WhiteCoat

Problem Found

Stuffed Cat

An 8 year old girl was brought in for a psychiatric evaluation.

The child’s mother had a laundry list of abnormal behavior in which the child was engaging. The child allegedly scratched the eyes out of all her dolls – except her stuffed cat, of course. The patient breaks glass on the bathroom floor so no one can use the bathroom. She also screams incessantly. Oh, and today she threatened to burn down the house.

According to the patient’s mother, she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being beaten by her stepfather as an infant. Then, a couple of years ago, her pet kitten was found dead on the road. Ever since that time, the girl acts out and carries around a stuffed cat with her wherever she goes. And sometimes she carries a blanket, too.
All of this has to be discussed out in the hallway so that the patient doesn’t overhear these conversations and become more upset.

The child hadn’t said a word since she arrived in the emergency department. she just watched TV in the room as she clutched her stuffed kitten. She was still dressed in her coat and gloves as she went to sit on the bed.

“You’re going to have to take off your coat and sweatshirt so we can examine you,” the nurse told her.

The mother interjected “Yeah, well that will probably just get her sexually aroused, but what-ever.”

At that moment, the staff realized that the source of the patient’s psychiatric issues was likely neither the girl’s reported neonatal beatings nor her deceased cat.

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This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on WhiteCoat’s Call Room, please e-mail me.

4 Responses to “Problem Found”

  1. Marilyn says:

    I hope the child has been removed to a safe and supportive environment. Doesn’t sound remotely healthy at home :-(

  2. GrumpyRN says:

    Have a friend who worked in a young persons unit, he told me most of the patients problems were their parents.

  3. Miss Chevious says:

    Sounds like Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy to me.

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