THE MAN WITH A MICROPHONE IN HIS EAR, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

My sincere thanks to everyone for helping Chasing Backwards have a successful debut.

I’d now like to introduce my new novella, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear.

It is July, 1969 at PGH (Philadelphia General Hospital), an ancient psychiatric fortress. Enter the world of psychiatry through the eyes of a 1st year psychiatric resident on his first day of training on the locked inpatient unit.

A psychotic, paranoid man smashes a piano stool, and using the legs as bludgeoning propellers, tries to attack everyone in his path. He is eventually controlled and placed in leather restraints.

The next day, much to the horror of the clueless resident, this dangerous man becomes his first patient. Learning about Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorders and Paranoid States is the easy part. Overcoming his own fear and how to talk to a psychotic person is something that he’ll never forget and will shape his entire psychiatric career.

The Man with a Microphone in his Ear is available for all eBooks.


Art Smukler

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The mind is beyond sophisticated, but a little misguided. When events are too upsetting, it deposits the painful memory or feeling in a place that won’t disturb daily functioning, the “dreaded” unconscious.

Sounds great, right? If you don’t know it’s there, how can it bother you?

Wrong! The hidden memory can still send out subliminal signals that can cause nightmares, panic attacks, depression, anxiety etc. The symptoms are often so disturbing that you finally call your doctor who prescribes sleeping pills, tranquilizers or antidepressants so you’ll feel better. For a while, you do! Then it all creeps back.

“I’d like to refer you to a psychiatrist,” your doctor says.

“A shrink!” you say, more than a little insulted. I’m not crazy!

One tough, Italian guy, Joe Belmont, a 1st year medical student, who just happens to be the hero in my novel, Chasing Backwards, is in an even worse predicament. Whoever killed his mother and uncle are now trying to kill him, and the only way he can save himself and his girlfriend is to find a way into his own unconscious. The key to the whole mystery lies in his past, and Joe has no idea what lies buried in his own mind.

So unlike Joe, who has only days and himself to solve the problem, you can schedule a consultation with a psychiatrist or a therapist like a normal person. By now you recognize that it’s not just some intellectual or philosophical need. You’re sick and tired of feeling miserable and are ready to do what it takes. Figuring out what’s hidden in your unconscious is not psychobabble, as Joe in is his pre-psychological-minded days called the whole process. Psychotherapy is a treatment that can help make the unconscious problem conscious. Once you know what’s really going on, because now it’s out there for you to examine, you get the opportunity to deal with the issue and really feel better.

Please feel free to leave any comments and observations. If you were able to figure out what happened in your past, how did you do it? Did Joe Belmont’s experience mirror any of your own? Did understanding your own unconscious help you to have a better life?

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