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More Ramblings on the Psych Ward

Room 120:  Ernie, who had been incarcerated three times for aggravated assault, shows me: “Look, doc, I can do 50 pushups!”


“Impressive, Ernie; do you think strength is based on biceps?”


“Hey, Doc, go to hell.”



Room 121:  “I’m sick, Dr. Guterson, real sick.


I gotta get disability and they told me I need three psychiatric hospitalizations to qualify.”


“Hmmm…” (I think to myself).



Room 122: “The bugs are controlling me, they control the weather, they control everything!  They’re all over, Dr. Guterson .


There’s really no escape.”



Room 123:  Frank, a gentle 54 year old, was found on the bridge, dazed and confused and suicidal:  “Doc, it’s freezing in this place; can you please turn up the heat?!”


It turned out (via a blood test) that his thyroid was way out of whack. So we gave him the appropriate medication and voila!, a total turnaround, a new lease on life.


(Know that the first ‘law’ of psychiatric diagnoses is to do an organic/physical work-up before jumping to conclusions.)



Room 124: I ask Jill what brought her to the hospital.


She responds: “I’ve got PTSD, OCD, ADHD, MDD, BPD, and SAD.


“But why are you here?”


“I just told you.”



Room 125: “Purpose?? My purpose? You want to know what my life’s purpose is?


I never thought about that.


But I’d love to talk about it sometime.


What time is lunch?”



Room 126:  Twenty nine year old Tina had ingested an unknown substance.  Her desperate parents visited with her for two hours. After their visit, I asked Tina how it went.  She answered:  “those weren’t my parents.  My parents are dead.”



Room 127:  Brian is distressed and talks real loud:  “Dr. Guterson, Dr. Guterson, the Bible says right here that God brought the flood because the whole world was corrupt. Looks like that could happen now.”


Me:  “Not with fellows like you around, Brian.”




As I look back on my delightful morning of ramblings on the psych ward, I am privileged to share life with those who are struggling and suffering, whether it’s through their bravado, malingering, psychosis, innocence, or a low acting thyroid. 



Life is difficult, on all sorts of levels, for all of us.

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