List of important Psychiatry Mnemonics

Psychiatry mnemonics for easy memorization of forgetful stuff. They are specially helpful for USMLE and other licensing exams. This is ever growing dynamic list of mnemonics, please add yours comments to them.

Conduct disorder vs. antisocial personality disorder Mnemonic

Conduct disorder is seen in children. Antisocial personality disorder is seen in adults.

Depression: symptoms and signs (DSM-IV criteria) Mnemonic

AWESOME:

Affect flat

Weight change (loss or gain)

Energy, loss of

Sad feelings/ suicide thoughts or plans or attempts/ sexual inhibition/ sleep change (loss or excess) / social withdrawal

Others (guilt, loss of pleasure, hopeless)

Memory loss

Emotional blunting

Depression Mnemonic

UNHAPPINESS:

Understandable (such as bereavement, major stresses)

Neurotic (high anxiety personalities, negative parental upbringing, hypochondriasis)

Agitation (usually organic causes such as dementia)

Pseudodementia

Pain

Importuniing (whingeing, complaining)

Nihilistic

Endogenous

Secondary (i.e. cancer at the head of the pancreas, bronchogenic cancer)

Syndromal

Delirium Mnemonic

DIMES & 3Ps:

Drugs (or withdrawal)

Infection (PUS = Pneumonia, UTI, Skin)

Metabolic (eg Na, Ca, TSH)

Environmental

Structural

Pain

Pee

Poo

I WATCH DEATH[21]
Infections – PUS, CNS

Withdrawal – alcohol, sedatives, barbiturates

Acute metabolic changes – pH, hypo/hyper Na, Ca, acute liver or renal failure

Trauma – brain injury, subdural hematoma

CNS – post-ictal, stroke, tumour, brain mets

Hypoxia – CHF, anemia

Deficiencies – thiamine, niacin, B12 (e.g. chronic G and T alcoholics)

Endocrinopathies – hypo-/hyper-cortisol, hypoglycemia

Acute vascular – hypertensive encephalopathy, septic hypotension

Toxins and Drugs – especially anti-cholinergics, opioids, benzodiazepines

Heavy metals

PINCH ME

Pain

Infection

Nutrition

Constipation

Hydration

Medication

Electrolytes

Erikson’s developmental stages Mnemonic

“The sad tale of Erikson Motors”:

  • The stages in order by age group:

Mr. Trust and MsTrust had an auto they were ashamed of. She took the initiative to find the guilty party. She found the industry was inferior. They were making cars with dents [identity] and rolling fuses [role confusion]. Mr. N.T. Macy [intimacy] isolated the problem, General TVT absorbed the cost. In the end, they found the tires were just gritty and the should have used de- spare!

Mental state examination Mnemonic

ASEPTIC:

Appearance

Speech

Emotion (objective/subjective)

Perceptions

Thoughts

Insight

Cognition

Mania: cardinal symptoms Mnemonic

DIG FAST:

Distractibility

Indiscretion (DSM-IV’s “excessive involvement in pleasurable activities”)

Grandiosity

Flight of ideas

Activity increase

Sleep deficit (decreased need for sleep)

Talkativeness (pressured speech)

Mania: diagnostic criteria Mnemonic

Must have 3 of MANIAC:

Mouth (pressure of speech)/ Moodl

Activity increased

Naughty (disinhibition)

Insomnia

Attention (distractibility)

Confidence (grandiose ideas)

Parasomnias: time of onset Mnemonic

Sleep terrors and Sleepwalking occur during Slow-wave sleep (stages 3 & 4).Nightmare occurs during REM sleep (and is remembered).

Psychiatric review of symptoms Mnemonic

Depressed patients seem anxious, so call psychiatrists”:

Depression and other mood disorders (major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia)

Personality disorders (primarily borderline personality disorder)

Substance abuse disorders

Anxiety disorders (panic disorder with agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder)

Somatization disorder, eating disorders (these two disorders are combined because both involve disorders of bodily perception)

Cognitive disorders (dementia, delirium)

Psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, delusional disorder and psychosis accompanying depression, substance abuse or dementia)

Schizophrenia: negative features Mnemonic

4 A’s:

Ambivalence

Affective incongruence

Associative loosening

Autism

Substance dependence: features (DSM IV) Mnemonic

WITHDraw IT:

  • 3 of 7 within 12-month period:

Withdrawal

Interest or Important activities given up or reduced

Tolerance

Harm to physical and psychosocial known but continue to use

Desire to cut down, control

Intended time, amount exceeded

Time spent too much