What an excellent example you provided. Many patients, particularly mental health patients stop their medication because they feel better and do not correlate the improvement with the medication. Thye simply believe they are better and meds areno longer needed.To answer your question, I think there are many people who hold their beliefs and their habits very strongly and because of that will only change those beliefs and accept patient teaching when the other alternative is to die (if they change their beliefs at all). In his article, "Why Bad Beliefs Don't Die," Lester (2000) discussed how our beliefs are formed as a survival mechanism and that changing our beliefs isn't supposed to be easy because as a survival tool, they are meant to withstand contradictory information. He further elaborates that if our beliefs were easily changed that they would be essentially useless to us for survival. The brain does not care if the belief is silly or even untrue; it solely sees the belief as keeping the person alive. Lester (2000) claimed that for those reasons, people will defend, fight over and even die for a belief...and those same reasons are why it is so difficult to change them, even with solid data. I have seen people wait to change their belief system until it was the belief or death,just as I have seen a patient choose to continue with a belief versus having life saving treatment.Years ago, I studied the mind and belief systems through the context of an alternative medicine. Those classes taught similar information as Lester, except the classes involved the ego complex into the teachings. Very interesting concept that a person would choose to die over than accept another point of view. Unfortunately, over history, many wars have been fought over beliefs.What has been your experience with patients that would rather keep their belief(s) instead of living?FlossieReference:Lester, G. (2000). Why Bad Beliefs Don't Die. Skeptical Inquirer, 24.6 Retrieved from Reply| Quote & ReplyOct 24, 2015 05:26 PM0 LikeSubstantive PostGretchen Lacy 4 postsRe:Re:Re:Topic 2 DQ 2I was admitting a female patient to the floor one morning and just plugging away at asking my admission questions and clicking the corresponding buttons. Then I came
to the question of when was your last menstruation. She responded "I don't know." That in itself is not too alarming, as quite honestly, I don't keep track of mine either. So I said, "Is it that you can't remember or do you have irregular periods or..." at this point I trailed off when I sensed how increasingly uncomfortable the patient wasbecoming. I simply walked over and shut the door to allow for privacy, apologized that the questions were making her uncomfortable. Ultimately, she shared that she was transgender. I met her declaration with a simple "Okay," and continued on with the rest of my admission questions.