The Cure of Folly: A Psychiatrist's Cautionary Tale by Gordon Warme

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By Gordon Warme

Have you ever puzzled what is going on in a psychiatrist's head whereas he's studying a sufferer? How do you discover ways to be a psychiatrist? Is there a healing for insanity? Does Prozac paintings? Are humans certainly crazy?

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Usually, the lecturing duties of directors and heads of departments consist of ritual introductory remarks made at the beginning of the academic year. In September 1961, we had our first psychiatric lecture, in the auditorium of the Winter VA hospital. Sure enough, Menninger appeared at the front of the room, wearing a professional white coat. In his hand was a list of the psychiatric residents. "Instead of starting at the beginning of the alphabet, lets start at the end today. Let's see. Dr. Warme?

She had reported she had been baby-sitting for a neighbour, and when the child's father walked her home, he had assaulted her in a clump of bushes. Cathy became wildly psychotic — hallucinating and delusional — and was sent to Topeka State hospital, a traditional large asylum or mental hospital. She stayed five years. It wasn't usual for a student to take on a schizophrenic patient, especially as a first case. This didn't faze me; I was sure of the powers of psychotherapy, and just as sure my dedication would guarantee a positive outcome.

Memory interrupts me with a thought that I don't like: My father pursed his lips; he had a mobile puckered mouth. And I, too, purse and pucker my lips. 23 THE CURE OF FOLLY Graham's friends were musical aesthetes, but what I noticed was that their talk and their banter was ironic, mocking and playful. The world of heartiness, of good marks, and of being sexual was well known to them but, without rancor, they believed that world was the stuff of mediocrity. The standard society merited only plaintive amazement and wistfulness — a wistfulness that these things mattered so much to the rest of us.

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