A Dark Room

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A patient slams a Bulgarian coin on his forehead and says, “Money controls everything. Money is why I am here. Money is why I will never get out. We have no voice here; only money speaks,” in the psychiatry ward of a county hospital in Bulgaria on August 10, 2006. <br />
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A Bulgarian Psychiatry Ward, A Dark Room<br />
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Meet the institution's inhabitants, and the challenges to their daily life: lack of vermin control, security personnel, mental stimulation, consistent medical treatment and basic amenities, such as bed sheets and dining utensils. Despite the gaping needs of the institution, the majority of patients return for at least a second and a third visit. Many women say they prefer this environment to that of physical abuse at home; and yet other patients seek shelter from the stigma against mental illness common to the country, which causes alienation from family, friends and employment opportunities.