Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Truth, The Whole Truth, And A Good Dose Of Weirdness

Psychiatry, as a whole, is an unusual occupation—but working at Green Acres sometimes seems a couple standard deviations beyond the norm even for shrinks.

For example, how many psychiatrists ever find themselves in a court hearing, on the stand, being cross-examined by one of their own psychotic inpatients? Such was the Twilight Zone-like experience this morning. The hospital had filed a petition to extend a patient’s involuntary hospitalization, the patient had fired his attorney and received permission from the court to represent himself, and I was a witness in the matter. In the process my patient asked me to testify on such topics as, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea not to lie so much?”, and “What do you think of this judge?”, and “Why does that attorney have such a funny nose?”

Meanwhile the patient’s (ex-)attorney was relegated to the back row of the courtroom. During my direct testimony, he once or twice verbalized reasonable “objections” on his client’s behalf, but the patient loudly exclaimed “objection to the objection!” and told his attorney to keep his mouth shut, or he’d be thrown out for contempt.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to reconnect to this blog! Such an idiosyncratic view of the world here, Turbo. Of course, that might have something to do with Green Acres.
Hope I can negotiate the sign-off here. Looks pretty formidable:
ML of Full Fathom Five

2/7/07, 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S.: You still up for joining our bookclub? We still meet on Sundays - once a month. Would sure like to set up an interview for you. Let me know,
ML,Full Fathom Five

2/7/07, 9:55 PM  
Blogger ClinkShrink said...

Oh yes! Yes, I've been there. My favorite was a conditional release hearing where a (still) psychotic killer was acting as his own attorney to argue for his release. It was in front of a jury. This guy had killed two people. Every time he approached the jury box you could see everybody leaning backwards.

2/7/07, 10:41 PM  
Blogger The Peanut Gallery said...

WOW.
That's all I could come up with in response to your post.

2/10/07, 8:05 AM  

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