Behavior: The Children of Pavlov

Pills, pep talks, and outpatient clinics for mental well-being

The old building on Chekhov Street, just off Moscow's Pushkin Square, was the town house of a wealthy man in prerevolutionary times. Now it is Psychoneurological Dispensary No. 14, one of the outpatient psychiatric clinics that deal with the day-to-day problems of the anxious, the alcoholic and the seriously disturbed in the Soviet Union.

More than 200 patients a day silently wander the halls, beneath a sign that reads REMEMBER, CONVERSATIONS AMONG PATIENTS ABOUT YOUR DELIRIUMS ARE FORBIDDEN. In one room 15 elderly women...

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