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Ingenuity on the Psych Ward

Henry was 20 years old and had been committed, against his will, to the locked psychiatric hospital. Within quick order, he was hibernating in his bed all day: “I’m sick and chilled and need more blankets”, he implored. It turned out that Henry was planning a getaway. First, he had somehow figured out that he could take apart the window in his room. Next, he convinced a couple other patients to create a chaotic scene at the other end of the hallway. Then, with the staff preoccupied and distracted, Henry quickly tied his blankets together and went out the third floor window. We human beings crave freedom; it is a desire that resonates in us all. Prison escape movies, like ‘Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘Escape From Alcatraz’, are especially captivating. Perhaps it is because the movie viewer relates to the prisoner’s confinement emotionally. And then cheers the escape! In the words of the psychiatrist, Victor Frankl, our greatest freedom is the ability to choose our response to any situation that comes our way. We may all yearn to be free, but too many ‘free’ people become prisoners of their own base drives and impulses. Hopefully, we can learn to escape our own internal prisons. As for Henry, well, unfortunately one of the tied blankets broke loose and he fell and broke both legs. Henry then sued the hospital for not taking proper care of him.

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