Nursing students may be intimidated when assigned a patient with a psychiatric diagnosis, the formidable patient referred to in whispers as “the psych patient”. We hope here to demystify the diagnoses by describing some of the symptoms and behaviors patients may exhibit. We will not review the course of these conditions, how diagnoses are made, or prevalence, which can be found in standard texts including DSM IV (American Psychiatric Association 1994) from which much of the following is paraphrased.