One of the most important things I have learnt by studying Clinical Psychology is that there is no such thing as a crazy or mad person.We just don’t see them that way. Either a person is a schizophrenic, has an anxiety disorder or some other disorder. My brother recently called some one “crazy”, I said,”No, he is NOT crazy, he is a paranoid schizophrenic!”
I handled many interesting cases in my Sem 1 internship. There was this pretty young Hindu girl who insisted that Bollywood actor Amir Khan is her boyfriend, another young muslim business man with a weird controlling mother who had bi-polar disorder, the 17 yr old farmer kid from rural Maharashtra who had a psychotic breakdown(He insisted that his gods were speaking to him), the well spoken parsi boy who had recovered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but his relatives refused to take him home(The Hospital is like a prison for the mentally ill).
But the case which I found most challenging was of a young beautiful impeccably dressed Muslim girl who had run away from her home, she claimed that her family was planning to kill her. Her family said that they had seen a sudden drastic change in her personality and her accusations against them where baseless.It was a psycho-legal case and the police had referred her to the hospital to check whether she is mentally stable. The psychiatrist referred her to me and I was responsible for testing and writing the report.
Now, I am studying to be a clinical psychologist not a detective! She could qualify for a diagnosis of Delusional Disorder which is characterized by the presence of delusions but where disorganized behavior is not seen. But this diagnosis is only possible when there are presence of delusions( I was not sure whether her family was really trying to kill her….)
I asked my Professor and he told me to play it safe (because a wrong diagnosis can land you in jail!) and just write the interpretation of the tests(which showed paranoia), without actually giving her a diagnosis. I did that. The family couldn’t take the girl home. I still remember her mothers face, she was really sad.I felt guilty afterwards especially because the girl was living with a Hindu guy and his wife(even I thought that was odd!)….
But you really feel very happy when a patient gets better and is discharged from hospital.
My siblings think I am going crazy because I am actually looking forward to my second sem internship. They have no idea!