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Mental Status Definitions

  • Affect: current display of emotional state

  • Euthymic: normal, absence of depressed or elevated emotional experience

  • Irritable: easily annoyed, impatient

  • Constricted: mild reduction of intensity of emotional experience

  • Blunted: significant reduction of intensity of emotional expression

  • Flat: absence of emotional experience

  • Inappropriate: emotional expression does not match content of speech, thought

  • Labile: abnormal sudden rapid shifts of emotional experience

  • Anhedonia: lack of experience of pleasure with normally pleasurable activity

  • Dysphoria: unhappy, depressed, anxious, irritable

  • Dysthymic: depressed, not content

  • Euphoria: extreme happiness

  • Euthymic: reasonably content

  • Mood: global, diffuse emotional state in general

Self Endangering Behavior Themes

  • Suicidal ideation/plan/attempt

  • Self-harm

  • non-compliance with care

  • non-compliance with meds

  • wanders putting self at risk

  • exit seeking with risk for harm

  • poor judgement

  • lack of insight

  • poor decision making

  • confused/not oriented/vulnerable

  • Illogical thought process

  • psychotic symptoms/erratic behaviors

  • impulsive/compulsive behaviors

  • poor communication ability

  • isolation/avoiding others

  • thinks deficits don't interfere/unaware of deficits

  • no accountability

  • doesn't believe needs help

  • "thinks" can do things

Aggression / Agitation Behavior Themes

  • Physical Aggression (gestures, posture, makes fists)

  • Physically Abusive (hits/kicks)

  • Verbal Aggression / verbally abusive (yells/curses)

  • Excessive agitation/irritability

  • Threatening behavior/statements

  • unpredictable anger outbursts

  • Targets staff/other residents

  • Physically assaulted other in the past

  • Requires extra staff to keep safe

  • Difficult to redirect

  • Requires skilled intervention

  • Staff or peers afraid of client

  • Restlessness

  • Thrashing in bed

  • Accuses others of things 

  • Excessive Frustration

  • Change in affect (frustration or anger)

  • Arguing

  • Resistive to staff recommendations

  • Easily irritated

  • Pacing

  • Constantly moves

  • Repeated questioning/complaints

  • Picking at things

Intrusive Behavior Themes

  • Excessive requests/complaints

  • seeks staff attention daily

  • poor boundaries

  • blurts or yells out daily

  • wanders in and out of other's rooms

  • does not respect personal space

  • excessively uses call light/requires staff involvement

  • demands attention/things from staff

  • frequently creates chaos

  • takes others items

  • does not follow rules/staff requests

  • unable to listen/talks over people

  • repeatedly makes false accusations

  • inappropriate language-loud/offensive

  • inappropriately addresses others

  • offensive body odor-refuses to change/bathe

  • inappropriate dress-offensive to others

  • excessive use of call system

  • goes "out of their way" to get staff/other attention

Psychiatric Symptom Themes

  • Hallucinations​

  • Delusions

  • Paranoia/instability/hypo-mania/mania

  • Suicidal history/ideation

  • homicidal history/ideation

  • confusion/disorientation

  • eating disturbance

  • frequent irritability

  • sleeping disturbance

  • severe anxiety/worry/fear

  • poor attention span

  • requires staff assistance to cope

  • unrealistic fears/suspicions

  • unable to self-regulate emotions

  • ineffective social functioning

  • risk for hospitalization at baseline

  • recurring depression

  • apathy

  • dissociation/derealization

  • impulsive

  • poor hygiene

  • poor insight/judgement

  • lacks concern for safety

  • isolation/withdrawn

  • decline in social relationships

  • sensitivity to noise/light/environment

  • isolating in room/sitting alone

  • chooses solo activities

  • accuses others of stealing things

  • strong/excessive attachment to things

  • fear of abandonment

  • excessive focus on physical symptoms

Sexual Inappropriate Behavior Themes

  • Indecent exposure

  • public masturbation

  • grab's others genitals

  • grabs self genitals in public

  • makes inappropriate sexual comment

  • makes advances towards others

  • sexual focus makes others uncomfortable

Elopement Behavior Themes

  • ​verbalizes desire to leave facility

  • attempts to exit frequently

  • approaches others to help leave

  • wants to live independently (unsafe)

  • confused / disoriented

  • search's in others rooms

  • not recognizing room

  • pacing, unsure about place

  • does not follow direction when out of facility

Figure 3-3
How To Ask Open-Ended Questions

Closed QuestionOpen Question

So you are here because you are concerned about your use of alcohol, correct?Tell me, what is it that brings you here today?

How many children do you have?Tell me about your family.

Do you agree that it would be a good idea for you to go through detoxification?What do you think about the possibility of going through detoxification?

First, I'd like you to tell me some about your marijuana use. On a typical day, how much do you smoke?Tell me about your marijuana use during a typical week.

Do you like to smoke?What are some of the things you like about smoking?

How has your drug use been this week, compared to last: more, less, or about the same?What has your drug use been like during the past week?

Do you think you use amphetamines too often?In what ways are you concerned about your use of amphetamines?

How long ago did you have your last drink?Tell me about the last time you had a drink.

Are you sure that your probation officer told you that it's only cocaine he is concerned about in your urine screens?Now what exactly are the conditions that your probation officer wants you to follow?

When do you plan to quit drinking?So what do you think you want to do about your drinking?

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