View Full Version : psych condition

06-19-2007, 07:03 PM
I'd like to know what a person would be treated for if they sincerely believed that their hands could catch on fire. they don't (of course) but they believe it.

06-19-2007, 07:42 PM
Maybe a doctor will chime in with the correct answer, but my guess is schizophrenia.


ink wench
06-19-2007, 08:04 PM
Well, I'm a psychologist by training, but not a clinician so I could be way off. That said, is believing their hands will catch on fire the only sympton of disordered thinking that this person shows? Does it interfere with their ability to get on with life (hold a job, that sort of thing)? Is it a belief that they'll catch on fire only if they do something in particular (e.g. if I don't wet them every hour)?

For a true diagnosis, there are almost always other symptons of disordered thinking involved, nothing appears in isolation. Depending on the answers to the above and other issues, I could see a few possibilities: schizophrenia, OCD, generalized anxiety disorders, etc. If it doesn't interfere with their life in any significant way though, it's hard to really give a diagnosis because that's usually one of the criteria too. Of course, I could totally see a regular but unscrupulous MD (not a psychiatrist) just prescribing some anti-anxiety meds for it w/o sending the patient to someone qualified to judge.

Hope that helps! My knowledge of this stuff fades ever more each year that I'm not doing psych, so maybe someone with better qualifications can help.

06-19-2007, 08:18 PM
they have to be covered, I believe she believes that the air will ignite them. She wears gloves. Blue ones as the blue is a "cooler, like water" color. This is the only thing that interferes with her life, but she's ok with blue gloves. She'll eventually recover, but right now... I just would like to know what she'd be diagnosed with...

ink wench
06-19-2007, 08:51 PM
My guess then would be some kind of anxiety disorder, probably extremely mild. I can't be more specific though since I don't really have the background. I'd check out NIMH, for example: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/anxiety.cfm#anx7. That's about GAD. It's manageable with meds. Sounds like you can make the symptons as mild or severe as you like. Also, the glove thing could be indicative of OCD, also mild. I'd check out either of those actually. They're both anxiety disorders, both can vary in severity, and meds can help.

Good luck!

06-19-2007, 08:53 PM
thanks, my MC is pleased to get the treatment she deserves. She resonates. *And apparently has PublishAmerica-itis*

:) again, thanks. I think she's going to work it out via therapy and towards the end a "good swift dose of reality".

06-19-2007, 08:57 PM
I'd say she was nuts.


06-19-2007, 08:58 PM
If that's all, I'm inclined to go with OCD or anxiety disorder. She has an irrational fear that air will cause her hands to ignite and has taken steps to avoid the feared consequence. The only reason to push it into something more serious is that this is a very unusual, unlikely consequence. I'd probably go with a phobia diagnosis and start with CBT therapy.
Then again, this being fiction, maybe it's not so unlikely?

Disclaimers/Qualifications: This is my opinion(s). I have a masters in psyc and tend to do therapy with kids. Other therapists/psychologists may have different opinions.

You may want to grab a DSM or search for some diagnosis criteria online.

06-19-2007, 09:02 PM
I was thinking more phobia but was making sure this wasn't something that may have a "name".

Man, I appreciate this.
This started as a dream I had and is turning into a literal monster to keep chained.

06-19-2007, 09:08 PM
thanks, my MC is pleased to get the treatment she deserves. She resonates. *And apparently has PublishAmerica-itis*You might be amused to know I read that as PublishAmerica-tits.

Maryn, giggling like a seventh grader

06-19-2007, 09:14 PM
And do the Publish America tits flop like the books? :)
Sorry, too tempting that was

06-19-2007, 10:06 PM
Personally, I wouldn't think it was OCD at all, unless she must do something specific to alleviate the anxiety that her hands will catch on fire. But the fact that it's an irrational fear by itself would lead me to think of it as schizophrenia. There's a specific subcategory, but I can't remember the term right now. Anyway, the idea that it could happen and how she wears the blue gloves to prevent the combustion sounds like other cases of schizophrenia that I've studied/read about. Though, a phobia is also a strong option, though phobias are usually a fear of a more general thing (though it can be specific). Also, phobias seem, at least to me, to be more about the fear of something, not of something happening.

That's just my opinion, though, and I'm not a clinical psych. If I were you I'd look at a DSMIV in a library for more info.

06-20-2007, 12:22 AM
schizophrenia is too serious a diagnosis. labels can be harmful and difficult to change, so the general rule of thumb is to go with the least serious diagnosis unless it is obvious the serious diagnosis is deserved. With the information given, I would not recommend schizophrenia as a diagnosis. Now, if social relationships are disturbed, affect is inappropriate or flat, or there are paranoid delusions (ie, the government removed her hands, and replaced them with combustable ones in an effort to kill her or control her behaviors), then I would be inclined to think it may be schizophrenia.

On thinking about it, I think phobia may be too simple. But OCD is usually more complex...OCD usually involves the obsessional thought with a steady increase in anxiety level until the behavior to ward off the obsessional thought is performed. Has the character ever tried to go out without the gloves only to panic until she can get the gloves back on?

06-20-2007, 12:25 AM
yes, although after some therapy she will be able to go without the gloves. Actually its after she gets thrown in the middle of some chaos where she accidentally isn't wearing them does she realise that her hands don't burst into flames without them.

06-20-2007, 12:27 AM
Was there an event that caused this phobia?

06-20-2007, 12:29 AM
she tipped water over on a stove and was burned as a child, but her flashbacks have her seeing her hands on fire. now she just believes that if she doesn't have them covered they'll do that again.

06-20-2007, 12:30 AM
its probably a very stupid basis, but something about it just won't shut up til its written.

06-20-2007, 12:33 AM
tina, it's starting to sound like OCD to me, then. Do some research into it and treatments---there is a lot out there. You might need to decide on how the therapist will approach the issue: psychdynamic, cognitive-behavioral, or existential/humanistic. The library is a good place to start. Best of luck.

06-20-2007, 12:35 AM
thanks a ton :)

06-20-2007, 12:42 AM
Yeah, I think if it was a phobia, she would be afraid more of the stove.

Jenan Mac
06-21-2007, 08:44 PM
Psychosis-NOS (not otherwise specified)?
Her admission diagnosis wouldn't necessarily be permanent, because as you continue to work with a client, you have more bits of the puzzle. But for good old fashioned "that girl ain't right", you're usually safe with appending either R/O (rule out) to the beginning or NOS to the end. They're sort of the Weasel Words of Psych Admissions.

06-21-2007, 09:15 PM
thanks much;) that will do the trick well;)

06-25-2007, 09:25 PM
I have a friend who was a psych major who swears that Schizophrenia was sort of a "blanket" diagnosis that covered a ton of different disorders. She says that they now attempt to diagnose each of those disorders individually, and so "Schizophrenia" is no longer used.

I dunno.

06-25-2007, 11:05 PM
My girl scout "junior therapist" badge would let me diagnose her as having "delusional disorder."

Here's the Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_disorder) on it.