Things I Learned While Watching The Season Premiere of House

Or, a Psychotherapist and His Psychiatrist Husband Watch a Television Program Expecting Plenty of Fail, and are Not Disappointed.

1. Every mental disorder at a psychiatric hospital has a quota of one. So, for example, you won't find multiple people with schizophrenia, but you will find a colorful cast of characters each suffering from their own, unique quirk mental disorder. We've got someone suffering from paranoia! And over here we have an anorexic! Look! We've also got someone who's been catatonic for years! What a ragtag bunch of misfits!

2. People working in psychiatric hospitals who are not mental health providers will either be:

a. Cold and distant, or
b. Bullying and aggressive.

3. The best way to work with a patient suffering from a major delusion is to directly confront the delusion as bluntly as possible, at random, in front of every other patient in the hospital.

4. Male mental health providers are clueless, bad at their jobs, and easily duped. Female mental health providers are clueless, bad at their jobs, easily duped, and always subservient to men, including patients.

5. Psychiatric hospital recreation areas are like prison recreation areas, only not as roomy and pleasant. A single basketball hoop and razor wire are allowed, but nothing that might contribute to a pleasant atmosphere.

6. Although patients are only allowed "outside" in this recreation area, if a patient decides to take another patient out of the facility, get into another visitor's car and drive off, an alarm must not be raised, let alone an eyebrow.

7. Psychiatric hospital workers will never check to see if you have actually taken your medication, therefore, you can easily "cheek" the pill to be thrown out later.

8. The best way to medicate a violent, struggling patient is to shove a pill in his mouth.

9. Curing mental disorders is easy; you simply need to find the "key" that will reverse it. For example, if someone has been catatonic for years and has spoken to no one, all one needs to do is hand her the object she has been staring at during this entire time, and she will simply snap out of it.

10. No one working at a psychiatric hospital will ever think to investigate what catatonic patients have been "staring at" all these years.

11. Handing a catatonic patient a music box cures schizophrenia.

12. The head of a psychiatric hospital will have no ethical qualms about breaking all professional boundaries with a patient. It is perfectly acceptable and healthy for the patient to bring him to the hospital to meet your dying father.

13. When in a psychiatric hospital, it is acceptable to use other patients' mental disorders against them to get what you want.

14. Providers are too stupid to check a bathroom stall after you have insisted on going into one to provide a urine sample, even if you are conspicuously singing to cover up the sounds of the person hiding in the stall, providing your sample for you.

15. When a patient brings up something in group therapy that is greatly troubling them, it is acceptable to drop this subject and minimize the patient's fear if a more "interesting" patient begins speaking.

16. All psychiatric hospitals have an easy to access bus stop right in front of the facility.

And finally,

17. Mental health professionals are not needed in psychiatric hospitals. An intelligent, over-the-top patient can do more in a few days than providers can do in years. Providers are simply indulgent, and what patients really need is tough love.

See here for further study. If you happen to be writing a television episode set in a psychiatric hospital, feel free to change a few names, and use this as your blueprint.

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