During my residency a few years back, I had a patient I will never forget. She had about 400 complaints, but when pressed she said mostly she was there to get her blood pressure checked.

She was the most manic a person can be and still function, though she denied any history of mania. “I’m always like this” was her response to questioning about her pressured speech. She was very knowledgable about health care, and may have been a nurse, but I cannot recall.

I left her for a moment, promising to return, after about 15 minutes of non-stop, stream of consciousness speech. When I came back, reassurring her she was going to be OK (her BP was fine), she was effusive in her praise, and gave me one of the several pictures she’d been drawing during her visit.

A picture is now worth a thousand thoughts, as well. It’s probably not work safe, in that you won’t get fired, but you will be remembered.


cross posted on Lingual Nerve


  1. And you kept this because…?

    Trust me, this lady’s just short of a “tinfoil hat” meltdown.

  2. [whistles]
    This reminds me of an artbook I read in high school.
    It was filled with the art of the insane.
    I hate to say it, but the mentally ill often make some of the most mezmerizing art.

  3. It’s interesting to see what they are thinking isn’t it? Actually, I find mentally ill patients a little fascinating in an odd sort of way.

    I think I will print that one out and deliver it to our ER doc. LOL

  4. The great thing about schizophrenia is that you never have to eat alone.