He was 19.  I saw that on his papers before I let him into the office. I knew it meant trouble.

Someone who was only 19 and was in the county mental health system had to be either big trouble or a big manipulator.  Working with adolescents is tough for me because I have to “set limits;” often yell and scream.  That is absolutely not my favorite way to be a psychiatrist, to read people the riot act.  But 19 year olds often need that.

The doctor is a catI sometimes have to be more of a surrogate mother than a psychiatrist.

He had been recently hospitalized for a “psychotic break.”  That is when someone who is alleged to be normal suddenly starts hearing voices and seeing things.  It’s not always mental illness — maybe some drugs on board, maybe some kind of stress.  At least I had the records from the hospitalization.

Yeah, drugs on board.  Some speed, some pot.  The “baby-momma” of his first child (God, was he proud) was no “fun” anymore.  She wanted things like child support — clearly not a “fun” request.

Now I have read some recent studies from other countries — this is not the kind of thing they do here — that when there is the risk of hereditary pathology you can feed a kid Omega-3 fish oil and maybe prevent this “psychotic break” —  or at least delay it. And yes — to me someone 18 or 19 years old is still a kid. Read more on You Can’t Help Me Unless You Are Like Me…

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