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Mental Status Essay Assignment Exam
Heidi Combs, MD
What it is it?
Why do we do them?
Components of the Mental Status Exam • Appearance • Behavior • Speech • Mood • Affect • Thought process • Thought content • Cognition • Insight/Judgment
Appearance: What do you see? • Build, posture, dress, grooming,
prominent physical abnormalities
dysphoric (depressed, irritable, angry), euphoric (elevated, elated) anxious
Thought Process: examples • Circumstantial: provide
unnecessary detail but eventually get to the point
Thought Content: examples • Preoccupations: Suicidal or
homicidal ideation (SI or HI), perseverations, obsessions or compulsions
in love with the patient • Grandiose: inflated sense of self-worth, power or
wealth • Somatic: patient has a physical defect • Reference: unrelated events apply to them • Persecutory: others are trying to cause harm
the ability to focus, sustain and appropriately shift mental attention
Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam • 30 item screening tool • Useful for documenting serial
cognitive changes an cognitive impairment
Sample initial MSE of a patient with depression and psychotic features • Appearance: Disheveled,
somnolent, slouched down in chair, uncooperative
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