What is Emergency Psychiatry?

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EMERGENCY PSYCHIATRY Introduction: It is an acute disturbance of behavior, thought or mood of a patient which if untreated may lead to harm, either to the individual or to others. Sign and Symptoms: In emergency situations, psychiatrists are often faced with the diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting with psychiatric symptoms of sudden or presumed recent onset. These symptoms can be subdivided into the following types: 1. Agitation and violent behavior, with or without signs of alcohol or other intoxication 2. Depression with suicidal ideation 3. Acute psychotic reactions like thought disorder, paranoid ideation, and/or hallucinations and marked fear or anger 4. Delirium presenting with disorientation and confusion 5. Severe anxiety without psychotic symptoms but often with physical symptoms 6. Psychogenic stupor/catatonia Diagnosis and Treatment:  Adequate history should be obtained either from the patient or accompanying relatives or friends. When the patient is severely disturbed, or confused, can give no history, diagnostic stigmata (e.g., needle tracks, obvious atropine-like toxic signs), should be noted.  The possibility of use of psychotropic drugs either overdose or combination of different drugs, should be looked for. Psychiatric conditions presenting in ER: Agitation and Violence Causes: • Substance abuse e.g. Alcohol • Psychiatric conditions e.g. PTSD, OCD. Management: • Reassurance • If reassurance doesn’t suffice, forceful restraining may
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