Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Recap from Day 13: Psychiatrist

Today concludes our service in Cancun and for me, the most moving and significant day of this entire trip. When we visited the Mayan village of the Chiapanecos I worked along the psychiatrist and consulted patients of drug addiction and abuse. I wrote down all the psychiatrist’s notes, including name, age, religion, marital status, reason for consultation and methods of therapy. In working with family abuse and problems, the psychiatrist would have the patient draw a person and then draw their whole family. From the drawings he could decipher different emotional and psychological states of the patient. It was very interesting to see how a drawing could mean so many things. The topics were very grave and serious but the psychiatrist would involve me with many topics and even have me give advice to the patient.

In one case in particular there was a woman victim of verbal and physical abuse who, over the years, developed a very low self esteem. When asking my advice, she reached for my hand and valued every word I wanted to say because she looked up to me as a woman. I became overwhelmed with emotion and tears filled my eyes as I wanted to reassure her strength and security of self. It was a truly touching moment and an indescribable one at that. We spent the rest of the session building up her worth and by the end she had a smile for the first time. It was a very great feeling and I have never felt compassion in such a strong manner.

-Claudia, Junior

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