Tag Archives: suicide

Engage the emotions

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). The Taking of Christ, 1602 Oil on canvas. 135.5 x 169.5 cm L.14702. On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin, who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, 1992 Photo © […]

Spinoza and medical practice: can the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza enrich the thinking of doctors?

Norelle Lickiss Hobart, Tasmania, Australia   Portrait of Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), ca. 1665. Unknown. circa 1665. Gemäldesammlung der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. As doctors we seek to assuage the distress of our patients by relieving symptoms, guarding personal dignity, and remaining present even as they are dying. Yet despite these lofty goals, there […]

Richard Dadd: art and madness

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Portrait of British painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886) showing painting Contradiction: Oberon and Titania. Henry Hering. circa 1856. Source Unknown. Public Domain due to age. Is there anything so extravagant as the imaginations of men’s brains? Where is the head that has no chimeras in it? . . . Our knowledge, […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Can the neuroaesthetics response unleash a path to psychosis?

C. Ann Conn Covington, Louisiana, United States   Prehistoric rock art implies a primitive grammar of the mind found in art and which can be universally accessed. Photo by Cazz on Flickr. How does the brain perceive beauty and what is the biology of transcendent artistic appreciation? Is this epiphanic reaction hijacked during delusional thinking […]

Delusions of being and nothingness

Jesús Ramírez-Bermúdez Mexico City, Mexico   Emil Cioran and his long-lost friends. Augustin Ramirez Bermudez. Jesus Ramirez Bermudez Private Collection In the late nineteenth century, the French physician Jules Cotard described patients with a delusional denial of bodily organs, self-existence, and the world. The woman originally described “believed that she had no brain, nerves, chest, […]

What could have been

Gordon Sun Downey, California, USA     By Stephanie Chen and Gordon Sun Every year, there are 400 stories like these. The second-year medical student. The social butterfly of her 106 classmates, yet her bubbly personality masks the loneliness of living on one coast after spending the first twenty-five years of her life on the […]

Death and new-doctor eyes

Katrina Genuis Vancouver, Canada   With slim cuts to her wrists, she came into the emergency room and said she wanted to die. “This is clearly a cry for attention,” others said. “Send the new doctor to stitch her up.” I sat by her bed with a 30-gauge lidocaine-filled needle and 4.0 nylon sutures, and […]

When a movie ticket to the battered may help!

Rema Sundar Trivandrum, Kerala, India   No Discrimination! ‘The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics’ by United Nations Statistics Division (Creative Commons) Domestic violence awareness through film When four-time Grammy Award winner Tracy Chapman crooned “Last night I heard the screaming,” she was reflecting on a global public health problem. Instances of abuse and violence […]

Suicide in medical school

Trevor Klee Cambridge, MA, United States   Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate), 1890, Vincent Van Gogh.  Depression and suicide are difficult subjects to write about because they are unpleasant and have at least a faint tinge of moral failure. Moreover, the enormity of the feelings involved dwarfs the attempts to portray them in writing. […]