THE first time my younger brother, Takkin, said his teeth were falling on the floor, my family was concerned, but we believed it was a passing manifestation of anxiety from the dental surgery he had recently been through.
When he complained that his teeth were sliding down his throat and that he didn’t have a mouth, we exchanged uncomfortable looks. But when he started walking around with a mirror in his hand and his finger in his mouth for days on end, we knew hoping for the best was no longer sufficient.
Within six months, Takkin had lost both of his jobs and had become violent at times, throwing dishes and grabbing the steering wheel and swerving the car when riding with my parents.
“You’re not doing anything to help,” he’d scream at them. “I’m in pain. My teeth are gone. You don’t care.”
My parents took him for consultations to see if other dentists recommended more procedures to deal with his mouth pain, but it was clear to me this was no longer about dentistry.
“Enough,” I said to my parents. “We need to consider psychiatry.”
By TARA EBRAHIMI, The New York Times