Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Today, I’d like to tell you about an experience I had during the psychiatric posting I just rounded up last month. To begin with, I have never a fan of the subject from school. I knew from day 1 that it was an area in medicine that I would never have anything to do with and my school didn’t help matters much in the way the lectures for the subject were conducted. As fate would have it, I guess my past decided to play catch up with me and bite me in the a** when I opted to specialize in Family medicine (I didn’t know there would psychiatry involved). Enough of my lamentations and onto the story for today.

It was a cool Monday morning and the first day of my posting (I was determine to do my best concerning psychiatry this time around), I was told that we had a new patient to see and that I should go with the resident doctor in the unit to see the patient, (to bring me up to date in history taking skills in psychiatry). We get to the consultation, and I see the patient to be clerked (asked questions). I thought to myself, “is this the person we are supposed to get any kind of information from?” To make sure, I had to voice my thoughts to the doctor. He answered confidently, “Yes”. I said, “okay”, then took my chair and moved it slightly backward (just so I can take off if the consultation went the other way plus it was my first day. I was freaking scared).

I’m sure you are wondering by now what I saw. Well, wait no longer, for here is the perfect description f what I saw:

A man with short, dirty “dada” on the head, (just incase you don’t know, dada is the very unkempt version of the dreadlocks our rastamen love to sport), peeking out from under his Jamaican flag beret, dirty shorts (couldn’t determine the former color), dirty singlet (the type we call ‘it was white’), a wrapper on top of it all. He also had a large piece of carton attached to his neck with a rope and he was holding a small ticket booklet and counting out numbers. In short, the typical person you see on the road and call ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’ (don’t allow a psychiatrist catch you saying that though). This is how the consultation went;

  • Doctor introduces himself and me and asks: What is your name?
  • Patient: Faculty officer
  • Doctor: and your surname?
  • Patient: Commissioner.
  • Doctor: Where are you?
  • Patient: I’m in my office.
  • Doctor: Who are we?
  • Patient: My tenants.

You can imagine how the rest of the consultation went. However, I realized he was violent (surprised me to know that they aren’t all aggressive, since we always call them ‘mad’). Finally diagnosis was SCHIZOPHRENIA. At the end of that day, I told myself, “welcome to psychiatry”.

N.B* within 2 days, he got better, enough to remember his actual name and where he’s from. It was an amazing thing to witness. The rest of the posting was one amazing experience after another, and I wondered why I wasn’t interested in psychiatry before.

Have you ever been up close and personal with a “mad” person before? How was the experience?


  1. Another interesting post Dr. Keren. The mind is a fascinating place. It was the late Japanese film maker, Akira Kurosawa, who said "In an insane world the insane are the sane".

    1. The mind is indeed a fascinating place. In Nigeria, they say only a 'mad' person knows a 'mad' person. That na lie. Lol

  2. Oh yes, I have had experiences with "mad" people. It was in a psych ward of a hospital. It was quite an experience and much more than I can write in this comment.

  3. I've always wondered if and how psychiatric evaluations were made in Nigerian hospitals, because let's face it, there are a lot of people here with bi-polar disorder and the like, going about their day-to-day activities without them even knowing it.

    1. The problems are;
      1) the way and manner in which psychiatry or mental health is being taught in many medical schools across the country leaves a lot to be desired. Like I had only 2 months of training in school till this my last posting. Of course, I run away from psych cases. Now, I can say I've improved.
      2) the stigmatization is a big problem, people would rather say they have a spiritual attack than agree to th fact that they have a psychiatric illness, (Hence the gradual name change to mental health), so they either stay at home and manage somehow, or go to church or some baba's shrine for healing.

  4. That had to be scary... They closed the psych ward in Budapest a couple of years ago, so there are a lot more people like that on the streets now. Some of them are friendly, and some of them are scary. Most of my female friends tell each other where to watch out for the regulars.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

    1. That's so sad that they had to close the psych ward (wonder why). Great most females have a way to let each other know where the regulars are. That way, you can be safe.


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