Extreme Psychiatry | Ex Ψ

Improving communication skills and confidence in psychiatry


Extreme Psych isn’t meant to be an all-in-one psychiatry course.
Look at the following links for more information…

Recommended Textbook

Psychiatry PRN: Principles, Reality, Next Steps Highly Commended in the BMA Book Awards, 2010! Each chapter is broken into Principles (the facts you need to know), Reality (communication skills advice) and Next Steps (how to manage psychiatry-related situations as a non-psychiatrist – at least until psychiatrists can come and help you out). The Reality section of each chapter was based on Extreme Psychiatry teaching.

Filmed Interviews with Feedback

How to do an MMSE
History of Depression
History of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Brief Self-Harm Risk Assessment

Self-Testing Question Bank

Here’s a selection of free MCQs, SBAs and EMQs to help you with your psychiatry studies.

Mind – The Mental Health Charity

Mind offers loads of good quality, straight-forward information on mental health issues, as well as doing sterling work to promote good mental health for everyone. Take a look at the Mind website, here.

The Alzheimer’s Society

The Alzheimer’s Society is a superb charity, which supports people living with dementia. The ExPsych team loves AlzSoc so much, we ran a half marathon in 2012 and raised over £5000 for them! The society’s work includes provision of day care and home care, befriending services, carer support, Alzheimer’s cafes, “singing for the brain sessions”… Much goodness. They even make a dementia brain tour (perfect viewing for hard-working medical students in need of neuropsych info), and useful patient information  leaflets (these have good ways of explaining dementia-related issues to patients and relatives: good for real life doctoring as well as OSCEs). 

Causes of PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder isn’t caused by tripping over in the street. It’s caused by life-events which are experienced as extremely severe, and often life-threatening. For example

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Lots of useful information can be found here, especially on the Student Associates section. The leaflets page is really useful if you ever need to explain diagnoses / treatments to patients or relatives, in good, clear English. Alternatively, maybe you know someone who is currently dealing with their own mental health problems. If appropriate, maybe they’d appreciate a get well card.

Star Wards

Inpatient treatment can be a frightening, boring, frustrating or upsetting experience… But not if Star Wards has anything to do with it. Star Wards celebrates the General Goodness of wards up and down the country. Take a look here for ideas to improve the vibe of your local hospital.

Funky Films

One of our favourite psychiatrists, Kamran Ahmed, has just made an animated film about being a psychiatrist: Beards and Bow-ties. Watch and learn and be inspired! If you like films, keep an eye on Medfest for events near you…

Interested in a Career in Psychiatry?

We’re not saying you need to train at South London & Maudsley (different rotations suit different doctors), but the SLaM website certainly gives lots of useful info which is a good start for any potential psychiatrist. Take a peek!

The History of Extreme Psychiatry
Extreme Psych draws on Strings’ experiences from 1998-9 as a student on the Anatomy B (“Disease, Society & Sexuality”) course at Cambridge. The course no longer exists, but its ethos lives on. Martin Johnson, Marion Barnett, Penny Henderson et al have a lot to answer for… and we thank them for that.
Extreme Psych began in 2004 as a bit of OSCE training / bedside teaching which quickly got out of hand. It grew and grew – thanks to numerous doctors, actors and students – and is now a little monster, with fangs and claws and everything.

Need a Logo?
OK, so this has nothing to do with psychiatry… But we do like to support people who have supported us. Our rather lovely Extreme Psychiatry skull logo was created by Marize Engelbrecht, all the way over in South Africa. She’s an up and coming artist / designer, and is always looking to funky-up the lives of others. Have a look at her profile, here or follow her via her visual diary.