The student voice of Solano Community College

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E.R. psychiatrist presents book to English class

Ashley Ching, Staff Writer

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People gain job satisfaction in different avenues of work. Some people design bridges. Others program computers. Dr. Paul Linde? He changes people’s lives. As both a doctor and an author, Linde will present his book, Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an E.R. Psychiatrist to an accelerated English class at Solano College on Nov. 9.

“I thought his book was very intriguing,” said Carla Coury, the class’s English instructor, who added Danger to Self to the class’s curriculum. “The students are really enjoying Dr. Linde’s book.”

What makes Linde’s work so compelling? The doctor said he wrote the book to put a human face on the seriously psychiatrically ill. This is important, as those who are psychiatrically ill can be anyone. It can be a neighbor, a friend, or even a family member. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, as many as one in three people are affected by psychiatric illness. Linde said these include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety, and severe depression.

Because Linde deals with these sicknesses, he can never be sure what to expect. Linde said that any patient he works with “may be a violent patient, another who is traumatized and doesn’t want to talk, or someone who is resisting medical treatment.”

“The list goes on,” Linde said.

Of all these, however, Linde said having limited resources is the worst. “I hate sending people back out to the street with nothing in hand.” Because of state budget cuts, patients “recycle through jails, prisons, and medical E.R.’s.”

While Linde faces many challenges working as a psychiatrist, what matters at the end of the day makes his hard work worth it. “It’s about caring about patients and doing what can be done to make people’s lives better,” he said.

Linde said he gets patients to the next step in their lives, advocating for people that “nearly everyone else has given up on.” These are the people in jail or the hospital who may have the potential to become upstanding citizens: clean, sober, and productive. Linde’s Danger to Self not only illustrates their journey, but revolutionizes people’s views on psychiatry.

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The student voice of Solano Community College
E.R. psychiatrist presents book to English class