Ya know, I could say how I've been busy and whatnot. But that'd be a lie this time. I've just been lazy. The year has been winding down for some time and I just couldn't be bothered, lol. And as it is, I end the year with the crazies (aka, psychiatry).
It actually wasn't a bad rotation. Spent 2 weeks on child/adolescent psych, 1 week on eating disorders, and 1 week on adult psych. As the director of the place told us several times, "Most of these patients ain't dumb, they ain't crazy, they just have had crazy things happen in their lives and couldn't handle it, and that's why they're here." On about day 3 I realized how true his words rang.
The vast majority of psychiatric patients I saw aren't crazy. Most of them aren't schizophrenic, they don't hear voices other people don't hear, they don't see things other people don't see, they aren't foaming at the mouth or anything (that said, the couple of schizophrenics who weren't taking their medications really were sometimes kinda scary crazy). Most of the people I saw actually had mood disorders - anxiety, depression, irritability, etc.
The best way I can describe most patients' situations is that crazy things happen in their lives - a kid is witness to domestic violence or is abused (verbally, physically, emotionally, and/or sexually), a teen feels out of control when her parents divorce and start restricting her eating, an adult couldn't handle the pain from multiple surgeries and turns to drugs - and their minds just can't take it. Something inside breaks and they snap. These people try to resolve things and find an outlet for the trauma of their minds and find themselves repeatedly bashing their heads against a proverbial wall.
And when they're at their lowest, when there's not much further down to go, they come to us at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Here we control the environment, take the responsibility out of their hands for a time, talk to them, counsel them, prescribe medications. And these medications often work (it may take some fiddling around to find the right drug and dose for the right person, but it works out more often than not). They kind of reset the imbalance in the brain and allow people to think clearer, calmer, and more rationally. They smooth out the edges of emotions so one doesn't soar as high or dip as low.
Mental health. It's a real thing. Sometimes all one needs is some counseling, and sometimes it requires medication. In that regard, it's not really any different than diabetes or hypertension.
Oh yeah, I'm 3/4 of an MD now! :-D Unfortunately the other aspects of my life have been less interesting than the things I witness when I'm in the hospital. Still a few things here and there worth blogging about in posts to come.
Oh yeah, PPACA (aka, Obamacare) survived the Supreme Court ruling. Thoughts? Also for another post, lol.