The Wounded Healer

Dean in the Underworld: Act I Scene 4

            Symbolic of the archetype of the Wounded Healer, the National Health Service (NHS) is not only incapable of healing itself; it is also unable to heal others. It can only cut away the diseased parts, while allopathic drugs help to manage, but mainly mask, symptoms.

In Greek mythology Chiron, renowned for his skills and art as a healer and physician (which made him the patron saint of these vocations) was unable to treat an incurable wound.  He was therefore known as the 'wounded healer'.
Down in the psychiatric under-world, where I have been with Dean, Caregiver is about to administer his medication. He seeks assurance as to whether the prescription for the drug to counteract the side effects of the anti-psychotic medication –dizzyspells, extreme drowsiness, cramp, stiffness, and weight gain – is ready.

            Caregiver says there is none scheduled for him today, and she expected him to have some left over from the previous month. Caregiver wants to know whether Dean wishes not to take his medication – Haloperidol long-acting injection (Haldol Decanoate) |

            Dean is on to her immediately. He has choice, but there are also consequences. If I don’t, he says, you will note it as a refusal on my part, and not that you were unable to meet all the conditions of my medical care, and that means you can re-section me anytime you wish. That’s m’boy; quick learner.

            Caregiver looks at me; I say nothing but the laser is scanning. Only a doctor can write a prescription and Dr Bedlam is not in the Unit today, she says. But you have the drug here in the hospital, says Dean; you give it to others, and I got some last time.

            Caregiver looks at me again; the laser is fixed on her. She will try to locate Dr Bedlam’s deputy and sort it out, she says. About ten minutes later Caregiver returns; both Bedlam and his junior doctor are on a course today.

            That’s it; I’ve had enough. Apparently, while she was out, Caregiver switched her mask (or archetypal pattern of behaviour) and therefore her role; but the laser has picked up on it. Caregiver has now become Gatekeeper; her objectives have changed.

            In that case the Mediator must move off-stage and be replaced by another character in order to move this thing forward. One thing I know, we will not be leaving here today without Dean’s prescription.


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