Dr. med. Elisabeth Deubler-Schneider
Experiencing pain is an almost daily experience and vital to survival. Pain has a warning and protective function by indicating injury or imminent tissue damage. If pain persists or is recurrent for an extended period of time, then we are talking about chronic pain.
Chronic pain has lost its warning function and changed from a symptom into a disease – a so-called pain memory has developed. If those affected are physically, psychologically cognitively and socially impaired, they need psychiatric support.
The pain affects a specific part of the body or wanders through different joints or muscle groups. Sometimes, they occur everywhere and often lead to general exhaustion.
Special forms of pain are so-called tension headaches and migraines. Experts speak of chronic pain when the pain has been in place for at least three to six months.
In contrast, the acute pain, which occurs sudden, without recognizable regularity, is often triggered by an external event such as bruising, sprains, broken bones, burns or insect bites.
«Physicians usually look for physical causes first. Therefore, a pain disorder is not recognized for a long time. When patients come to our clinic, they may not understand at first how their pain is related to psychiatric treatment.»
Dr. med. Elisabeth Deubler-Schneider, Senior Physician
Chronic pain leads to an activation of the vegetative nervous system. If the person concerned fears the pain as an expression of a dangerous disease, the pain will feed on this fear, which will lead to a vicious circle.
The treatment and the breaking of this vicious circle are adapted to the respective type of pain and consists of a combination of:
Your pain treatment and therapy in our private clinic for pain disorders in Grisons are based on the jointly developed treatment plan and includes a selection from the following offers.
For almost four months, the private clinic MENTALVA in Cazis was an oasis for N.K. Here, he found himself again after his severe physical and mental illnesses. «Because here, they are very professional in any way», he said.
N.K. talks openly about himself, his illnesses, his low points and also the nearly four months of therapy and treatment at the private clinic MENTALVA, which is part of the psychiatric services Grisons and headed by the chief physician Suzanne von Blumenthal. He arrived here in an exhausted and desolate state, says N.K. Now, after nearly four months and two weeks before he goes home, he has gained a lot of inner balance and confidence. N.K. goes back to his life as a stronger person, whatever it will throw at him. «After my "MENTALVA time", I can also receive therapeutic treatments from Suzanne von Blumenthal every three months. And if I feel very bad, I can come back to inpatient therapy at any time.»
Behind the now 53-year-old N.K. lies an intensive professional life. He always liked to work and to work a lot. After training as a draftsman and various additional training courses, including vocational secondary school and other postgraduate studies (HTL / vocational counsellor / social security specialist), he worked as a human resources manager, and then, for eight years, with the cantonal police (capital crime). With that much experience, he founded his own company, which took care of the reintegration of severely disabled people. He also advised cancer patients. In 2011, N.K. had to hand over his company, which now employed 18 employees and two apprentices. Because at that time he was already seriously ill.
First physically ill, then mentally
His first cancer was discovered 28 years ago. In 2008, he again fell ill with testicular seminoma. This was followed by 38 intensive radiation therapies and double pneumonia with drug poisoning. In the course of that time, there was also the suspicion of a possible brain tumour. Due to the intense radiotherapy, he had to replace his hip joint; the other is still pending. During his first stay at a hospital in the Bernese Oberland, diverticula were detected in the abdominal area; they caused great pain.
«First, I suppressed everything, the professional burdens and then the physical ones. But then came the panic attacks, delusions, memory lapses and a sensitivity to noise. I fought on different fronts at the same time. With the help of psychiatrists and psychologists, I got the panic attacks under control. They were gone! I felt empowered. Hence, I didn't realize at first, when I slipped back into a deep hole in the summer of 2011, caused by further incisive personal events. I was overwhelmed! With my condition and the decision on the future of my business and the employees.» Over time, N.K. was under such attack that he googled additional offers from psychiatric hospitals. It was only after more than a year of severe depression that he joined the private clinic MENTALVA. «The whole appearance was sympathetic to me. That's why I immediately signed up for an initial interview. A little later, I was already able to get admitted.»
N.K. sits in the private clinic MENTALVA in Cazis and talks about his experiences, which would have swept even a giant off his feet. Now he is calm, can even laugh about himself again. He processed a lot and discovered a lot in himself he knew nothing about. He owed this to the excellent chief physician and the professional therapies here, he says gratefully. «The doctors here, the excellent nursing staff, the excellent cuisine and this mix between complementary medicine and medicine, everything fits. If I had to give a note, I would pin a 5.8 to the door of the private clinic MENTALVA. I don't know what could be improved here. There is no force, but there is a great deal of attention to the patients who are really taken seriously. The therapy offers are varied, and there are also large, private areas, a spa and fitness offers. The location is also wonderful, central but quiet, relaxing and sunny...».
You can see N.K. how glad he is to have found the private clinic MENTALVA. For an outsider, it is hard to imagine what the man had to endure. He still doesn't know whether the cancer will be coming back or if another body organ will cause new problems at some point. «No doctor, other than here at the private clinic MENTALVA», he says, «has ever asked me what it's like to have cancer, how one feels about this disease. This is incredible... I have learned to live with my tumours, to understand them and to accept the latent "roommates", and to find a way out of my severe depression. But there is still a long way to go.»
But N.K. has at least slowly regained the courage to engage and deal with new career prospects. «However, it will take a long time before I can at least partially take the step forward into the world of work.»
After his many therapy sessions, N.K. also knows that his previous work with the police, the prosecutor's office and in prison, where he was confronted with death in his worst facets over and over again, had weighed heavily on him. «I've always suppressed it, I haven't talked to anyone about it, not even my wife. It was only here in Cazis that someone realized how much it affected me psychologically and how many other faces I have...»
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