|Access: Medbay, Morgue, Psychiatrist's Office, Medbay Storage|
Qualifications: At least 30 years of age, PhD from accredited university in applicable field, 5+ years experience in related field preferred.
Relevant Education: Lunar University of Medical Science - Skalamar University Of Medicine - Biesel Institute of Medical Sciences - Aliose University of Medical Sciences
Supervisors: Chief Medical Officer
Duties: Solve everybody's problems,
Guides: Guide to Medicine
As the Station Psychologist, you are tasked with identifying (and solving) personal and mental issues within the station's crew. This is a job that you may or may not be able to accomplish successfully. If need be, you have the power to deem someone mentally unstable and, with the approval of the Chief Medical Officer, strip them of any authority they might've had. Ultimately, you are responsible for the mental health and well being of the crew.
From a mechanical perspective, you may be quite involved with helping to treat certain psychological ailments, particularly when a patient comes out of cloning. There's a wide range of traumas, ranging from phobias to the patient reaching around and disappearing from thin air for no apparent reason. Below is a list of traumas most often encountered on the station, and they can all be diagnosed simply by scanning them with a health analyzer.
- Phobias - Phobias are basically irrational fears to certain things, and it can really be anything. Cured through hypnosis, Methylphenidate, Sertaline, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Duloxetine, or Venlafaxine.
- Monophobia - A specific type of phobia that causes the patient to fear being alone. Signs include heart damage. Cured through hypnosis, Escitalopram, Venlafaxine, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Imaginary Friends - Sometimes a patient snaps and relies on a portion of their own mind for friendship! Cured through isolation, Methylphenidate, Fluvoxamine, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Schizophrenia - Rampant hallucinations will begin to overtake the patient's mind. Cured through isolation, Methylphenidate, or Risperidone.
- Conflicting Neuroimaging Reports - Patient has two personalities, they may be similar, they may be dangerously opposite. Cured through isolation, Fluvoxamine, or Risperidone.
- Tourettes - Patient is compelled to shout expletives. Cured through crystal therapy, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Reduced Mouth Coordination - Summed up as stuttering. Cured through crystal therapy, Venlafaxine, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Communication Disorder - Essentially makes the patient an unintelligible mess. Cured through crystal therapy, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Muscle Spasms - Nervous fits and unintentional movements. Cured through crystal therapy, Risperidone, or Olanzapine.
- Weak Motor Signals - The patient is unable to keep standing or hold onto objects for long periods of time. Cured through crystal therapy, Fluvoxamine, or Risperidone.
- Directional Disorientation - Gertsmann Syndrome, the patient is unable to discern left from right. Cured through hypnosis.
- Traumatic Narcolepsy - Patient may fall asleep at random, regardless of task. Cured through hypnosis.
- Inordinate Pacifism - Patient is strangely and completely against harming anything. Cured through hypnosis.
- Reduced Brain Activity - Patient may begin drooling or otherwise lack the ability to express any intelligent thought. Cured through crystal therapy or Mannitol.
- Language Center Trauma - Patient is unable to speak, rendering them mute. Cured through crystal therapy.
- Concussion - Intense pain in the head region. Cured through surgery.
- Occipital Lobe Trauma - Patient has damaged vision or cannot see at all. Cured through surgery or Mannitol.
- Cerebral Paralysis - Complete paralysis, the patient is unable to move. Cured through surgery or Mannitol.
- Aphasia - Patient is no longer able to understand language. Cured through surgery or Mannitol.
- Colorblindness - Patient no longer perceives what's around them in the full visible spectrum of color. Cured through Mannitol.
As the station psychiatrist, you can prescribe a number of anti-depressants, sedatives, painkillers, and other pharmaceutical drugs in order to help your patient recover from mental trauma. Generally you'll be prescribing medication for specific psychiatric traumas with the aid of the Chemist. A list of different medications and what they treat can be found here.
You've probably seen plenty of media where someone is hypnotized - for better or for worse - with a pocket watch in some stereotypical fashion. Does that actually work? Not in the slightest, but Nanotrasen decided to give you a watch that actually gets the job done, so no need to worry about that. Sit your patient down, wave the watch in front of the patient's eyes, whisper encouraging and whimsical nothings to them in their sleep by activating the watch in your hand, and observe their issues simply fade away. Clicking the watch can also release your patient from their trance quicker, though you can always just let them wake up on their own. Unless, of course, you whispered something completely nonsensical and they refuse to believe it, then you'll have to be more serious.
You've been granted a rather powerful piece of equipment, a crystal bed to focus the chakra in your patient (or something along those lines). Strap them in, scan for abnormalities, set the cycles for the amount of mental abnormalities detected, and run the procedure. Ask the patient if they feel better.
Around your work space is a rather empty room, designed to help your patient come to terms that they are themselves and there is no one else in their body, effectively setting them straight and removing their trauma. Cold, but necessary for the patient in order for them to return to work. It's important to make sure that you've turned the metronome on before placing them in there, and that they're the only physical body in the room and with no one else.
Mental Trauma and Policy
- All characters with a Medical Doctorate degree are capable of diagnosing mental trauma, as well as prescribing medication for their diagnosis.
- Surgery trained Medical personnel are fully capable of Neuro-surgery where necessary to treat mental trauma.
- Chemists/Pharmacists are fully capable of synthesizing mental medication, but they cannot diagnose mental trauma.
- Psychiatrists/Psychologists are the foremost experts on this type of illness, they are the only capable of advanced treatment (Hypnosis, Crystal Therapy, and Isolation) and they should be the first to treat mental trauma when available.
Psychology and You
This job is very roleplay-oriented, and it can be very boring if not played correctly. More often than not, you will be spending your time listening to your patients and then talking to them. Most of the players who will approach you already have something in mind, and because there is no easy, straightforward way to treat psychological issues, it falls to you to make your patient's roleplay experience an enjoyable one.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy centers around identifying a problem and setting up a plan to fix it step by step. It focuses on developing coping strategies that can help with the current problems with cognitions, behavior and emotional regulation. For roleplay purposes, BCBT, or Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be used following a step by step plan.
- Have the patient declare a commitment to their treatment.
- Plan for crisis response and safety.
- Restrict the patient's access to problematic objects, such as substances in case of addiction.
- Put together a little survival kit of items that can help your patient through episodes.
- Establish a reminder, like a card or a piece of paper with their motivation or reason to live on it.
- Set up a treatment journal.
- Make note of any lessons the patient has learned.
- Make a worksheet about how the patient is going to develop their skill to cope with their problem.
- Give the patient reminders of how they are going to solve their problems. Like a sheet of paper or cards with suggestions printed on them.
- Demonstrate how they'd use them.
- Practice their usage with the patient.
- Refine their skill at solving their own problems.
- Have your patient apply the solution frequently to themselves once they are good enough at it to do it on their own.
- Have your patient find ways in which the solutions you've reached would work even better.
Lesser forms of depression and anxiety, PTSD, tics, substance abuse, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder and psychosis. It may also help with conduct disorders.
Psychosis & Violent Patients
So let's face it... not every patient you treat is going to be coming into your office ready to talk politely about their problems. Sometimes, you're going to be dealing with people who simply aren't thinking straight, or who are even outright violent.
Hallucinations can be caused by drugs, poisons, and radiation. You'll see them on a large scale if the supermatter goes critical, and on a small scale if the botanist or chemist has been producing recreational substances. One type of antidepressant you can prescribe, paroxetine, also has the risk of causing hallucinations, meaning that it should be prescribed under your supervision or that of a member of the medical staff. People who are hallucinating will see things, hear things, and sometimes believe things that aren't actually there.
You will also deal with severe mental illness, including everything from the effects of having found out that one has just been cloned to the garden-variety schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety every psychologist encounters. Most of the time, people who are mentally ill are not violent. Some people who are hallucinating due to drugs or radiation--especially if they've experienced it before--will know that they're hallucinating and try to stay safe. But it's entirely possible that a patient with psychosis will throw a punch at you, believing you are trying to harm them. Your main goal when dealing with a hallucinating patient is to keep them safe until the hallucinations wear off, or the doctors can treat them for whatever is causing the hallucinations.
Occasionally you will deal with a patient who is homicidal or suicidal. Depending on how bad it is and how clearly they are thinking, you may be able to simply talk them down, which is the preferred option, or you may have to restrain them in some way. If the worst happens and your patient commits suicide, remember that cloning is not an option for those who died by suicide.
In order of increasing urgency, treatments for psychiatric emergency can include:
- Antidepressants. These work slowly and are of the most help to people who are already somewhat rational. If a person is just barely in control, this can help.
- Soporific pill or injection. A sedative will make your patient sleepy and help them calm down.
- Straight jacket. This keeps your patient from hurting themselves, but it is uncomfortable and can even be traumatic. Only use it if your patient is in immediate danger.
- Muzzle. This keeps your patient from speaking or biting--only really useful if they are desperate enough to try to chew their own hands off. Like the straitjacket, a last resort.
- Chloral hydrate. This is a very strong sedative that causes overdose starting at only 15 units, but its strength means it can be put into an autoinjector and be effective at stopping anyone without armor on (ask the chemist to make you one). Once the chloral hydrate has taken effect, the patient can be more easily restrained, and its effects can be reversed with Dylovene.
Working with Security
- Some of your patients will be criminals who happen to also have a mental illness. Others will be people who have come to Security's attention because of their erratic behavior. Either way, you may need to coordinate with Security to get these people treated.
- Remember that the people you see as patients, Security may very well see as criminals. Advise Security as to the nature of the crisis and stress that your patient is hallucinating, depressed, confused, etc. Explain to them any particular triggers your patient may have.
- Ensure that any physical injuries your patient has are taken care of first.
- If Security has been unnecessarily rough with your patient, do not hesitate to make complaints. In many cases, you will be the only one speaking out on behalf of your patient's welfare.
- Handcuffs are an effective way of restraining a patient while you speak to them, but just like a straitjacket, they are uncomfortable and can cause a patient to panic. If they're necessary for your safety, use them, but don't just slap them on your patients willy-nilly.
- Don't be afraid to ask for a guard on a particularly violent patient. Letting your patient beat you up is not approved clinical practice.
You may also encounter insanity in the form of a cult. As a psychologist, you don't know anything about the cult itself, but you will probably come to realize that they are suffering from mental impairment unlike any you've seen before--personalities altered, motives changed, and morals turned upside down to the point that a pacifist may become a killer and a usually joyful person may become a near-suicidal nihilist. How you respond to this strange new type of psychosis is up to you--remember who your character is. But your duty as a psychologist remains the same: Criminal or not, violent or not, you treat mental illness and aid those who suffer from it. Until you see obvious evidence of the supernatural (and perhaps not even then), a cult member may seem like just another patient to you. Of course, since cults are often violent, you will likely be working with Security and using restraints. Remember to stay safe, because if you're dead, you can't do your job.
|Head of Department||Chief Medical Officer|
|Personnel||Medical Doctor - Nurse - Psychologist - Chemist - Geneticist - Virologist - Emergency Medical Physician - Paramedic - Surgeon|
|Relevant Education||Lunar University of Medical Science - Skalamar University Of Medicine - Biesel Institute of Medical Sciences - Aloise University of Medical Sciences|
|Useful Guides||Guide to Medicine - Guide to Surgery - Guide to Chemistry - Guide to Genetics - Guide to Virology - Guide to Cadavers|
Jobs on Aurora
|Heads of staff||Captain - Head of Personnel - Head of Security - Chief Engineer - Research Director - Chief Medical Officer|
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|Science and medical||Medical Doctor - Paramedic - Psychologist - Chemist - Virologist - Roboticist - Scientist|
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