The world works in some mysterious ways, and as much as we know about medical science sometimes we hear stories that drop our jaws. This is one of those stories.
First let me say that we in no way condone suicide. If you’re thinking about suicide please call 1-800-273-8255 if you live in the USA.
Now, onto one of the most bizarre medical cases in history.
First reported by the New York Times back in 1988, there was a medical miracle so bizarre it made national headlines, despite happening in Canada.
Dr. Leslie Solyom had been treating a young man he only referred to as George. George had crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a phobia of germs. He’d shower dozens of times per day, wash his hands constantly, and fret about being dirty or getting sick.
As his conditioned worsened, the previously straight-A student was forced to drop out of college and quit his job. He became a shut in and grew increasingly depressed.
“George was very depressed and told his mother that his life was so wretched that he would rather die,” Dr. Solyom told the LA Times.
At his lowest point, George went down to his basement, stuck a .22 caliber rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
But he didn’t die.
George was found by his mother and rushed to hospital. With such a serious head wound they feared the worst, but after he was stabilized it was a matter of waiting and seeing what the lasting impact of the bullet was.
They never would have predicted the final result.
After surgery removed the bullet George awoke with almost no side effects from the shooting. As time wore on he did notice one change: his OCD was cured.
The bullet might have accidentally performed a similar procedure.
Lobotomies are no longer as common a practice as they once were, and the procedure is vastly different.
Five years after the incident George was still mostly symptom free. He said he would have to close windows twice to make sure they were shut, but that was his own compulsive behavior. It’s unknown where he is now, or how he is doing.
This is not to say that suicide is the answer to mental illness, it’s more a bizarre story that is fascinating, and shows how strange the world can be sometimes.