The Dependent Patient

The dependent patient finds life difficult without the help of others. The other persons provide the necessary support, both emotional and physical. If this support is removed, the patient feels hurt and deserted and demands even more help. When dependent persons become ill, they imagine that their illness will lead to loss of their support groups. Thus, dependent patients need to be cared for most closely. Sometimes, however, these patients can take advantage of a compassionate health-care provider by demanding enormous amounts of time. Be as direct as possible when informing such patients of the appropriate limits without leaving them rejected. The interviewer might say, "You've given me a lot to think about. I do have to leave now. Please don't feel I'm rejecting you. I'll be back later to discuss some of your other problems.''

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