At the meeting last night Dr. Ted talked on depression. It was shocking to hear from the four doctors and one psychologist in the audience that in Albania doctors prescribe only medications like Valium and other depressants for depression. Although Prozac has been prescribed in America since 1988, it is rare here. Even the doctors were asking questions like “Can you still drive if you are taking anti-depressants?” There are only a couple of psychologists in all of Tirana (a city of half a million people), and they wouldn’t take any insurance, nor would people go to them openly because others would assume they were crazy. One woman said “From your description of depression, I think we all have it” and almost every head nodded.
Today it was pouring rain. Jim and Jason worked at the church. There is enough to do to keep expert contractors busy for months, but we only have a week! The guys worked very hard patching damaged areas, fixing standing water issues, getting rid of rooms full of junk, and preparing for the church work days ahead.
Sometimes in Albania there’s just not a lot to do, and you have to fill your time while people are at work. While our husbands labored, Natalie and I and the boys headed to the museum. The boys loved the museum and I was impressed at how much history they knew.
We had coffee with our Albania friends–both doctors, husband and wife. Chris taught at the church on how to take charge of your own education. (Sometimes the professors here don’t show up to class, or don’t care about their students, or just aren’t great at teaching.) She is so intense that one of the Albanians said “She is like an American, only 100 times as much.” The university students loved her and afterwards had some deep conversations with several individuals.