CLARIFICATION OF TERMS/VOCABULARY
I thought I knew what most of the language being used around me or in medical reports meant. Turns out I was wrong and so were a few of my Doctors. It’s obvious who keeps up with new research/education/diagnostic criteria and who doesn’t. All you have to do is look at some of the exams used in 2017 for Psychology/Sociology/Psychiatry/Neurology/Pharmacology to see there has been a change in thinking.
PSYCHOLOGY: The scientific study of behavior that is tested through scientific research.
SOCIOLOGY: The study of human social groups and society.
PSYCHIATRY: The study, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, of mental health disorders.
PSYCHOLOGIST VS PSYCHIATRIST: The each have different approaches and degrees/licensing. Psychologists are nonmedical professionals who train in methods of Psychological Testing, Psychotherapy, Analysis, and Research. The can not prescribe medications or ECT. Psychologists look at behavior and track sleep patterns, eating patterns, and negative thoughts. Psychiatrists do have medical degrees and graduate from medical school. Psychiatrists tend to look at biology and neurochemistry ruling out vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems or other medical reasons for mental health issues before making a diagnosis.
I’m going to focus on Psychiatry/Psychiatrists for now. It can be overwhelming when you read all of it so I’ll stick to the basics. These are some things I didn’t know and was afraid to ask.
What is the DSM?
The DSM (volume 5 now) is the standard classification manual of mental disorders published by the AMA (American Medical Association). A Psychiatrist basically uses this more for billing than anything else. When it comes to Psychiatric Disorders there is no one size fits all so they come as close as they can.
NOS means Not otherwise specified, again more of a billing thing and because you might show most of the symptoms of a disorder but not all of them but the Doctor is certain that you probably will in the future.
If you are admitted to a Psychiatric facility involuntarily you must be released in 72 hours. A probate hearing needs to happen within the 72 hours if they want you to remain an impatient involuntarily.
As a patient you have the right to refuse treatment (including medications), the right to privacy, to keep personal items (except in cases of self harm), enter into legal contracts, and informed consent. It’s important to know this. I always felt I didn’t have the right to ask questions because they were the Doctors and more educated than me. But there were many times I should’ve spoke up and didn’t. This only added to my problems.
When you feel you are being held against your will and someone threatens to keep you as long as they want if you’re not a “good girl” it’s demeaning and terrifying to say the least.
To find out what is going on a Mental Status Assessment is done which is a view of Psychological Function in time that changes interview to interview. Doctors also use the following:
GENERAL APPEARANCE: grooming, how a person is dressed, hygiene, eye contact, posture, appearance vs stated age. (If you show up in your pajamas and you haven’t showered in weeks and are shuffling into the office most likely it isn’t going to go well)
ATTITUDE: (toward examiner) cooperative, warm, friendly, suspicious, guarded, hostile, apathetic, distant, combative, aggressive, seductive. (Pretty sure if you act seductive you’re receiving that 72 hour hold. Same with combative. I’ve been distant, guarded, hostile and cooperative I think)
BEHAVIOR AND ACTIVITY: Psychomotor Retardation (medical term), restless, agitated, hyperactive, tremors, tics, unusual movements/gestures, catatonia, gait and coordination. (I’ve had all of these at one time or another. It took a long time to figure out it was mostly due to my brain and trauma)
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE: Clarity, Speed, Volume, Relevancy, Pressured, Hesitant, Coherence and Fluency (So I really don’t do well in this department. If I am manic I will talk fast and go from topic to topic, I will also repeat myself. If in a depressive episode my voice is quieter, I have trouble finding words and if it’s a really bad day I will stutter or hesitated before saying a word. Either way it’s embarrassing when I’m in public I usually have to sit in my car and cry for a little bit before I can drive.)
THIS IS IT FOR NOW BUT THERE WILL BE MORE. I HOPE PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED. I ENJOY LEARNING AND RESEARCHING I ALSO DON’T THINK I’LL BE TRAVELING ANYWHERE SO I NEED A PROJECT.