THE PATIENT who has serious medical illness and is mentally disturbed poses interesting therapeutic problems. The urgency of management is the same whether the aberrant behavior is due to definable organic illness or to previously existent mental illness unmasked by the immediate somatic ills. Prompt control is mandatory for the safety of other patients, the patient himself, and those charged with his care.
A single psychotic patient can demoralize and disrupt the functioning of a ward of the average general hospital. This is especially true when there is tardiness in recognizing mental illness and no one is available who is familiar with handling disturbed patients. Despite progress in acquainting the public with the similarities between acute breaks in mental health and medical and surgical ills, the psychotic is still misunderstood and feared by those not familiar with this type of illness. Peace and usual routine are reestablished all too frequently