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Articles tagged "Psychiatry"

Don’t Do It

He left his car in the parking lot of the hospital complex. It had all been under construction for years. Around him were unfinished buildings with display windows still protected by tape beside other old, dusty ones, with air conditioning units hanging off them like enormous ticks. Amid the buildings were pre-fab sheds, cranes, fenced-in areas all around, but he knew his route well. He passed a row of oleanders that had been relegated to no-man’s-land, and he emerged in an open...

Head Weight

In all honesty, Ruben was at a loss to explain what was happening to him. He told his friends and family a story about feeling tired and drained, while he in himself saw a different sort of picture: somebody, who knows who, some huge and powerful being was squeezing him the way the last squirts of toothpaste are squeezed from a toothpaste tube. The crush of those huge fingers, the blunt thumb and the slightly angular index finger, produced so much pain at times in Ruben that, lying in...

A Dog’s Life

Translator's Note: When I asked Ani Shua to tell me what motivated her to write this odd little story, she immediately provided the following background information about the legend of the werewolf—or lobizón—in Argentina. To my great astonishment, she wasn't kidding—she maintains this belief really existed in Argentina, as well as the incredible practice of naming the seventh son after the president in order to avoid the possibility of that child's...

Beings with Cruel Faces

"I can't stop thinking about them, Doctor," I said. I was prey to a strange tension, tossing and turning on the very lightweight couch, sensing the presence of my counterpart, my listener, inside of me like a brightness or a beam that was probing, mildly aching, but also inquisitive, tenacious. "Do you recognize them?" asked the doctor. The doctor's voice sounded clear, indistinct and cordial, forging the possibility of a remedy, hope. "No," I replied. "As soon as I wake up, I...

Compos Mentis

When I first met Mr. Masaomi Chikamatsu in the town of Y, I must say he was not exactly friendly toward me. True, I was just a writer on the lookout for a story. I interview many people in the course of my work, and find the level of respect accorded me inevitably depends on the subject's image of a writer—and as you may imagine, older people generally tend to be more respectful than the young. Yet they all, without exception, wear an expression of distaste, as if gazing upon...

The Psychiatrist

My new position gave me contact with refugees from various communities in Copenhagen. Three municipalities had engaged me to study the cases of ordinary patients or ones whose health conditions were hard to classify. The assignment culminated with my analysis and appraisal of the patient's mental health and then my written report, which the municipality would use for a number of different purposes. Most refugees need assistance and treatment, even if they aren't conscious of it....

Heart’s Desire

Eliza 812 is a psychiatric computer. All female psychiatric computers are named Eliza, in accordance with a fine old tradition. All males are named Higgins. Eliza is a research project, and her main objective is not to raise the standard of psychiatric care; that can come later. The object is to ascertain to what extent a computer can be made to think and react like a person. The problem at hand holds extensive consequences and presupposes research of an interdisciplinary nature. It...

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