Psychiatric patients often suffer from sensory disturbances to a degree that can affect their quality of life and lead to an increased sensitivity. A sensory disorder makes it difficult for the brain to process and sort the sensory impressions and can complicate the mental state and lead to anxiety. Research results shows that the use of sensory integration can change the conditions and prevent and reduce conflicts, and in this way reduce the need for both coercion and forced medication. 

By working systematically with sensory integration, the proprioceptive sense informs the brain about activity in muscles and joints, which implies a calming effect and reduces the stress level in the brain. People with mental disorders are often under stimulated on the proprioceptive sense and will therefore naturally seek movement to enhance the body perception. In this way, sensory stimulating aids can have a calming effect and provide security for psychiatric patients.  The Protac Ball Blanket® was originally developed specifically for psychiatric patients and had a sleep-improving effect from the beginning. Some people have a need for constant movement to maintain their body image, and when the body is completely still during night time, the body perception decreases. The body misses proprioceptive stimulation to maintain body perception. Instead of seeking it by active movement, the stimulation can also be achieved passively by lying under the Protac Ball Blanket® with large balls. The balls move every time the body moves a little or during deep breathing. The movement and deep pressure of the balls sends a calming signal to the brain, enhances the demarcation of the body and alleviate the need for constant movement. In this way, both body and brain feel at ease when falling asleep. 

18-year-old woman suffering from an eating disorder

The woman is admitted to a closed ward and suffers from severe symptoms of both motor and psychological unrest, insomnia, and hyperactivity, and has a very low BMI. With the Protac® BallBase, she finds that she can sleep for 5-7 hours at a stretch, which she had not done in a long time, and her whole body feels calm.

61-year-old woman with bipolar disorder, admitted with severe mania

The patient initially tried Protac® BallBase to calm down briefly, and it had a very relaxing effect on her. She wanted to try it at night as well and continued sleeping on it. She says the mattress pad has a calming effect on her, reduces her stress levels, and improves her sleep quality.

She also describes it as a gentle massage, and it relaxes her muscles to lie on the mattress pad. When she combines it with the Protac Ball Blanket®, she experiences a complete sense of security. She feels stable and comfortable, even when she turns, and the mattress pad molds to her shape. She notes that the design is neutral and discreet to look at.

23-year-old woman with depression

“Before I started using the Protac Ball Blanket®, I was nervous and stressed and suffered from frequent bouts of depression. I heard about ball blankets and thought I would give it a chance. At first no major difference was felt but after two weeks it started to feel different. I slept much deeper and could relax in bed. It a very heavy which meant that I got a greater sense of security when I was lying under it. During the day I also felt the change: I was much livelier, overcame more challenges, became happier but above all: the depression disappeared! So, for me, the Protac Ball Blanket® has worked great.”

18-year-old psychotic man

“I have suffered from mental illness for about 9 years, and 9 months ago I received the Protac Ball Blanket® Classic. My daily life is characterized by ups and downs, anxiety, psychosis, and imbalance. After I started sleeping with the Protac Ball Blanket®, I have experienced a greater sense of security. The blanket holds my body together so I can feel myself. The blanket provides inner warmth. I hardly have the sensation that I float anymore and am not psychotic that much as well. I lie with the blanket all night except during the warm summer months. I've also found that it's a good idea to take a nap under the ball blanket when I'm feeling unwell. A good tip is if I need a sense of security, even though it's hot, to place the ball blanket over me at first and then change to a thinner blanket ". The advantage of the Protac Ball Blanket® Classic in psychiatry is that the blanket cannot be opened and disassembled.

A psychiatric patient tells about his dependency of the Protac Ball Blanket®

"I have a mental illness. I use the Protac Ball Blanket® every night and sometimes during the day. Among other things, to gather myself, my thoughts, and my senses. They don’t always work well together. When I am hospitalized, I may end up in belt fixation, but it only lasts until I get my blanket. Then I fall asleep and am quickly released. I also use it when I’m aggressive or want to do destructive behavior, and it works every time. I did not need to get used to the blanket. Now I also have the Protac Ball Cushion® so I can sit still. I would strongly recommend it as well. One might say that it helps you cuddle as if you were held by a parent when you were a child. However, it does not cause you to stay in this state. Thoughts are gathered and you can quietly find / sense yourself. And then move on. "

Experiences with sensory integration at psychiatric hospital

The Protac Ball Blanket® is used almost daily in our department. Patients experience that they can "feel themselves" better, that they become less anxious, less aggressive, and thus feel more secure. The use of the Protac Ball Blanket® also means that we use less sedatives, and that we can shorten / limit fixation. We find that the blanket prevents and limits aggressive and destructive behavior. Many patients even ask for the blanket when they need it, and it therefore also becomes a kind of "self-help tool".

Patients in a psychiatric unit trying sensory integration

The occupational therapist working on the psychiatric ward states about the use of the Protac MyFit® ball  vest for inpatients: "The patients here on the ward have on their own initiative started to put on the ball vest if they feel restless or are going to an important meeting." One patient has stated that he can more easily sense himself and manage new tasks when the ball vest helps him.

Man with paranoid schizophrenia

"I use the Protac MyBaSe® mattress to find a safe base where I can relax. I have many obsessive thoughts and a bad physical posture; the mattress provides peace to calm my thoughts and to relax my muscles. It is great that the effect remains for some time afterwards. "

61-year-old man with a psychiatric diagnose

The man uses the Protac SensCircle® pillow for positioning at night. It gives him peace of mind to cuddle in it and he quickly falls asleep.

Care center for young people with psychiatric diagnoses

“From our viewpoint as staff, the Protac SenSit® ball chair  allows that we can have good conversations with the patients outside when they sit in the chair and become peaceful. We experience that the chair is recognizable to the girls and that they are comfortable with it. The chair creates a greater atmosphere of "coziness" than the department's other outdoor furniture. "

20-year-old woman with a psychiatric diagnose

The woman has several suicide attempts behind her and is admitted to a psychiatric ward. Is severely self-harming. She was supported by the staff to use the Protac SenSit® ball chair but eventually it became the patient's own strategy to use the chair. She experienced calmness in her body and mind and that she became better able to resist the urge to do self-harming behavior. The chair was placed in her room so that she could seek it out herself and experience well-being and calm her mind and body.

Woman with a bipolar diagnose

A therapist on the ward says: "The woman uses the  ball chair on her own initiative several times a day; especially when she needs to be calmed and get her thoughts gathered. She describes that it helps her to find peace during the day without having to go to bed. She finds that the combination of using the Protac Ball Blanket® at night and the Protac SenSit® ball chair during the day is completely optimal for her. In the ward, it is experienced that the ball chair can help prevent and limit her tendency to become agitated and angry during the day. She is observed, among other things, to use it before and after she goes to meetings or conversations. In previous hospitalizations she has been mechanically restrained with a fixation belt, but this has not been necessary during this hospitalization".

Man with a psychiatric diagnose

A man with mental illness, lives in a psychiatric care facility with other residents. He has his own room where he prefers to be almost all the time. He stays a maximum of ½ hour at a time in common areas and is considered restless. The man loves the Protac SenSit® ball chair and stays in it longer than he has wanted to sit in other furniture. The staff experience that he has less motor restlessness. He wanders around less of the time and with less intensity. He can sit in the common room for longer time periods than before. The chair allows him to retire to a safe spot and get sensory stimulation without falling asleep. This means that he can remain closer to ongoing activities and that he is more alert and ready for activity than if he had received sensory stimulation while lying down.

Woman with mental unrest at psychiatric unit

When she uses the Protac SenSit® ball chair , she is better able to be present in the common room of the ward because she becomes calmer physically and mentally. Staff has experienced, immediately after she has been assisted with sitting down in the chair, that she is calmer and more collected. She can participate in the activities that take place around her. She cannot get up from the chair on her own and needs a little help from a staff.

Woman with depression and mental unrest

The woman experiences that the Protac SensOn® neck and shoulder wrap  gives her a feeling of being more collected and a little calmer. She says that it is nice to wear. She says the collar feels like a pair of heavy and safe hands on her shoulders.

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