When, at age twenty-five, my agoraphobia struck again, my favorite cousin Marie recommended that I see Dr. Schwartz. Dr. Schwartz was purportedly the Lourdes of psychiatry. He had cured artists, celebrities and billionaires. A famous writer had written his best book after a year with him. An actress had played her best role.
Dr. Schwartz’s office was on the basement floor of his oyster white townhouse on the Upper East Side. Iron bars covered the grimy window in the waiting room dooming it to perpetual twilight. In the corner, a dark screen concealed a wooden chair. Patients who didn’t wish to be seen could sit there. I assumed they were the richest or most famous of Dr. Schwartz’s practice and that it would be preposterous to hide there, yet I got embarrassed if I encountered a … Read More »