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Psychotropic Psoccer

8:45 AM -- Better living through sports, via the Guardian Unlimited:

    An Italian psychiatrist is obtaining startling results with patients suffering from schizophrenia and depression by enlisting them in a competitive football team. Mauro Raffaeli trains his players, many of whom cannot work and are on psychiatric medication, twice a week on a pitch on the outskirts of Rome.

    Of the 80 who have passed through the ranks since the team formed in 1993, over half have cut down their drug intake, but more importantly, more than half have returned to work...

    Psychology graduate and schizophrenic Benedetto Quirino was pestered by voices in his head until he became a rightwinger for Dr Raffaeli. "When you run out on the pitch, the voices stop," he said. "Your opponent is no longer inside you, he has come out and you can dribble round him and beat him."

    Since the team was formed, 50 other squads of mental patients have sprung up around Italy...
Warning: Don't bet on the Palermo Bi-Polars. They're very up and down.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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