April 18, 2015


I've had a rash of patients with bipolar disorder that are in mania.   I don't know if it's something in the water or the alignment of the planets or whatever.   Usually, I get them on the downside--they're depressed--so to see them dancing as fast as they can takes some getting used to.

Dealing with manic patients can wear anyone out.  They're talking a mile a minute, they're constantly fidgeting and restless, they're impulsive and unpredictable, they bounce from topic to topic as they follow their flight of ideas, and they're so distractable that they need constant redirection.  Then it gets even more fun if they're delusional on top of that--the grandiosity, the ideas of reference...

I feel like I've run a marathon after admitting such a patient.  I ran a lot of marathons lately.

Most want help stabilizing their mood.  The occasional one prefers their mania and would rather stay in that state.  I don't judge, I just make sure they stay safe and out of trouble.

Of course, it's always entertaining when two patients in mania meet.  They can keep each other entertained rather well because they can keep up with each other.  I'll have them hang out near me and let the two of  them have at it.  I just have to make sure that neither one (or both) are hypersexual, lest I have to go break up a romance or worse.  But anyhow, the conversations they have can be fascinating, though a little exhausting to listen to, especially if they try to pull me in.

Or I'll have them help me on the floor.  They're great at folding laundry...heck, they're happy to have something to do to burn up all that energy.  Occasionally I'll ask if they can tidy up the unit, which they're happy to.

Hopefully when I return to work, things will have calmed down.  I'm savoring this weekend off because I'm not going to have a lot of weekends off for a while.  Thanks to having to balance the scheduling demands of Jobs 1 and 3, I am working at least one day of the weekend every weekend for the next several weeks.  I did manage to save Mother's Day weekend for myself though.

1 comment:

Medic2RN said...

Your laundry comment made me smile. In the ER, I give my hyper meth patients a pile of towels to fold to keep them busy. It's better than finding them pulling everything out of all of the cabinets and drawers in the room. Little tips and tricks are great.