Sunday, March 17, 2013

Paranoid Behavior

Mental health, we all should have some of it shouldn't we? Is there a really accurate way to measure this brand of health?

Blood pressure cuffs, thermometers and a wide array of tests can be performed to measure physical health but mental health remains an elusive branch of health to evaluate.

Someone waving a gun around, shouting and threatening to shoot himself or others while wearing only a pair of boxer shorts with pictures of automatic weapons printed on them, we might suspect this man has a mental issue.

What if it is more subtle? Guilt has been noted, though again hard to measure, in mental health. The burden of guilt brings to the forefront all the emotional tags. Constantly protesting imagined attacks and leaping into a defensive mode, this person's goal is to defend against imagined references to that guilt. Quiet for an extended period of time, some vague imagined reference will trigger this response. The tirade of self defense, rehashing the same tired argument leaves the listener exposed once again to the madness. Unsubstantiated accusations follow. They can never proof their claims of being attacked. There is nothing concrete, ie. a letter, a recording or a picture to collaborate their complaints and soon the listeners begin to realize the subtly of the illness this patient suffers. The mental health professional labels it as paranoia. From this diagnosis, comes a divisional filing classifying the paranoia into further subcategories.

This helps to treat the patient with the right medications. Sleep is one of the best medicines prescribed. Sleep psychosis attributes to their problems and getting them on a solid sleep schedule goes a long way to getting them more stable.

I miss working in mental health although it was emotionally draining at times and usually unsafe. Most shifts I feared for my life or becoming injured from our most aggressive and sick patients.

So sit back and take a clinical look at your friends and relatives. Maybe there is a reason for some of the behavior you see that might appear bizarre to you. I observe a lot. We were trained to "watch".


  1. As you know, mental health was my field too, but in social work. So I get what you are saying. In my opinion we all have mental health issues of one kind or another, some more severe than others. And mostly it's overlooked and undiagnosed, but when it is diagnosed people find a way of managing it either with therapy or medication. The worst thing really is that some people are in denial, and the only way they can get help is to acknowledge the condition. To remove the stigma attached to mental health, would go a long way too.

  2. I so agree..we all have issues. When it becomes a hindrance to functioning in daily life or starts impinging on those around us, it might be time to seek some guidance. I believe it is not as bad as it once was 20 yrs ago. I wish there were more facilities open now for those in need. So many of them have closed their doors.


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