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Paranoid delusions

“We’re being watched,” he whispered, and pointed to the computer that sat indifferently in the corner of the day room. “It knows everything.”

He sat back with a determined expression on his face. His hair was greasy and hadn’t been washed for days, and his shirt was rolled up over thick hairy arms. The tie he insisted on wearing was dripped with cabbage soup and hung like entrails around his neck.

He leaned in again. “Remember: it records everything.”

The psychiatrist didn’t know what to make of his new patient. He’d been admitted to the ward over the weekend and had been kept under close observation ever since. Apparently the police had picked him up after he was found wandering through the grainy, black and white streets of town.

Every so often, caught in the throes of his digital nightmare, the patient would wince and glance up at the low ceiling.

"Everything I did was logged," he said. "It was like a slug in the phone wire. Everybody I met and spoke to was chronicled, all my ideas and all my plans were catalogued, they were all gathered up like wheat in the haze. And then, not content with this, those in authority started to use it against me."

"What do you do for a living?" asked the shrink.

"I’m… I’m a GP," came the shaky reply.

With that the psychiatrist confidently scrawled – ‘No evidence of major mental illness’. "You can go, doctor, whenever you’re ready."

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen