Akin to a “physical” medical emergency, a psychiatric emergency can affect anyone. Here, we discuss acute episodes of a psychiatric disorder, acute suicide risk and acute psychiatric symptoms not caused by an underlying psychiatric disorder.
- Disturbances in the mood, continuous unhappiness, sulkiness
- Hopelessness and despair
- Noticeable behavioural abnormalities
- Crying fits
- Anxiety, Fear, Panic attacks
- Strong, intense breathing (Hyperventilation)
First Aid Measures
- Care for the patient (do not leave the patient unattended)
- Consult a medical professional
- Hyperventilation: Catch the person’s attention (if necessary, using a painful stimulus), followed by asking the patient in a calming tone to “breathe slower” (Talking down)
Many emergency situations contain an important psychiatric aspect. As a first aid responder, it is important to consider the psychiatric aspect of an emergency: Calm the patient down and ensure they have privacy. Psychiatric difficulties are just as normal as any other bodily complaint.