Medicine: Part-Time Mental Patients

Each morning Emma B. got up and dressed, joined the rest of the household for breakfast, then caught a bus to an old stone mansion on Montreal's Pine Avenue. At 34, Emma looked like any other secretary going to work. But her destination was no office: it was the Allan Memorial Institute of Psychiatry. There, from 9 to 5, Emma was a mental patient. In the evening, she took the bus home again.

Ever since high-school days in Burlington, Vt., Emma had had a mysterious breathing difficulty. For no apparent reason she would take...

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