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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 10, No.l, 1995


The Fryer Research Center

Katharine Homer Fryer

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Dr. Hoffer has asked me to write a brief article for the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine about the work of the Fryer Re-search Center. I am not an expert on writing briefly on any subject that is especially mean-ingful to me, but I can't say no to Dr. Hoffer for whom I have such enormous respect and admiration and who was responsible for changing the course of my life.

Barbara, one of our five daughters, was stricken with schizophrenia in the spring of 1960 while she was a student at Indiana University, working for her masters degree in cello. The eight years that followed were, for her, a never-ending torment. She tried suicide twice while she was in the state hospitals and finally, a few days after coming home, she jumped from her ninth floor bedroom window, not taking any chances of failing again.

Those eight years were difficult ones for Barbara's sisters as well. While working for their degrees — three achieved doctorates and one a masters — they gave Barbara as much support as circumstances made possible, as they loved her deeply. And those eight years were a nightmare for me.

During Barbara's first two years at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (P.I.), considered at that time to be one of the world's foremost psychiatric research hospitals, the "schizophrenogenic mother" was in vogue. "I wish the doctor hadn't told me you were the one who made me sick, Mama," Barbara had said to me tearfully during one of her early phone calls. "Now I'm afraid of you. I was never afraid of you before." And soon after that she made her first suicide attempt by slashing her wrists.

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