The Help Rejecting Patient

Help-rejecting patients are usually not hostile. They describe having been seen by many "expert" physicians for help and often tell interviewers that no one can find out what is wrong with them. They return again and again to the doctors' offices, indicating that the physicians' suggestions "didn't work.'' Commonly, when a symptom appears relieved, another suddenly appears. These patients use their symptoms to enhance their relationship with their doctors. Such patients are often very depressed, although they may deny it. They believe that they have made many self-sacrifices and have had countless disappointments, which they attribute to their "illness." The best approach to these individuals is strong emotional support and gentle reasoning. Despite the need for psychiatric help, these patients usually refuse to accept it.

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