Warning Signs

The following behaviors can serve as warnings if they are recognized and understood. 

"Just not the same person we used to know…"

•    Loss of enthusiasm; Negative attitude
•    Cynical, fault finding remarks; sarcastic, complaining, antagonistic
•    Involvement in internecine battles
•    Feeling like a tragic, overworked, misunderstood hero
•    Isolation, mistrust, abandonment of old friends
•    Increasingly forgetful
•    Self-diagnosed health complaints, morbid health concerns
•    Depressed, anxious
•    Looks tired; admits to insomnia
•    Eyes don’t look right
•    Personal hygiene changes; looks seedy
•    May smell of stale alcohol or strong cologne
•    Tremulous or sweaty
•    At times, agitated or restless
•    At times, looks drowsy or doped up
•    Changes in speech (slurring, careful cadence, stammering or blocking, “tranquilizer lilt”)
•    Changes in appetite or exercise pattern; recent weight change

"We can’t trust his work anymore…"

•    Changes in work habits
•    Erratic productivity combined with crazy hours
•    Changes in handwriting
•    Changes in number of consults
•    Procedural errors
•    Errors of omission with alibis, cover-ups
•    Missed appointments, meetings, dropping of committees
•    Complaints from staff, patients, families