The doctor and the teenager
Mia began screaming “out of nowhere” and complained that her mouth was “distorted.” Mia calmed down quickly and, with the help of a Valium, went to sleep. The next morning, Mia said she felt fine and brushed off questions about what had been wrong. But the following day her mother Carmen received a frantic call at her office from Mia, who yelled “Mom, help me!” but refused to elaborate. She raced home to discover that Mia was too afraid to leave their apartment and go to the therapist by herself, something she’d done dozens of times. They went together, and by the time they arrived Mia seemed herself, if somewhat anxious. The next few days were punctuated by bizarre episodes. She complained that one of her arms was longer than the other, and she stood in an oddly hunched posture to compensate. Sounds seemed excessively loud and colors looked so bright they were painful, she recalled. Mia called her uncle “Dad” and started speaking as though her mouth was full of cotton. The therapist agreed that Mia should be watched closely. Can you find out what was causing trouble ?
Clue 1 : A toxicology screen for drugs was negative, as were tests for pregnancy, Lyme disease and HIV.
Clue 2: An MRI scan of her brain was clear, which ruled out a brain tumour.
Clue 3: The diagnosis was atypical psychosis, and Mia was started on high doses of antipsychotic drugs.