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Psyciatric questions for young MC.


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#1 Pen

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 05:11 PM

My young character 16 years of age is dealing with peer pressure due to the results of social engineering and people's attempts of psychological manipulation.

 

His way of coping with the problems he's facing is to enjoy a sport that has been known to get people killed on a regular bases. Either by a lapse of concentration, the course, other participants, or a combination of any the aforementioned factors. His mother, fearing his death, is imminent and rapidly approaching because of the sport,has arranged for her son to meet with a psychiatrist. Naturally the son views this as his mother's attempt to remove the one thing he has worth living for.

 

So my questions are this. What questions should the psychiatrist ask the MC and what will the psychiatrist be looking for? What would be the appropriate course of action/treatment? What information could the psychiatrist share with the MCs concerned mother?  



#2 EmperorOfTheNorth

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:28 PM

At 16 the shrink can literally share it all. Should...no. But can.

From most I've known?

MC: spills guts

Shrink: mmmmhmmm very interesting. And how does that make you feel?

MC: answers

Shrink: I see and those feelings are valid. What would you change to feel better?

MC: answers

Shrink: I believe you. So how might you make those changes?


So a lot of validation and open ended questions leading to both the MC really solving his own issues plus affording maximum information that could be shared with parent to keep sessions going and bring in money.
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#3 BadgerFox

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:04 PM

Certified mad person here; I have experience of seeing psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Please note this experience is UK-specific, so maybe double-check it's still accurate if your MC lives elsewhere.

 

The psychiatrist would first do a basic assessment using standard tickbox questionnaires, to try and determine what broad group of symptoms (if any) the MC has - for example, mostly anxiety type symptoms, or obsessive type symptoms, or manic type symptoms. These would take about 15 minutes to complete and the MC would either fill them out silently themselves, or the psychiatrist would read the questions out. Here's an example of one of the questionnaires they'd use: https://www.nhs.uk/T...assessment.aspx . This one focusses on mood. The psychiatrist would check the results of this to determine if depression symptoms are present.

 

The psychiatrist would usually then interview the patient and ask them in their own words how their mood, functionality, anxiety levels and general health is. They will also ask basic questions about physical health to see if these answers are relevant (e.g. how much do you drink, is your diet adequate, do you have a chronic health condition that affects your life etc...?). They do this partially to check whether any mental symptoms could be attributed to physical causes (like, if a patient feels exhausted, tingly in hands and feet, anxious and foggy-headed, and admits they eat like crap, a good doctor might check for a vitamin B12 deficiency).

 

After about 30 minutes and these questionnaires, the doctor would usually either make an assessment of no diagnosable condition, or go on to more detailed tests for suspected disorders (maybe rescheduling for a second appointment if this could take a while). For example, if obsessive type symptoms are found and is suspected, at this point they'd administer an OCD-specific test called the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. I think this is done for other disorders too.

 

If you don't intend your MC to actually be any diagnosable form of mentally ill, that's fine, and a good psychiatrist would discharge him at this point and say there is nothing technically wrong. If you DO intend your MC to be suffering from some form of actual mental illness, accuracy would be preferred if you can manage it. Those of us with mental health conditions kind of want to hunt down the author and make them eat their own book when we see YET ANOTHER CASE OF OCD represented as characters giggling over being organized and enjoying handwashing (...actual OCD is a million miles away from the way it's shown in the media, and way, way darker and scarier). Representing mental disorders fairly and doing your research is SO important for breaking down the stigma around 'crazy insane people'. I can't stress enough what it big favour it would be to 10,000's of mentally ill folks to see this done accurately.

 

There are some forms of mania, delusional disorders or depression/suicidal ideation that could make the MC deliberately endanger their life (if mania or delusion, it's usually because they don't fully realize the danger; if depression and suicidality it's probably because they genuinely want to die). But plenty of people do reckless extreme sports or dangerous stunts without having any real mental disorder. They can just have an extroverted temperament and enjoy an adrenalin rush or have a 'live fast, die young' personal philosophy. Your MC could be in either category depending how you write him.


Spare a little feedback, if you have a moment? :)

My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#4 VickieJack

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 04:27 PM

Both of these answers nail it from my experiences.

#5 lnloft

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 09:02 PM

One other thing to note is the difference between psychiatrist vs psychologist vs therapist vs counselor. There can be overlap between what the different people do but they ultimately are different things, and your MC might not initially be taken to a psychiatrist, instead maybe starting with a therapist or counselor. I'm not the best to tell you what all the differences are, just that there are differences, except to say that psychiatrists are the only ones who are medical doctors, so I think they're the only ones who can prescribe medicine. But you might want to do a little research on each one to see what seems the most appropriate for your MC's situation.

 

As someone who has visited a counselor, where I've just talked a lot about how I was feeling and trying to root out why I was feeling that way, I think a lot of the questions that might be asked have been covered above, but I'll just add a small detail that I noticed my counselor would use my name a lot: "And why do you think that, Ellen?" "And when did that start, Ellen?" "Now, Ellen, can you tell me about..." Et cetera. So that might be a good detail to keep in mind as you write.



#6 Pen

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 01:02 PM

Wow everyone thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with your advice. This is has been really helpful to me for getting things accurate.

 

@BadgerFox I will stay away from OCD I don't think anyone can do it like the show Monk did. Trust me when I say that I understand the need of doing a disorder some justice. After talking over about the character with another expert I'm learning more towards him just dealing with depression.

 

@EmperoroftheNorth Thank you for taking the time to provide with some questions that could be asked by my MCs... I havn't figure out if it should be psychiatrist or counselor yet.f But they definitely helped me out.

 

@Inloft I will certainly look  into the proper individual that will be dealing with my character. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and helping me increase the level of accuracy I'm looking for in this story.






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