Alvin Hawkins shows me the way to think.
Many of my colleagues thought I should be exhausted and irritable after over half a day of playing word games and tussling with a psychotic patient. I thought I was going to be, too; but at the end of the shift I was surprisingly centered and in control.
On reflection, I realized one of the reasons for this state of mind was the fact that I no longer mistook those angry, aggressive actions as personal attacks on my own abilities or actions. I reframed our interactions as those generated by an illness. Just as you wouldn't become angry with a TB patient that coughed on you, you don't become irritated with the behaviors that badly wired brains spew out. It's not a product of the person, it's a product of the disease from which the person suffers.
It took me a long time to join the party with this attitude. I had a real problem differentiating between the behaviors and the patient generating them. I accepted the meme at the intellectual level, but it took years for it to internalize, to move it to the 'gut' level where it has integrated with the rest of my world view.
That being said, I once again rediscovered why I'd left psych nursing for the critical care units. Crazy people have the potential to drive you nuts.