Monthly Archives: March 2017

介绍书:<善生>

问了几间大众书局分行才买到的这本书,售价RM28 (可凭书局会员获得10%折扣)。看过作者在脸书分享读者的读后感,外加朋友也介绍,所以想看看。

一直以来也觉得自己很缺乏这方面的助人经验(严格上来说,自己的亲身体验更是缺乏)。还记得回马后刚开始上班的三、四个月,就有一名我有份参与治疗的患者自杀过世,一年多后,也有一名电话追踪了几个月的抑郁患者放弃自己的生命(我曾两次以这个个案为例撰写文章**)。我一直没有很仔细去体验这些悲伤与失落,只是轻描淡写让它过去,继续生活,继续工作,继续吃喝,继续玩乐,偶尔想起,默默、轻轻地哀伤。

只是后来我也意识到自己对临终关怀、丧亲者陪伴方面的知识缺乏,去听了苏绚慧和冯以量的讲座,再看了他们的一些书,慢慢多了一些体会和理解。而这本书,文字不多,都是些真实的小故事,说些陪伴丧亲者、在生命的结束延续与亡者的关系、允许悲伤失落、悲而不痛的真实小故事。确实真实,细腻,却不做作。尤其对于不爱看满页文字的人更是适合。

作者冯以量

作者冯以量

 

**两篇关于这名已故病人的文章:

Depression & ECT

Can we allow a severely depressed patient to make the decision?

The Mind Bell

I first heard about this mind bell app when I was attending a talk by Dr Phang Cheng Kar, and installed it on my phone the next day, I’ve since been using it for about 6 weeks.

This is basically an app, which makes the sound of a bell every 15 mins (you get to adjust the intervals based on your preference, I left it by default), and generally people might do a few of mindful breathing when they hear it along the day. When you silent your phone the bell will be muted too. And you can set a schedule – when it starts and ends every day (so if it’s until 9pm, you are allowed to stop being mindful after 9pm. Haha).

We do not want to live in our brains, ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. We want to live in the present, the here and now. And that’s mindfulness, and you might notice how the bell stops some people who worry too much from doing so, by reminding them to breath mindfully and focus on the present, on what they are doing, instead of living in the brain.

I did not use the bell sound as a reminder to perform the breathing, I might just take a deep breath once, or continue to focus on what I’m doing, knowing that I’m focusing on the here and now. One thing that works quite well for me, is actually reminding me of valued living. Sometimes I might be scrolling facebook, and the mindbell showed up (when the screen is on there’s a golden ‘bowl’ showing up with the sound), I might realize that I’ve been spending enough time on FB and this really isn’t the kind of thing I want to spend much time of my life doing. And so I stopped wherever I was.

Though, most of the times, I find the bell distracting. Like when I am reading, replying to emails, running, I was concentrating enough, and it stopped me and got my attention, wanting me to be mindful(?), but it could somehow be the thing that makes me not mindful on the here and now. I believe this is because I’m quite mindful and focus as a person normally, I do not live in my brain much, or spend much time worrying unnecessarily.

However, I believe this app can be very useful for those who worry endlessly. Do try it out to see if it helps and/or suits you.

The Benson Relaxation Method

The essential factors:

  1. Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer or muscular activity.
  2. Passively disregarding everyday thoughts (which inevitably come to mind) and patiently returning to your repetition.

The method summarised:

  1. Pick a focus word, short phrase, or prayer that is firmly rooted in your belief system
  2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Relax your muscles, progressively from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head and neck
  5. Relax slowly and naturally, and as you do, say your focus word, sound, phrase or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale
  6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply say to yourself “oh well,” and gently return to your repetition.
  7. Continue for ten to twenty minutes.
  8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising
  9. Practice the technique once or twice daily. Good times to do so are before breakfast and before dinner.

You can also elicit the Relaxation Response while exercising. If you are jogging or walking, pay attention to the cadence of your feet on the ground - “left, right, left, right” – and when other thoughts come into your mind, say “Oh, well,” and return to “left, right, left, right.” Of course, keep your eyes open! Similarly, swimmers can pay attention to the tempo of their strokes, cyclists to the whir of the wheels, dancers to the beat of the music, others to the rhythm of their breathing.

(Adapted from the AHPC Training Manual by Don Robertson)