Tuesday, May 15, 2007

First Days of Psych

I've been issued a key, for a mere $5 deposit, that will allow me into, and more importantly out of, the psych wards at the local psych hospital. My ward is special; it's the "forensics ward", aka "home to the people who are crazy in jail." Today, I sat in on the interviews of several patients who are also inmates. The stories I heard were incredible.

  • There was the young man who calmly told us that the voices in his head told him he needed to go back to county jail, so he could get put onto the regular floor, where he could purchase a razor and use it to kill himself. Needless to say, he didn't get discharged today.
  • There was a young woman with borderline personality disorder who burst into angry tears because the nurse dispensing medication was RUDE to her, that was a personal ATTACK, she wasn't doing ANYTHING wrong. This was a woman in her thirties receiving a lecture on how you can't control what other people do to you, you can only control how you react.
  • Another young woman detailed her slow slide into drug-dealing after running away from an abusive step-father who shot her mother. When she was living in abandoned houses, she was sexually assaulted numerous times, leaving her with no idea who the fathers of two of her children were.
  • A young man told us calmly about how he owned Microsoft, communicated with Halle Berry through the "ethernet" (which is the God-computer, the real God, and he's the commander, but he's about to retire at the age of 25), and he's been a comptroller since age 5, after he started several businesses. This poor man has smoked so much fry that it's likely that none of the antipsychotic meds will bring him back to a semblance of normal. Someone should put him on an anti-drug commercial.
  • My favorite patient today, though, was a man who came to this country illegally because he believed that America has treasure buried underground--one has only to dig it up! From what I can tell, he was arrested hacking at the ground with a machete, hollering about buried treasure. I don't even know if they took him to jail first, or if they brought him straight to the psych hospital.

I keep forgetting to use the key to get into the interview room to talk to patients. I keep forgetting that my key has to let me out of each of the double doors to the unit--but only into one door. And is it wrong of me to be a little excited that I get to walk out of this place every day?

Don't do drugs.


Anonymous said...

My favorite pt at said institution continued with this idea from my first to last day that the nurse who dispensed the meals on the unit was poisoning his. Most days "the situation was critical" and he just didn't eat till someone else brought him food.

Ahhh, how I miss psych in this awful land of cutting out uteri....

The Peanut Gallery said...

Tiny Surgeon,
I am jealous of you!! OB/GYN is not half as fun as psych. The stories you hear on psych from the psychotic pts are great.

Bardiac said...

Holy cow, I had to look up "fry." Makes me glad to be stupid and ignorant about such things, really.

Barbie said...

we got past psych records on a patient. I quote: "beyond help of this institution. super impulsive"

frectis said...

I have a friend who fried herself on drugs right into a psychotic break. It was the scariest thing to witness an A student, overachiever, success-bound kid turn into someone who needs to be babysat (lest she end up naked in the Naked Juice factory in town) and minded so she didn't pick up pimps who'd beat the shite out of her and leave her for dead. "They looked like nice men who needed a ride." Oy.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I also had to look up fry. I'm not as hip as I used to be!

Interesting crew there. I have to say that it is really a shame that you don't really see any "normal" patients on most med school psych rotations. It would be nice to see normal people with depression or anxiety disorders, because in the real world, that's what you see most of.

I did get to see an ECT session on psych, that was interesting. It was nothing like I thought it would be.

By the way, you've been tagged for the "8 Random things about me" meme!

medstudentitis said...

I too had to look up fry! I'm totally not with 'it'. This fry thing is freaky, who the hell would do that to themselves!? I guess the same people who make crystal meth in their basements and then smoke it.

Rach said...

Can't wait to hear more about your experiences on psych rotation!