with respect; these positive interactions served to be very memorable for them. What does this mean for you? Even in the healthcare field, stigma and misunderstanding occurs. If you believe you may have schizophrenia, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center – one that has a proven track record of inclusive language and respect. Some of the most reputable treatment centers may cost a little more but will provide you with the quality care that you deserve.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.