Symptoms And Treatment Of The Patient Essay

1643 Words Sep 29th, 2016 7 Pages
The patient was a tall, young black man who slouched in the chair before me, his sinewy arms folded in defense. He narrowed his eyes and waited for me to speak.

I took a deep breath and eyed the chart in front of me, bracing myself for what could be a difficult interview. I scanned his history: 23-year old male with severe, longstanding paranoia, anxiety, and polysubstance abuse, who had done time in jail for armed robbery and was now on probation. I was new to this clinic, but he had been in treatment here for almost a year since he had been released. I saw that he had been on high dosages of antipsychotic medication for almost the entire time, but his symptoms of paranoia had not abated. Notably, the patient had been labeled as “hostile and uncooperative,” and multiple doctors had documented that “his paranoia seems to extend to healthcare staff.”

I shifted uncomfortably, unsure of what to make of the previous doctors’ notes. I had worked with felons before and knew that they were sometimes distant and quietly aggressive, like venomous snakes that could strike without warning. But as a man of color myself, I knew how much prejudice plays a role in perception. Given that the patient’s past encounters with doctors were probably contentious, it wasn’t surprising that he might be defensive.

“Thanks for coming in,” I began agreeably. I watched as he flinched away at the sound of my voice. “I see you’ve been taking Zyprexa for awhile with no benefit?” I raised my eyebrows…

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