Panos is 50 years old resident of a psychosocial rehabilitation unit diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

One morning he got permission from the unit to visit a bank to do some procedures related to his bank account. When it was his turn to be served, the bank employee gave him a form to fill in. Panos had several questions about completing the application. At one point the bank employee was angry and shouted to Panos, asking him why is so difficult to fill out the application. When the bank employee found that the address of residence referred to in the application was the address of a psychosocial rehabilitation unit, the bank employee said in an ironic tone «now I understand».

This comment by the employee caused laughter in the queue of people waiting behind him. Panos did not comment on the behavior of the employee. He was angry at first but then thought that it was not a very important incident, he considered the employee’s reaction reasonable and justified his behavior as normal, taking into account his fatigue. Returning to the unit where he lives, he met another resident of the psychosocial rehabilitation unit, who asked for some money.

Panos then replied that he has nothing to give him because he has not been able to finish process at the bank he visited. The other resident called him «useless» and left. Panos did not answer, bowed his head, went to the yard of the unit and smoked. Shortly thereafter, a staff member approached him and told him that he smoked a lot and this habit may cause him a lot of health problems in the future. Then Panos made a loud burst of anger, shouting and screaming. He eventually asked for extra medication in order to calm down.

Theoretical background

Aggression type

Episodes of verbal aggression, reinforcing social stigma.

Emotions: anger, guilt

Coping/Stressors related to mental illness/social stigma and victimization

Coping/Functional coping strategies

Questions and answers

1st Question

At what point in the scenario do you find that the protagonist was a victim of violence? To what kind of violence does the scenario refer to? 

1st Answer

The comments of the bank employee were an insult and a reaction that stigmatized Panos. The laughing of the other bank customers was a derogatory reaction.

Also the behavior of the other resident of the unit could be characterized as verbally violent.

2nd Question

Do you think that the thoughts, the actions, the feelings and the attitudes adopted by the protagonist of the scenario helped him/her to cope with this situation?  Are there any alternative ideas?

2nd Answer

Panos was angry at first but did not act according to his feelings. He then considered the behavior of the bank employee reasonable. In the second incident with the other resident of the unit, Panos seems to have taken a “passive attitude”.

The fact that in neither of the two cases, he did not adopt aggressive behavior (although he was angry at first), may have helped him to avoid a possible trouble. On the other hand, an accumulation of some feelings may possibly have caused an intense anger episode.

3rd Question

What other interventions and actions could further help the protagonist to deal with this incident and with any potential similar incidents in the future?

3rd Answer

An alternative attitude he could adopt, may perhaps be to express his dissatisfaction with the attitude of the bank employee and the other resident (calmly). Also, instead of reacting in this way to the staff member of the structure, he could talk to him about the incidents that made him feel uncomfortable, so that he would be emotionally relieved.

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