I looked in the mirror and nodded. Yeah, I really liked my jacket and wool cap. It was chilly this morning, but with the new additions to my wardrobe, I’d be warm and look good.

Minutes later, I was browsing the window of Barnes & Noble when a homeless man, pushing his cart filled with plastic bags, announced to the street, “Lookin’ cool, but a fool”.

Shocked, I stepped away from the window and watched as the man shuffled past. “Jesus”, he was talking about me! I glanced at my reflection in the store window and shuddered. How did he know? I was feeling so full of myself this morning, and the old guy picked right up on it. It was brilliant.

It’s uncanny how some untreated schizophrenics have the intuitive skill to read our minds. Like a psychiatrist uses his “third ear” to pick up hidden nuances in psychotherapy, the schizophrenic can be even more acutely in tune to another’s inner workings.

To me it is absolutely amazing and mysterious. Sadly or happily or whatever one’s perspective, when treatment is successful, the magic fades — as do the voices and paranoid ideas.

How do they do it?

Maybe being paranoid, with all senses on alert, allows the primitive part of the brain to pick up and decipher the hidden thoughts of all potential attackers?  The biochemicals align just so and magic happens.

I loved my first year of psychiatric residency when I was surrounded by untreated schizophrenics. I loved the mystery and the magic.

I still do…


About artsmuklermd

Award Winning Novelist & Psychiatrist --- Like psychological novels? Check out Chasing Backwards, a psychological mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone n his Ear... Dr. Smukler has won the prestigious Golden Ear Award for excellence in teaching at Harbor-UCLA Medical center and excellence in writing fiction at The Santa Barbara Writers Conference. All books are available as ebooks and paperbacks. You can find them at amazon.com/author/arthursmukler or https://artsmuklermd.com/
This entry was posted in Psychiatry, Self Examination and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Linda says:

    I saw you and the outfit was totally cool! Especially the black cashmere cap!


  2. Kaye George says:

    I’m fascinated by the unclear lines between normal and…not normal. Sometimes they’re so thin. But sometimes you’re certain where the line is. Sometimes you don’t even know where you fall along it. I love your blog. But I want to see the togs in question. You know, see if they’re cool or not. 🙂


  3. celticadlx says:

    I think whenever we think we can judge, can absolutely know what is going on in another persons head, that is when we show how truly foolish we can be. I agree with you that the quest to discover what the mind really is and how it really works is wonderful. The mind is an amazing, scary, and magnificent mystery. I hope we never figure it all out. I think the brain is the final frontier.


  4. Gill says:

    The workings of the brain is a wonderful thing (are wonderful things?) Strange how, when things start to go wrong, there is often a compensation. I remember watching a programme about people with bipolar… one man refused medication because he could see angels when he was on a high. He would rather put up with the devastating lows and not be ‘normal’ as long as he could still talk with the angels.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s