MS-3 · psychiatry

Psychiatry?

Psychiatry has been a much more complicated rotation than I had thought.  The hours are light — pretty much 8:30 to 6 — but it’s so emotionally draining that I feel just as tired as I did on neurology. I’ve been stress-baking, much to my roommates’ delight.

One thing I will say for psychiatry — you really get to know your patients.  I spend anywhere between a half hour and an hour with each of them every day, and they stay for at least a week.  One of my patients has been on the unit since mid-July; he’s probably going home early next week, and he’s so excited he apparently did a jig. (The nursing note said “breakdance,” but this is a frail man in his 70s.  If he’d busted out moves like this, I’d want to get paged.)

Today, though, I finally sat down and busted out this presentation I’ve been “working on” for two or three weeks.  I’m going to be speaking on “Delusional Misidentification Syndromes,” which is a fancy term for the Invasion of the Body-snatchers. (Oh, the 1950s, you and your sci-fi horror!) Capgras, Frégoli, Intermetamorphosis, and Subjective Doubles: bizarre delusions in which the patient thinks that family members — or even themselves — have been replaced by imposters.  There’s no consensus about the etiology — it’s either organic or psychodynamic (what else is new?); at least one case of ECT-induced psychosis — but it’s pretty fascinating nonetheless.  And I managed to cite some literary criticism, which always makes me happy.

Next up: practice questions for the shelf!  What are the side effects of mirtazapine, hm?
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Now playing: Bond – Quixote
via FoxyTunes

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