Mood Disorders: An Introduction

  • Peter C. Whybrow
  • Hagop S. Akiskal
  • William T. McKinneyJr.
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)

Abstract

By all objective accounts he was indeed a prominent lawyer. The policeman, who had found him sitting at 4 A.M. in an empty public square chewing aspirin tablets, said he was, and his wife, when called, confirmed it. And yet he described himself as a “shell of a person” fit only to be prosecuted for moral decay. A loud voice—“heh”—was ridiculing him. He was not a man. Had he not neglected his wife, both emotionally and sexually? Was he not cursed and ignored by God as a failure? All his benevolent acts were a cover for self-aggrandizement. He was the model for the wretched lawyer whom Camus had protrayed in his novel The Fall. He had indulged himself in a life of pseudoservice. He should never have entered the legal profession. Rather, he should have been a janitor. In fact, he wondered at times whether he was a lawyer. Perhaps he had been once, but now he was clearly an imposter, an empty, useless wretch who could no longer concentrate or make the simplest decisions, who paced his office late into the night, afraid to go home and face another restless, sleepless night. He felt caught in something repetitious and uncontrollable, beset by sinful thoughts that threatened to destroy him. He was “wiped out,” “fallen apart,” so alienated from his creator and his family that he wondered whether he even existed. Who were the authorities to deprive him of his final, perhaps only, courageous act?

Keywords

Fatigue Depression Europe Lithium Dementia 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter C. Whybrow
    • 1
  • Hagop S. Akiskal
    • 2
  • William T. McKinneyJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Baptist Memorial HospitalMemphisUSA
  3. 3.University of Wisconsin School of MedicineMadisonUSA

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