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Photo of a hand holding medication with the white blue red colors of the Russian flag

"A better chance that the necessary treatment will be less painful for everyone."

Towfiqu barbhuiya / Worldcrunch
Mariateresa Fichele

Dear President Zelensky,

I am a psychiatrist, not a politician — though when it comes to the madmen of battle (in the fields of health, fortunately), I have fought more than you.

I would like to explain to you a fundamental aspect of my work: when it becomes necessary to convince a patient who refuses to get treatment. In these cases, it is crucial to never enter in symmetry with his madness. If he screams and is angry, if he commits brutal acts and threatens others, you as a doctor must try at all costs to do the exact opposite.

He must not perceive you as an enemy, but as someone firmly in command of his opinions and who doesn’t need to use such methods to pursue them.


This will not cure the madman, but if nothing else, you have a better chance that the necessary treatment will be less painful for everyone.

Having said that, dear President, or rather dear Presidents, as a doctor I would advise all to calm down. If the goal is to prove that you are the strongest and most willing to escalate, then escalate you will.

If, on the other hand, you think that there is a madman before you who must be halted and treated, whose behavior will cause damage to himself and to others, then listen to the last of the psychiatrists, the current strategy will never work …

____________________________

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