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One must understand that in this profession there is a likelihood of hearing firsthand a man’s descent into madness. It is not often that this is heard, however, as most patients are brought to us already gripped by insanity’s claws, their conscious mind torn by their subconscious nightmares. A man submitted himself to our care today, fearing that the uneasiness he suffered mirrored that of his wife, whom he some months ago left in our care after she attempted her life. I will not give names as it is not in our practice to give away details without an estate’s consent, however, as no from their estate has seen or heard from this couple in some time, they will not know this story to be theirs.

Our first meeting with this man, for our purposes we shall call him Adam, was a half year or so ago. He brought to us his wife, whom we shall call Eve. She was a shy, quiet woman nearing her thirtieth birthday and looking not a day over twenty. She bore no outward appearance of being as mad as Adam described her to be, which he did so as if she wasn’t even in the room.

“She screams at night,” Adam explained, “She screams and claws at her eyes and flesh and cries out maddening exclamations.” Eve did not react to his statements. Indeed, it seemed as if she did not hear them at all, as if her mind was completely elsewhere. She gazed around the room, her eyes moving from one object to the next, holding them in her sight long enough to discern their color, purpose, size and general shape. I noted during the interview that her eyes not once locked onto any person. She saw only the furniture and decorations.

Adam continued explaining that when she spoke, if she ever did, she spoke of mouths inside her body trying to break free. She would try to tell him that her blood was bursting inside her body and she must let it out, she must set the mouths free. After she had cut skin from her thighs the first time, he said, ordered their servants to not bring anything sharp in the house and sold off their knives and razors. “Eve had taken to bruising herself afterward.” As he said this I looked upon her face—she had been painted up like a porcelain doll, no doubt to cover the damage she had caused herself.

He went on: “She would show me her bruises, yelling at me for not seeing the black and red lips under her skin trying to break free.” Adam gripped Eve by the wrist and undid the buttons on her cuff. Pulling up the sleeve, he showed us her arm, covered in self-inflicted injuries. The bruises were plentiful, and Adam struggled against Eve to hide them from her view. Catching sight of her bruises brought her mind to the present, and we witnessed her outbursts, taking notes the whole while.

Eve had done as Adam described previously. She dug her nails into the bruises and Adam grab both her wrists, preventing her from breaking her skin. “Don’t you see, don’t you see?” she cried, “They are trying to come out! The mouths, the lips, they will eat me from the inside out if I do not let them free!” Her words degenerated into unintelligible blathering shortly thereafter, though a few words slipped through. She believed there to be parasites of some sort living in her blood that needed to be let out, and if she did not let them out herself, they would break through her skin and kill her. Adam managed to cover her arm, once more hiding from her the bruises. Eve became calm again, her mind escaping once again.

“And what has your doctor done for her?” I asked. I was curious to see what their general practitioner had prescribed in this case. Adam explained that the doctor found nothing wrong, physically, and would do little for her. By request, but against his better judgment, the doctor had drained some blood from Eve using leeches. The doctor did not come often, as the couple’s home was out in the country and house calls took far too much time.

“After his fourth visit, when Eve had become increasingly bruised, the doctor refused to used leeches on her again. He criticized her demand for attention when she was not ill and declared her a waste of his time. He even went so far as to say that I,” Adam scowled, “that I was the cause of the bruises. She had never acted out before him, and he did not believe us. He suggested I bring her here, though I don’t think he did it because he particularly cared for us.”

I chuckled, hopefully reassuring him. “It was good of you to bring her here. We will care for her and draw this madness out of her. She will have to stay here alone, however,” I rose from chair and motioned to the orderlies at the door to set about collecting Eve and preparing her for her stay. Adam rose, as I walked toward the door. “Come with me and we can discuss visitation schedules as well as compensation.” Adam glanced behind, watching his wife guided down the hall, away from him.

“Fear not, Adam, Eve is on the road to wellness.”

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