An e mail was sent to me today, it made me smile, so I thought I'd share it with you:
"Medical Training Anxiety and Stress disorder (MTAS)
A new psychiatric disorder is sweeping across the nation at an alarming rate. Officials have not yet been able to control the epidemic of a new condition that has been named Medical Training Anxiety and Stress (MTAS) disorder. The disorder, which appears to be affecting primarily junior doctors, is characterised by a previously unseen cluster of symptoms including thought disorder, hallucinations, escalating paranoia and obsessive behaviours.
Epidemiology and Aetiology
It is estimated that there have been as many as 34,000 new cases of MTAS disorder since January 2007, though this may be grossly underestimated. The lifetime risk for developing the disorder is thought to be as high as 100% in the at-risk groups. MTAS disorder appears to affects junior doctors at any stage in their careers and the severity does not appear to be affected by gender, race or duration of medical working life.
Clinical features MTAS disorder is characterised by a number of psychological and physical symptoms. Remarkably this disorder seems to be characterised by one common delusion; those affected are convinced that they are in regular communication with government officials via Internet websites and that their lives and career aspirations are being monitored. Thought insertion is a common symptom. Individuals describe government dictation of life plans, most specifically career choices. Many also report thought withdrawal, describing that previous career aspirations have been removed from their heads. Thought broadcasting is another common theme. Many individuals report that their thoughts and work-related experiences have been documented and broadcast via the Internet. Those affected have developed obsessive behaviours, repeatedly describing difficult cases they have been involved in, when their patients have made them feel upset or angry. Other obsessive behaviours have been observed; those affected are rendered incapable of being in the vicinity of a computer without trying repeatedly to access government websites describing grandiose ideas that they may be called to attend interviews across the lengths and breadths of the country at a moments notice. Physical symptoms include disturbed sleep pattern, palpitations, tachycardia and those with severe obsessive behaviours have developed repetitive strain injury from overuse of computers.
Early indications are that psychosocial therapies are ineffective in the management of MTAS disorder. Trials into medical therapies are continuing but so far anti-psychotic medications have done nothing to reduce paranoia, delusions or persecutions. The spectrum of symptoms is worsening despite frantic research and trials of therapy.
Though little known is known about MTAS Disorder it is thought to have a poor prognosis. The long-term effects are not known but there are indications of likely long-term psychological damage with significant destruction of morale, self-esteem and ambition. Experts have been called in but so far their efforts have been negligible. There are serious concerns regarding what is to become of the medical profession. The world will watch with scrutiny over the next few months as the disaster unfolds."