A false alarmBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1184 (Published 05 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1184
- Philip Timms, consultant psychiatrist, START team, South London and Maudsley Trust, London
John had an undiagnosed hypomanic state for several years. His undoubted intelligence had helped to mask his pressure of speech, grandiose ideas, and thought disorder. However, he could not hold a job down and, in the end, became homeless. While hypomanic, he was arrested by the police for a rather public misdemeanour. He escaped the criminal justice system but was admitted to a locked psychiatric ward, an experience he found humiliating and disturbing.
His symptoms were subsequently controlled with a combination of lithium …