by Robert J. Lanz, LCSW
As far as I can tell, in Cuba they only have two drugs available for psychiatric patients, Thorazine and Valium. No matter what the diagnosis, you get either Thorazine or Valium. Thorazine works for schizophrenia by blotting out the hallucinations and delusions-but the trouble with Thorazine like drugs is that they blot out the good parts of your personality too, if you have any. That would include the ability to love and to have a sense of humor or even your sense of yourself.
This is a medicine that was used for decades in the US but has long since been replaced by more modern and more effective antipsychotics that do allow you to maintain your selfhood and for the most part get rid of the delusions and hallucinations. Except in Cuba I guess. Valium is used for the treatment of anxiety. It has been around for decades also. If you are nervous and you take Valium you will be less nervous, at least until the Valium wears off. It is highly addictive and the first sign of withdrawal is-anxiety.
The few schizophrenic patients I saw who had come from Cuba used Valium if there was no Thorazine available. Although the medications work in entirely different ways, if you take enough Valium you can get so zonked out that hallucinations and delusions aren’t bothersome. For the anxious patient, from Cuba, if there was no Valium, they were given Thorazine. If you take enough Thorazine you will be zonked out enough that you won’t feel anxiety. You won’t feel anything else either. More than one patient’s family member told me this was the perfect Cuban drug combo, a simple cure for bothersome patients. If I remember correctly, Michael Moore failed to mention that part of the Cuban medical system in his documentary about how bad our medical care system was. Pretty hard to miss something so obvious so I’m just going to assume he did it on purpose. Next time Michael, stop by any ER before you shoot off your big mouth.
Cubans are like any other patients. Get them on the right medicine, which we did, and on the right dose, which we did, and they will have marked improvements. Mr. Moore didn’t mention that either. I’d like to get him to come to the ER and see how medicine is really practiced in America, at least in our part of it.
We could put a big sign out in front of the hospital: