Louisville Medicine Volume 69, Issue 8 - Page 25

Arden Piper Publishing , 2017 . ( Available for purchase on Amazon . com .)
Perris C , Brockington IF : Cycloid psychoses and their relation to the major psychoses , in Biological Psychiatry . Edited by Perris C , Struwe D , Janson B . Amsterdam , Elsevier , 1981 , pp 447 – 450 .
El-Mallakh RS , Furdek C . Treatment in psychiatry : cycloid psychosis . American Journal of Psychiatry 2018 Jun 1 ; 175 ( 6 ): 502-505 . doi : 10.1176 / appi . ajp . 2017.17030282
Figure 1 . Dr . Furkek ’ s book , Locked-In : A Soldier and Civilian ’ s Struggle with Invisible Wounds .
Dr . El-Mallakh is a professor and director of the Mood Disorders Research Program at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Medicine . ( non-member )
Carolyn Furdek is an acute care physical therapist practicing at both the University of Louisville Trauma Hospital and the Robley Rex Veterans Hospital in Louisville , KY . ( non-member )
On Nov . 9 , 2021 , Carolyn Furdek , DPT and Rif El-Mallakh , MD presented her story to the Cato Society at their virtual meeting . Dr . Charles Oberst , Chair of the Cato Society , presented the following questions to Carolyn Furdek and she has provided the answers below :
How long did it take to make your diagnosis and be successfully treated ?
My first episode was in 2005 . I found Dr . El-Mallakh in 2014 . In your illness , were you psychotic ?
I was scared , paranoid , quiet . As an intelligence officer in the military , you always look for clues / are trying to solve a case . In this instance , I was trying to read between the lines . Is there another meaning , direction you are giving me when you tell me something ?
What types of stress precepted these attacks ?
Sometimes stress , deployments , major surgery . Sometimes nothing at all .
Do patients relive this stress when they visit the psychiatrist and is this part of the treatment ?
I have had all different types of treatments and one was where I talked through trauma I experienced on the battlefield .
Should military personnel talk about their dangerous and horrible experiences ? Is this dangerous or therapeutic for the soldier ?
I believe they should . Too many hold it in and it can cause problems down the road . I had a soldier who lost a leg tell me he would turn away all the psychiatrists who would show up at his bedside in the hospital and now he regrets it because his sufferings are greater now with mental health than what he has to deal with for the physical loss of his limb .
With newer or different treatments , would you have recovered more quickly ?
I think had we known about cycloid psychosis years ago then I would not have struggled for nine years .
Have you been approached to do a movie or TV program ? Yes , very early on when writing this book I was approached by several producers who wanted the book before it was finished . I had to give it to the Pentagon to approve it because I spoke about my time in the military and the missions I performed . That seemed to turn off any interest and they had all disappeared by the time it was approved .
Are soldiers with mental illness kept in the military ? How are they discharged ? Do they retain their benefits ?
If they are found fit for duty they are . I was medically discharged and I have military retirement benefits for myself and my family for life . ( i . e . disability pay and health insurance ).
Is each episode triggered by something different ?
Yes , nothing was ever the same ( I talked a bit about this in the book ). But once in the episode , I always revert back to the feelings and memories from that deployment where I was stuck in the valley .
Did the newer episodes change ?
Yes , now they are much less frequent ( two in the last six years ) - down from once a year for nine straight years . The latest episode I had ( last year ) was severe but I also had just had a double mastectomy and got a subsequent infection that I had to be hospitalized for . In addition , I had an allergic reaction from a drug I was given . My normal dose of meds I took for my underlying psychiatric condition was dosed incorrectly as well when I was in the hospital . So there was a lot going on there . I went into the hospital with an infection and came out of the hospital silently suffering from a psychotic episode that got much , much worse before it got better . Once we got in touch with the doctor regularly , he was able to suggest adjustments to all the medications and get me back on track .
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