The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Through the eyes of a service user

By Ben Gray, Consumer Peer Reviewer and Plain Language Summary writer

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the bran...

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the brand name benzodiazepine drug, Ativan. Generic name is Lorazepam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘People with mental health problems may exhibit agitated, violent and aggressive behaviour which can be a danger to themselves or others. Usually, de-escalation techniques such as talking to the patient are used to calm down the situation. However, people’s behaviour may be too disturbed, violent or agitated. In these circumstances, rapid tranquillisation is given to achieve a state of calm. Three major classes of drugs are used to achieve rapid tranquillisation: typical antipsychotics; benzodiazepines; and more recently atypical antipsychotics. …’ Read more

(excerpt from the Plain Language Summary for Benzodiazepines alone or in combination with antipsychotic drugs for acute psychosis)

From a service user perspective, having a mental health problem can be an experience that is frightening, agitating and even terrifying.  Hearing voices and seeing things can make people feel scared and panic, so that they become agitated.  A person I knew in hospital often saw people covered in snakes, while another saw people on fire.  I myself have heard frightening and taunting voices, saying: “You wait until you see what I’m going to do to you!”. Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment »