Playing helpless witness to a growing epidemic with no cure takes us back in time. The Hippocratics called it the “art” of medicine. It does not take a psychiatrist, however, to see that this “artful” approach frequently fails in public health crises.
Professions, psychiatry included, do not have a stellar record of protecting those they serve. Do we have reason to believe that professional organizations or corporate entities can be trusted to protect their clientele?
In this article, psychodynamic psychology is applied toward the understanding and recognition of "homegrown" terrorists, individuals who are familiar with American culture and thus more difficult to detect.
“I may never know who you are,” writes this psychiatrist, “but if you provided medical or psychiatric care for the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, we are colleagues. And you too are his victims, of sorts. I hope your reputation does not suffer unduly.”
I was 9 years old in December 1959 when I left and 60 in July 2011 when I returned to Lodz, Poland. My return—a journey through time as well as space—was a continuation of a trip from my home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I teach and practice clinical and forensic psychiatry, to Berlin, where I gave a number of presentations at a conference of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH).
People experience a spectrum of reactions as a result of epidemics, such as Ebola, and disasters, such as weather-related events. Psychiatrists can provide interventions for those who are in distress with a special focus on mitigating these disaster stress reactions.