11pm and I am worried my patient will not make it till tomorrow morning, says Dr Glenn Wakam. Twelve hours after intubation, the COVID-19 patient's condition deteriorates dramatically, and Wakam knows that an even more difficult intervention follows: to explain to the patient's wife, who begs to be allowed to say goodbye, that the hospital does not allow her this sad privilege.
Hope can be palpable and elusive at the same time, both reasonable and independent of logic. Yet this independence from logic is not synonymous with indifference to reason, but a victory over it. Hope has its own logic, one that changes lives for the better.
Maria is 21 years old. She is in her third year at the Academy of Economic Studies and has been working and paying rent for a year. Ever since she reached economic independence, she started going out in the city and being very concerned about the way she looks.
In a conversation with Dr. Shelly-Ann Bowen, we discussed her research on what determines whether someone will be active or passive in the face of catastrophic events—fires, floods, or a cancer diagnosis. Social injustice, a lack of self-awareness, and even an immature understanding of faith paralyse action. But there are ways to make positive changes.
Critical thinking is not a cure-all, but it proves very useful in dealing with, clarifying, and solving some decision-making problems, as well as the thought and belief disputes which occupy our minds.
Five decades ago, when the World Organization for Social Psychiatry was established, many thought it was a joke. Others, being more analytical, tried to prove that mental illness can only be an individual experience; that the problem always exists only in an individual and never in a group.
These days we all need to hear good news—that life will soon return to normal and that we will be able to return to the troubles of yesterday, which now seem small to us. In the meantime, our lifestyle has seen changes that we could not have imagined just a few weeks ago.
Eskimos don't have the word "quarrel" in their vocabulary. They live in a particularly harsh climate, so no one wants to risk getting pneumonia (or dying) just to prove that they are right.
The world of the homeless is the darker side of our world. It is inhabited by vagrants, drug addicts, and the powerless. This world has its own rules, customs, pleasures, and pains, but lacks meaning and peace. And those who enter this world struggle to leave it.
These days, we are free to believe anything and to be anything, at least in theory. However, if we gave history a closer look, we would realise that it is not beneficial for us to believe or be just anything. We agree with the biblical exhortation, often distorted by popular lore: "...test them all; hold on to what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
It has been more than ten years since my first job interview ended with the classic: You did a great job, but we have chosen someone else. Since this memorable moment, other closed doors have followed: employers rejecting my application, people not sharing my interests, groups giving me the feeling of not being accepted.