THE PSYCHIATRICS IN CUBA IN TIMES OF SOCIOPATIC IN CHIEF.
Photo made by the author. All rights reserved. Comments at the end of the story.
There is an old HARE KRISHNA Mantra in Cuba that goes from year to year among medical students.
"OMMMMMMM. OMMMMMMM.And Kristmas told his disciples these wise words:
"Surgeons do not know anything but they solve a lot"
"Internal Doctors know a lot but do not solve anything"
"Psychiatrists do not know anything and do not solve even balls"
When I was a medical student in the 5th year of my career I rotated for the subject of Psychiatry in a hospital near Stgo de Cuba, which previously housed leprosy patients.
The "Locosomio" as the students called it, was a brick building, large, with spacious cubicles and long rooms for patients who still did not go completely crazy. Had or has, a large garden with benches, trees and much more that made the site cozy.It did not seem that it was a warehouse for psychiatric patients, but for overshadowed Zombies who wandered the corridors on their toes waiting anxiously for their next electro shock - they now call it Electro convulsive Treatment, to soften the aggressiveness of the old term - since then some could Going home for the weekend, I mean, the least dangerous.
But what I most admired and remember were the professors who gave us theoretical and practical classes on psychiatry.
Freud, the Doctor who revolutionized with psychoanalysis how to approach these unhealthy patients of mind, was not mentioned at all. Only the Oedipus Complex to remind us that there was another alternative to address the treatment of patients and childhood sexuality that was taboo in those days.
The director woman of the center was called Finita. I do not know if it was a nickname or because she was combing her hair with a black 5-story bun - the students said it was to hide a "tonsure" or a kind of baldness in the center of her scalp.
She was thin and tall. She put on makeup without skimping cosmetics- scarce in Cuba but she managed to make the trips that her husband made abroad, but we will talk about him later. Blue eyelids, abundant black mascara outlined her eyes, fleshy and large mouth, announced with a strong red the benefits of a kiss.
She was the laugh of the girl students. They said that their eccentric, attractive and overloaded presence was to attract the eyes of male students, otherhandsome doctors and be the dream or the erotic nightmare of patients half mad or crazy at all. The truth is that she did not leave anyone indifferent.
But my favorite teacher was Dr. Blanche, a woman of short height, obese, round face and thick lips. Her classes were a banquet for us.
_Good. Now I'm going to introduce you to a young man, not so young, "he corrected," who has Schizophrenia. You will see the auditory hallucinations that he has and his biotype.
There was passing a fat man with the face of a child and very serene-would it be for all the pills that harassed him day and night? -Which would sit next to her and the teacher would ask him questions:
-To see Claudio. Tell us about the voices you hear?
-I do not know Doctor. Sometimes someone talks to me and gives me orders that I do not understand.
-Is it a woman's or a man's?
-At times it's a woman's then I think it's Mom and other times as a man, which I think is Papa's.
The patient suddenly slaps his right ear and adds with altered face:
- Right now, Papa is giving me orders!
-And what does Claudio tell you?
-I do not understand it, doctor. I think he tells me to get out of the marriage bed and go to my room. I dont know. They are going to do something very bad, very bad.
- Enough for today Claudio. I just wanted to show the students how certain those voices are in your subconscious ... By the way ... Do you masturbate when it's your Mom who speaks?
- And what is that doctor?
-Ehh Good. Speaking in non-medical language that you will understand ... It is "pulling a straw". Do you understand now?
The man opened his eyes and shuddered, as if full of guilt.
.-Claudio. Thanks for helping us.
-But doctor. My father keeps ordering me to leave the room again and again. I just want to be with my mommy ..
.- Wait for the tablets to take effect. Then you will hear your Son.
-But doctor if I do not have children!-
-You'll listen to it when your wife stops or gives your son a lift.
-Doctor. I do not have a wife or I will not ...
-You will have a child, you will have a child, when the pills take effect.
Claudio left the room quickly. This time fighting with aunts, cousins and friends of her mother who were a scandal.
Doctor Blanche followed him with her eyes, narrowed her lips and stuck out her tongue as Claudio closed the door behind him.
-FAGOT! "She shouted.
We We students burst out laughing at the scene.
In that Finita appears, first appeared the tip of the black bow - and asks:
-Children how are you doing with Professor Blanche?
We responded in unison as a choir of infants:
-And are you learning how easy is the subject of psychiatry ... Ahh ... And how good are Psychiatrists?
-I leave you in good hands. There is no one like Dr. Blanche to get to the intricacies of what our patients suffer. Well, I continue my tour of the rooms.a deathly silence.Professor Blanche, when Finita had closed the door, Dr. Blanche very seriously said:
- And about Claudio do not worry -she told us- that with seven shock electrodes that complex of Oedipus is removed that has us crazy to all the psychiatrists of this center.
"-Good. I'm going to tell you something very personal. A little bit more because I do not want you to think that I have the antithesis of Narcissus Syndrome. You know, the young Greek who fell in love with his own image in the waters of a lake "
"It turns out that I hammered all the mirrors at home because I did not want to see my face. So ugly I felt. I put on makeup in the dark of dawn. I was groping for my eyes and there went the rouge, touched the site of my eyebrows and painted them to my senses- hence I came to work looking uglier than it was- For lips it was easier, I project them delicately and there the crayon goes, I did not remember if red, pink or black. The truth is that when I arrived at the hospital, all my colleagues "congratulated me for my beauty" and that's how they raised my self-esteem and I felt beautiful. I do not know why I have not found a husband yet. -made a transition-here between us. To ugly women, all men see her beautiful after the government assigns her the purchase of a car. That is my hope"
And we the students believing her or not her story we laugh.
That's why Dr. Blanche's classes were our favorite.
Finita, the director of the Psychiatric Hospital, had a husband who was our Anatomy teacher. When they turned off the lights to show a slide, some of the students' voices shouted:
- Horned pino! Pino Tarrú!
He did not flinch and continued the conference without responding to the anonymous attacks. To exemplify the evolution of man, from quadruped to Homo Sapiens, he would get on all fours feet as he spoke and would rise at every stage of Darwinian evolution to walk biped like a modern man.
We laughed but the evolutionary history never forgot us.
After turning on the lights, he responded to the offenses I said at the beginning:
-It is more succulent to eat a turkey between two than a scavenger bird alone.
But Pine one day died of a heart attack. Great was the sorrow and pain of all because we wanted it.The girls say as the wake of Professor Pino her wife Finita, who was many years younger than him, more make-up than ever, voluptuously embraced each handsome doctor who was going to present Condolence.
Envious legends about Finita, I think, or they are true because some psychiatric syndrome she had hidden.
I discovered Freud for his complete works. A single copy that was kept locked in the library of the Faculty.I was not so interested in the psychoanalytic part about mental illnesses but in the semiotic and psychoanalytic analysis he did on Leonardo da Vinchi's painting.
In the painting "The Madonna and the Child" a whole tangle of his eloquence to attest to the end that Leonardo was Homosexual.
Also the analysis of the sculpture of Michelangelo "Moses" A whole artistic compendium and a new vision about the work of the Renaissance sculptor.
I dont know. But many of my classmates who already had personality problems seized Psychiatry as a specialty. At two years they were crazy to change to Pathology. So yes they solved the human sufferings but dissecting them.
I was fascinated by Freud. But it was hardly mentioned in the Medicine career. It seems that the Marxist theory about society, psychiatry, etc., did not match the ideas of the Jewish doctor.
The Psychiatrist Commander-in-Chief, although he was the first sick patient who had to be given 3 electro shock a day, was explaining about the new Hospital for the mentally ill in Havana, Mazorra, where the crazy people were finally happy and radiant.
Gentlemant of Paris "mythical wanderer of the streets of the capital, dressed in red cloak and long copious graying hair, which was already a folkloric figure of the country, he was hospitalized in" Mazorra "and stripped of his original clothing and shaved his hair . The people said nothing. They did interviews for the magazine Bohemia and said "how good it felt" clear, after the usual 27 electro shock.There is a nu There is a new scientific theory nowadays that some Cuban psychiatrists have adhered to. Repeat again and again, that the earth is flat and not spherical as was previously thought.
Lately hospitals also continue to shelter for those who disagree with the Revolution. Although they speak coherently and defend their ideas with clarity and security, Electro treatment convulsive for them, just like that.
What happens to psychiatrists in Cuba? Is it a method of torture or, with some exceptions, a refuge for mediocre doctors who have had low qualifications in medicine and have no choice but to opt for psychiatry?
Total, if they after a few years of exercise are ready to inhabit Mazorra Hospital in the capital.
Cuba has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
NOTE: the photo at the beginning of this story is how they leave a dissident in a psychiatric hospital after 5 Electroconvulsive Therapies.