cover image To Wrestle with Demons: A Psychiatrist Struggles to Understand His Patients and Himself

To Wrestle with Demons: A Psychiatrist Struggles to Understand His Patients and Himself

Keith Russell Ablow / Author, Robert Coles / Foreword by Ameri

A young psychiatrist examines his responses to his first years on the job in these essays, originally published in the Washington Post . As a resident in an unidentified Boston hospital, Ablow tells us about his patients, colleagues and supervisors with youthful, though measured, enthusiasm and in direct prose uncluttered by jargon. A woman comes to the mental health clinic with a mystifying symptom: her feet feel as if they're burning. She and Ablow discover the sensation originated when her grandson went to Saudi Arabia to serve in Desert Storm. Surprised during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings to hear a respected male psychiatrist make a blatantly sexist remark about a female resident, Ablow notes that even in supposedly enlightened psychiatric circles, sexism continues to ``smolder underground.'' Other subjects include the use of electro-shock therapy and drugs in treatment. Ablow's main topic remains the individuals he sees, and in the connections he forged with them he finds proof of his belief that ``we are much more alone than we need to be.'' (Sept.)