Thursday, October 6, 2016

Venezuela has run out of psychiatric medication. That's not good.

Image result for schizophrenia venezuela
In 5th grade, we had a class subscription to the New York Times. Mrs. Kingsbury taught us how a vignette could be used to open a hard news article.  The vignette was about a mass of corpse-like refugees fleeing Idi Amin's Uganda by foot to Kenya. I'll never forget it. The vignette below rivals it.

"MARACAY, Venezuela — The voices tormenting Accel Simeone kept getting louder.
The country’s last supplies of antipsychotic medication were vanishing, and Mr. Simeone had gone weeks without the drug that controls his schizophrenia.
Reality was disintegrating with each passing day. The sounds in his head soon became people, with names. They were growing in number, crowding the tiny home he shared with his family, yelling obscenities into his ears.
Now the voices demanded that he kill his brother.
“I didn’t want to do it,” recalled Mr. Simeone, 25. 
He took an electric grinder from the family’s garage. He switched it on.  
But then, to spare his brother, he attacked himself instead, slicing into his own arm until his father raced in and grabbed the grinder from his bloody hands."

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