James Hicks, M.D., 50 SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS (Yale University Press)

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From your station in an aisle of your uncle's grocery store you watch him take care of the customers. He can ring up prices and give directions all at the same time; you can barely keep track of the items to which you've already attached price labels. Your mind tends to drift off, and you find yourself standing in the middle of the floor with your price gun pointing aimlessly at rows of cans. Mothers pull their curious children around you, shushing them.

Every so often a customer asks you a question, and you try not to bungle it. Lately a lot of kids have been asking you whether the hamburger is kept with the hams or with the burgers. You tell them that they are with frozen foods and that you don't think they have ham in them. The kids laugh, so maybe that's the wrong answer?




This excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks

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