Tag Archives: psychiatry

Thriving in the face of uncertainty

Sally Mather Chris Millard Ian Sabroe Sheffield, England   The experience of uncertainty has appeared as a frequent narrative in articles, autobiographies, and memoirs written by doctors over the last century. A persistent belief that better training, tests, evidence, and pathways will reduce uncertainty has not been borne out in the experience of contemporary clinicians. […]

Snapped by Snapchat: social media and adolescents

Ganga Prasanth Austin, Texas, United States   Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash  When was the last time you checked in with social media? An hour ago? Thirty minutes? Maybe ten? Social media plays a large role in modern society. Humans have an innate drive to belong to groups and take part in social interactions; and a sense […]

Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain

Xi Chen Rochester, New York, United States   A whale being speared with harpoons by fishermen in the arctic sea. Engraving by A. M. Fournier after E. Traviès. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In the summer months before my first year of medical school, I unfurled the pages of Moby Dick. Immersed […]

Tracing wisps of hair

Miriam Rosen Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States   Child’s Play by Miriam Rosen  My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was fourteen. For the next nine years, she lived her life with elegance and seemed to do it with ease. She continued her psychiatry practice, only gradually reducing the number of patients she saw. She […]

Dr. Fanny Halpern, a psychiatric go-between of 1930s Shanghai

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Dr. F.G. Halpern” in an advertisement for the Puci Sanatorium in the Shen Bao, September 20, 1935. source On September 20, 1935, a lengthy advertisement in one of Shanghai’s most popular newspapers, the Shen Bao, celebrated the recent opening of the Shanghai Puci Sanatorium (上海普濨療養院).1 The sanatorium would […]

Hölderlin’s madness

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   The only representation on which Hölderlin looks people directly in the face – a pastel picture by Franz Karl Hiemerthat that the poet gave to his sister Rieke in 1792. According to his mother and sister, it does not resemble him. German Literature Archive, Marbach, Germany. Accessed via Wikimedia.  […]

The big sheepdog

Gregory Rose Lexington, KY   The Dog’s Watch. Charles Francois Daubigny. 1857. The Art Institute of Chicago. “How ya doin’, Wayne?” It had been some ten years, back in high school, since I had seen Wayne. I had returned to general practice in my small home town and I was not sure what Wayne had […]

Nikolai Gogol’s The Diary of a Madman

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, USA Nikolai Gogol Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809–1852) was a member of the first wave of great Russian authors of the nineteenth century. Born in a Ukrainian Cossack village then part of the Russian Empire, he made his way to Saint Petersburg where he found his métier in the short story; a […]

Christian cutting at Vancouver General

Amber Moore Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada   Vancouver General Hospital She calls it “Christian cutting,” and laughs dryly, as if trying to soak the secret back up. It’s futile; in the Psychiatry Assessment Unit at Vancouver General, everything spills out eventually anyway- it gushes. Carving crucifixes in her skin, she prays to Mary because Jesus […]

Chekhov: Ward No. 6

Stanley Gutiontov Chicago, Illinois, USA   Anton Chekhov “Andrei Yefimich understood everything. Without saying a word, he walked to the bed Nikita had given him and sat down; seeing that Nikita was waiting, he stripped naked and became embarrassed. He then put on his hospital clothes; the pants were too short, the shirt was too […]