Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Beautiful Mind

For the past week, we have been seeing psychiatric patients on out patient basis. These patients range from agitated and restless to catatonic and hysterical. Let me categorize them to give you a better light of what we deal with every day.

The Depressed. I could not believe the number of patients who come for consult because they are utterly sad or depressed. There are patients in this group who look like us when we are sad and then, there are those who sit motionless, facial expression-less or display the gloomiest look you can imagine.

The Anxious. These patients worry too much. Their worries can be as simple as dying during an ultrasound or as complicated as fear of experiencing again a traumatic event which they personally witnessed. These people are generally restless and they have too much fear and worries inside of them.

The Russell Crowes. Those who belong in this group are the stereotypical psychiatric patients that we know of. They hear voices, see people and feel things that other people can't see. They say things like, "Feeling ko, puputok ang nervous system ko," or they think that somebody is out there to kill them. They are just like Russell Crowe in The Beautiful Mind but that is where the similarity ends.

What separates us from the 1st 2 groups are our abilities to adapt, cope and fight back. We cry when a loved one dies, talk to our friends when we fear that somebody might hurt us, ask for help when we can't do it or pray when we feel hopeless.

The last group, on the other hand, is what I call complicated. There are a lot of theories explaining their conditions but these are only attempts. They are also far from achieving what Crowe achieved in that movie.

One of my psychiatry professors once said that it is only a fine thread that separates sanity from insanity. True. Let us then do everything not to cross or break that thread. It won't be a pretty sight, trust me, when that happens. Far from beautiful.

1 comment:

daydream believer said...

but wouldn't you think sometimes it's that fine line that makes us each truly unique? in many ways you're right about what separates us from them...the abilty to cope, to pick ourselves up again, to find the light. sometimes though we can learn a lot from some of these beautiful minds. you see for them, what matters is only the here and now, not the tomorrow, not the yesterday...just now.