Patient Engagement Barrier: Inner Kill

Your patient looks lost. Maybe she is just overwhelmed but she actually seems different than that. She’s distant and somewhat unresponsive. She seems indecisive and passive. You wonder whether you’re reaching her. Does she understand the medication instructions? Will she really follow-up with her physician once she’s home?

stopWhat’s happening here? She may have what best-selling author and life coach Richard Leider calls Inner Kill. He describes it as the art of dying without knowing it. According to Leider, people with Inner Kill have found their reasons for getting up in the morning have become numb. Different from burn-out, Inner Kill is passive and reactive. People have stopped growing and engaging with the world around them. They’ve ceded control to others.

Leider estimates that 1 in 3 people have Inner Kill, which has nothing to do with age, money or success. In fact, highly successful people may achieve their goals only to find themselves in the midst of Inner Kill.

The reality though, says Leider, who is the chairman of Lifesprk’s National Advisory Board, is that people with Inner Kill need others to help them move forward and break out of this inertia. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear through numerous studies that patient engagement is essential to improving health care outcomes as well as reducing readmissions and health care costs.

Inner Kill symptoms:

  • Avoid decisions
  • Lay awake nights, sleepwalk by day
  • Unusual irritability becomes the norm
  • Talk about what she’ll do, but never does it
  • Lights are turned off – she’s lost the reason to get up in the morning

So, how can you reach her? Lifesprk has put together a new CEU offering especially for professionals that outlines the symptoms of Inner Kill, how to recognize it, and what you can do about it to connect and build engagement.

According to Lifesprk CEO & Founder Joel Theisen, Inner Kill is a contributing cause for people ending up on the roller coaster of health care crises. “We’ve invested significant time and energy focusing on how to truly engage people, and want to share that expertise with others. Interestingly, what we’ve found is that by helping others to avoid or break out of Inner Kill, actually helps you as well.”