oa South African Family Practice - The whirling dervishes : peripheralia



About 20 years ago, I started to encounter a new phenomenon in my consulting room. A mother would come in with two young children and they would systematically start to destroy the place. One child would try and strangle the other with the tubing of my sphygmomanometer, while the other pulled all the forms off my desk. The mother would be in a state of cosmic annihilation. The whirling dervishes had arrived. Every now and then, the mother would register some sign of resistance, but usually she was in a world beyond contact, worn down into a state of submission.


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