Category: Psychiatry

Psychotropic medication

Psychotropic medication includes some of the most commonly prescribed medication in the the world. This article will cover the types of medication you will tend to encounter, important side effects, monitoring and emergencies. Mood disorders When initiating patients on anti-depressant medication it is important to follow them up within 2 weeks. This is because one

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Risk assessment

Determining the risk of harm to the patient, and sometimes to others, is an essential part of a psychiatric assessment. It is useful to know what questions to ask whether you’re at the hospital front door or on an inpatient psychiatric ward. Self-harm/suicide risk assessment The aim is to assess acute risk for a patient

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Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a commonly experienced symptom as part of the body’s reaction to stress. It becomes a mental health disorder if exaggerated, lasts >3 weeks and interferes with daily life. Features Psychological: Dread Tension Poor concentration Depersonalisation/derealisation Physical: Insomnia Loss of appetite Globus Diarrhoea Urinary urgency Panic: Palpitations Dizziness Diaphoresis Breathlessness Chest pain Tetany Co-morbid:

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Mood (affective) disorders

In this article, we cover depressive disorders, bipolar affective disorder and schizoaffective disorder with an overview of the epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, assessment and management steps. Depressive disorder Annual prevalence of 5% Depressive episodes last >2 weeks Core symptoms: low mood, anhedonia, anergia Associated: sleep disturbance (early wakening, insomnia or hypersomnia), poor appetite, loss of libido,

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How to take a psychiatric history

Psychiatry, as a specialty is unique in that diagnostic methods, rely very heavily on symptomatology, therefore assessment has to be thorough. Components of psychiatric assessment 1. Presenting complaint 2. History of presenting complaint 3. Past psychiatric history 4. Past medical history 5. Family history 6. Drug history 7. Forensic history 8. Premorbid personality 9. Personal

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Applying to Psychiatry Training

Do you have an interest in human behaviour? Did you go into medicine to speak to patients? Are you looking for variety in your work? Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives? Then Psychiatry could be for you! Why Psychiatry? Psychiatry is a wonderful speciality for anyone who has an interest in

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Mental State Examination

The mental state examination (MSE) is an observational assessment of a patient’s appearance, behaviours and cognitive state. It has seven domains that need to be assessed in order to complete a full examination. When completed correctly, the mental state examination should allow the reader to obtain an exact picture of the patient in their mind.

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Management of the Aggressive Patient

At times as a junior doctor, you will be faced with the management of patients displaying aggression. There are many causes for aggressive behaviour, from pain to frustration at delays in medical care, and it should be thought of as a way of expressing distress. It is therefore important to try to understand the cause

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Sections of the Mental Health Act 1983/2007

What is the MHA? It is legislation that governs patients’ Compulsory detention Treatment Discharge Aftercare It can be used to hospitalise patients that have a mental illness which: Requires assessment or treatment and Poses a threat to the self or others and Results in the patient not being able to consent There are various Sections

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Self-discharge

Frequently patients wish to self-discharge from hospitals. This article pertains to adult patients only (18y+) and these patients can be broadly split into three groups: Reminder on Capacity Do read the GMC guidance on capacity, which reminds us that patients have presumed capacity. Thus patients need to have a ‘disease of mind or brain’ before

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