Tag Archives: psychiatry

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 […]

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 […]

Looking back and forward: a personal view on public care

Matthew Reidy Shrewsbury, MA, USA   September 10, 1927 Mrs. Mary Reidy 99 Downing Street, Worcester, Mass. Dear Mrs. Reidy: Your little girl Katherine was examined in our out-patient clinic on Thursday, and she presents a complicated problem.  She is nearly 12 years of age and psychological tests show that she has a mental age […]

Calibrating the messiah complex: a success and a failure

Daniel Luftig United States   It had been Fat’s delusion for years that he could help people. His psychiatrist once told him that to get well he would have to do two things; get off dope (which he hadn’t done) and stop trying to help people (he still tried to help people). — VALIS1   Bill Murray […]