Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sharing the crazy

Most of the time my job is boring. Making copies, transposing files, hunting down test subjects, centrifuging blood. It’s not a glorious existence. But every once in a while I have an interview that raises the interest level several thousand percent. A lady I talked to recently said all of the following in a forty minute time period:

1. President Bush needed to be in God’s hands (ie dead.) This statement is a pretty low level of crazy.
2. She had mailed her artwork to Janet Jackson. Again, unusual, but not crazy.
3. Her ex had stolen 26,000 dollars from her. Unlikely considering I knew her exact employment history, or lack thereof.
4. This caused her to get in a car accident, which resulted in needing a hysterectomy, which resulted in the government implanting a device to read her thoughts.
5. The government taps her phone (odd considering they can already read her thoughts and see through her eyes.)
6. The government implants these implants during many people’s surgeries.
7. She has a frequent contact with the Holy Spirit (I could buy this.)
8. An early indication of this was a picture of the Last Supper appearing in her yard inside a metal box she saw in a dream.
9. Satan has visited her twice, once as a 3.5 foot tall cat in a suit, then again as a large pair of eyes that remained on her wall all night.
10. She’s been given numerous visions, including a very detailed visit to Saturn.
11. She’s also been given a spiritual companion. Her companion’s name is Tatiana and they engage in spiritual sex (the patient is spiritually a man.) She described spiritual sex in some detail, but I’ll just let you know that climax is “like a mushroom cloud.”

You may think it’s bad form to post the particular psychoses of a patient on my blog, and perhaps it is. But one thing I’ve noticed about psychiatrists is that they feel free to take a light-hearted view of their patients, and feel nearly compelled to share what they witness on any given day. I think you can’t just bottle up this craziness. As I sit and search through records in the central office I hear a constant string of absurd conversations. “So how’s so-and-so today? He’s the king of Greece today. Does Greece have a king? The country changes most days, but he always stays king.” You don’t hear this kind of casual banter about someone with pneumonia. But you don’t really need to. You can talk to the person with pneumonia about it. When someone’s delusional, you can only discuss that delusion in any real manner with a third party. And when the delusional patient is screaming and ordering and generally trying to make your life miserable, you need to vent. So psychiatrists cope, by sharing the crazy.

1 comment:

Emily said...

A professional question: how did the government (or whoever) track crazy people before surgeries were so common/technology?

Nowadays crazy people seem to think their phone is tapped, their TV is communicating to them, etc, or they have implantations. 200 years ago, what form did that paranoia take?