Thursday, March 06, 2008


He entered the room. He is a man in his 50s, wearing jeans, his hair is long and white. His hair was so long for an Iraqi. His hair touches his shoulders. He was so proud of it I think, cause as he sit, he took out his comb and start searching for a mirror. He did not find any. He looked at the window. It was of some help. He combed his hair. When he ended, I opened my mouth and said:
Mr. F, am doctor Sami, I knew that you are new here, I came to see you, to see what did happen that brought you here, and I would like to help you.
He said: first, I need to have a glass of water.
I brought him one. He thanked me. Then asked me: in what year did you graduate from college?
I answered: 2002. and I never said anything else for the coming 30 minutes.
He then started to talk. I cannot remember what he said but he started talking and he never ended. He shifted from one subject to another. I did not stop him. I managed to found that he had the DIGFAST (Distractability, Indiscretion, Grandiosity, Flight of ideas, Activity increase, Sleep deficit, & Talkativness. DIGFAST is a mnemonic to remember the DSM IV criteria for mania). I wondered how long he would continue talking. He was taking few sips of water every now and then when he felt that his throat is dry. The glass of water helped him to continue. He talked about Jean Paul Sartre, Selvador Dali, and many many others. He talked about philosophy. About sport, health, politics, Marxism, Islam, and many other things. 30 minutes passed so fast. I looked at the watch, it was 11:45 am, I opened my mouth and said to him: Mr. F, I have only 15 minutes left with you, and I want to ask you about something, told me about your sleep.
He started to lecture me again about health, sport. I opened my mouth and said: and your sleep? At that point he felt angry at me. Told me that am trying to control him. I made up my diagnosis then let him talk again for the 15 minutes then asked him my final question on that first interview: am afraid I got to go Mr.F. I stood up, he did not. I start walking slowly and asked him: we will see each other in the coming days more, is there anything I can help you with at time being ?
He answered: I want a white paper to draw you something.
I gave him 2 and went, telling him that I will see his drawings next time we met and that would be after one day. The second day I went to the ward. The senior had discharged him. He was no more there, but he left me this drawing (see above the picture with the arabic writing; the other picture is a picture of a face who seems depressed, my diagnosis was BIPOLAR DISORDER, did the sad face symbolise his depression? and why a female? is this related to his long hair? did he wish to be a female? many questions I didn't ask)

The writing in the first picture is from the holy Quran, and it says: noon, (noon is the name of the letter N in Arabic), I swear by the pen and what they write in lines, by the wealth of God you are not crazy. That was a very poor translation by me, it got a very nice musical rhyme when it is said in Arabic, the sounds will be different, I will write it with English letters to imagine the music of these words: noon, wal kalami wa ma yasturoon, ma anta bi nimati rabbika bi majnoon.


Anonymous said...

Yes but what does the intricately crolled writing in the top corner say?

Sami said...

Dear anonymous, the wonderful writing above says: allah! There is no God save Him, the alive, the eternal.Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. (from the holy Koran).

tracy said...

Dear Dr. Al Bedri,
Thanks so much for the updates and what fascinating topics and thoughts you have shared with us. i loved the pictures this man seems you had an artist as a patient...and yes, the language is beautiful, both in form and i imagine in sound. i wonder why the man was released before you could talk to him again?
thank you and so nice to "see" you again, tracy

saminkie said...

Dear Tracy am happy to reecievee your comment back, they patient was reeleased on the reequest of his family. they wanted to treat him as an out patient. And the senior accepted causee he (the patient) is no moree aggitated nor dangerous to a degree that need admission.

Anonymous said...

I believe Carl Jung would say it's either his anima or his mother.

Definitively, it's hard to say without more pictures, but if I was a betting man I would put my money on the anima.