Three of the most difficult patients that I’ve ever encountered were very different. They had many unique issues which made it challenging to take care of. The first patient was an elderly man with advanced Alzheimer’s disease who experienced frequent episodes of belligerence and aggression, making it difficult to calm him down or get him to comply with instructions. The second patient was a young woman suffering from severe depression and anxiety which caused her to be constantly on edge and highly suspicious of anyone trying to help her – leading to numerous outbursts during our interactions.
Third patient: A middle-aged man with severe addictions. When asked about his history of substance abuse and plans for improving his life, he became very agitated. In all instances, the biggest challenge I faced was finding the right balance between being compassionate while still maintaining my professional boundaries – providing both empathy as well as guidance in order for them to find their own paths towards recovery.