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Distressed patients

crying can be one of the most healing experiences for patients. The act of ,
crying releases tension and dilutes painful feelings and thoughts. This effect
can be made even more benecial if theyre with someone who is accepting of
them and the state they are in.For understandable reasons, staff can want to
urge patients to stop crying, perhaps because it saddens the member of staff
or they feel crying prolongs the patients distress. Its certainly true that when
someone is crying a lot its hard to have a conversation. But if the essence of
conversing is about communicating rather than specically talking, then its
clear just what powerful communication is going on. The patient is conveying
unambiguously how much emotional pain they are in. And the staff member
who sits alongside them, gently and supportively, is conveying that they
recognise this and care about them. Two of the most difcult aspects of being
with very distressed patients are coping with them crying and balancing being
optimistic with not belittling the genuine, often overwhelming challenges
.theyre facing
The following can help
Staff dont actually need to say anything. Patients nd it comforting just to
have someone sitting with them
Its denitely better to say nothing than to ask a patient to stop crying!
asking them if theyve experienced something like this before, what have they
found helpful
Trying to avoid going off to get mountains of tissues or distracting the patient
so they stop crying.