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TOPIC: mental health

Dottoré!

Fear Of Death — And Not Being Dressed Accordingly

"Antonietta, I'm completely fine. Don’t you even think of bringing me a nightgown.”

Antonietta has two obsessions: fine nightclothes, and death. Other people's death, that is.

Inside her psychosis-driven head, these two elements are linked as such: As soon as she hears that someone is ill, she shows up at their home, with a gift of silk nightgown or pajamas — worthy garments, she thinks, for someone who may be about to depart.

Today she came for a session and, unfortunately, I had a big headache.

"Dottoré, you don’t look well. Are you feeling ok?"

"Antonietta, I'm completely fine. Don’t you even think of bringing me a nightgown.”

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Delusions Of Grandfather

"And where is your grandson?" — "Who knows. He must be old by now."

“Dottorè, do you know that I am a grandpa?”

When Gennaro told me this, at first I thought he was being delusional. But then I looked into his eyes: They were lucid — not because of the drugs his psychiatric treatment required, but from some strong emotion, something real that had at last lit up in his gaze.

Gennaro had to have a grandchild somewhere, and therefore also a child.

Yet, he had spent his life in a psychiatric hospital until 1994, and when he left the hospital, there was no trace of his previous life.

"And where is your grandson?"

"Who knows. He must be old by now. Maybe he's a grandfather himself. I've only seen him once: My son brought him to meet me outside the Leonardo Bianchi psychiatric hospital, when it was still open. He was ashamed to bring the baby there, it was the first and last time he came to see me.

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LGBTQ+ International: Trusting Truss, Uganda’s Banned Festival, Peaceful Poland Pride — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

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Grief As Mental Illness? Some Hard Questions About 'PGD' Diagnosis

Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) has officially been recognized as a mental health disorder. The decision could do more harm than good.

The weekend that I graduated from law school, my mother told me that she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neurological disease for which there is currently no cure. As I recalled in a recent essay, I spent the following year watching as her muscles atrophied until she died.

A year and a half later, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He successfully completed one round of chemotherapy, but then, less than two years later, the cancer returned, killing him within months. He died on Aug. 12, my mother’s birthday.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

The Walls Of A Loving Home

Ciro was waiting for me at the hospital entrance. He had been told the psychiatrist was coming.

"Dottoré, please let me come up with you, I need to see him and tell him I love him."

Two days earlier, he had found his father lying in a pool of blood. He did not understand why his father had done it, he just couldn’t wrap his head around it.

Because his father, Antonio, was a decent person. A hard worker.

Then the pandemic hit. His job as a street seller did not earn him enough to feed four children. So he had to turn to loan sharks.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

A Sound Mind In A Sanitized Body?

Trying to put the "health" in "mental health" ...

Now with COVID, everyone thinks they’re experts in antibodies — even my patients.

Dottoré, I've been taking drugs for 20 years because you say I'm sick, but couldn’t it be that maybe I'm cured, that now I have the antibodies, and you don't know?

"Gennà, unfortunately your disease is not caused by a virus, so you can't develop antibodies to fight it."

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Mightier Than The Sword

"What am I supposed to do with this, Dottoré?"

I have a patient who’s in great distress because of a physical peculiarity of his.

"Gennaro, did you know that in Ancient Greece, heroes, kings and all important men were said to have a small penis? Greeks associated small penises with moderation, one of the indispensable qualities of manhood — and therefore of a warrior. In contrast, a large penis symbolized the inability to manage impulses and act with intelligence and decisiveness. Actually, elderly men were often depicted as having large penises."

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Far From The Tree

"Mamma, do you know that when I grow up I want to be a surgeon?"

"And wouldn't you like my job instead?"

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Photographic Memory

Flipping through the pages of an old photo album with my nonna, I asked her, "Grandma, why were you all in black and white when you were young?"

She replied, "The war broke out. One morning we woke up, and all the colors were gone."

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

The Wrong Meaning Of "Homotransphobia"

Hatred cannot be cured.

The term “homotransphobia” is not in any diagnostic manual of psychiatry. Phobias, like all pathologies, create suffering for those who are affected — and can be cured. Instead, the only ones who suffer from the effects of homotransphobia are its targets.

Those who are "afflicted" with this condition are people for whom prejudice and ignorance prevail; and when they act on the basis of this ignorance, they are criminals, not sick people.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

A Patient's Old Habits, A Doctor’s Call For Justice

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Don't Anger The Patron Saints Of Calcio

From St. Paul to St. Diego...

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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