What is the distinction between a behavioural crisis and a psychiatric emergency?

What is the distinction between a behavioural crisis and a psychiatric emergency?

The behavioural crisis and psychiatric emergency are two kinds of mental issues people could face at any point in their life. In both cases, the patient suffers mentally and physically. And the people close to the patient also deal with this issue. 

Both cases severely affect the patients and the people related to them, and patients need to go under many medications and therapies for recovery. And they can recover within a few weeks or months. In both cases, early treatment and care are required, and delayed treatment could cause more damages.

These conditions are very dangerous to the patient and the people around him/her. Though the symptoms may look similar, there are significant differences in the conditions. Only an expert or an experienced psychiatrist can observe and understand the difference. 

The behavioural crisis is a bit low on the danger side, but treatment is necessary. Ignoring any of these conditions can result in imminent danger to everyone. The article will explain the difference and symptoms of these conditions.

So, what is the difference between these conditions?

Though both these terms are related to the mental crisis, they are distinct in many cases. They affect the person in different ways, and the treatments are also different.

What is a behavioural crisis?

It is an episode of mental disorder in an individual which is considered unacceptable by society, family, friends, or the individual himself.

It can be defined as a condition in which a person is at imminent risk of behaving in a certain way that could result in serious injury to himself or others. This condition requires careful evaluation and treatment.

What is a psychiatric emergency?

It is an acute disturbance of behaviour, mood, or thought of a person who may cause harm to himself and others if left untreated. It will affect the individual or others near the person.

If you compare the cases, you’ll see that there’s no imminent threat of death or suicide in behavioural crisis, but there is a chance of death/suicde in the latter one. 

What are the examples of both conditions?

A person suffering from a behavioural crisis can be seen having rapid mood swings, increased agitation, shortness of breath, heart palpitation, out of control/risk-taking behaviour, and abusive to themselves or someone else. You can see the person isolating himself from work, school, family, and friends.

A person having a psychiatric emergency will show agitation, hostility, thought disturbance, positive symptoms of schizophrenia, irritability, and suspiciousness.

It is a dangerous and life-threatening situation that requires immediate treatment.

How to handle these crises?

Professional doctors or psychiatrists can manage behavioral crises. It is not that dangerous, and one can talk with the patient calmly and slowly. An expert can deal with this kind of crisis and treat the patient.

Psychiatric emergencies are tricky situations. A patient may look calm at one moment but may change into really violent behavior within seconds. Sometimes, forced medical assistance is required, and the patient may try to harm the nearby people.

One cannot take any of these mental illnesses lightly, and if the treatment is delayed, the crisis can worsen in both cases. Only the timely intervention of family and healthcare professionals can solve these issues. Earlier the treatment is, the higher the chances of a speedy recovery.

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What is the distinction between a behavioural crisis and a psychiatric emergency?

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