Category Archives: Psychiatry

Simple steps to calming agitated patients

Approach in a disarming manner (empty-handed, measured pace, respects for physical and psychological space, judicious use of eye contact). Identify yourself fully, including your name and title. Demonstrate benevolent intent (“How can I help you?”). Clearly articulate your own and your team’s goals with regard to the situation (“My job is to help you” +/- “We need to make… Read More »

How to Manage Somatic Symptom Disorder in Medical Settings

Introduction Somatic Symptom Disorder (previously known, roughly, as somatization disorder) is a maladaptive and counterproductive focus on physical symptoms or sensations, real or imagined. Patients with somatization disorders are really (and sometimes really, really!) suffering, it’s just that they have non-physical states and comorbidities that are making their symptoms worse. These include psychological determinants (e.g., anxiety, depression), social determinants (e.g., social isolation),… Read More »

Book Review: Illegal Drugs, A Complete Guide to Their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse

You can judge this book by its title. Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to Their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse (2003) by Paul M. Gahlinger MD is, in fact, an extremely comprehensive treatment of both illegal and legal psychoactive substances, including their history, law, chemistry, processing and distribution, metabolism, neuroscience, medical management, linguistics, folklore, and popular culture. Hundreds of drugs are covered,… Read More »