The article indicates that “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) is a clinical label is the modern day term “Mal de Susto – (Fear-Sickness)” or just plain “Susto”. 

By Andres Martinez Jr.



Thus, the phrase “The Mexican male is the bravest in the world and the only one they cure of “Susto”.  Fear can be manifested in the form of mental illness due to a traumatic experience, I’m not so sure about physical.  And yes some rituals are still practiced today by Latinos, Native Americans, and so forth, but are simple and were passed over time.  The ritual we used was to lay a person in bed, cover them with a sheet, and sweep them in the form of a cross with a broom saying some sort of prayer.  The other ritual was the use of an egg placed under a bed to cure an unknown sickness or “Mal de Ojo”, thus if you like my eyes, please touch them with your hand to prevent that occurrence.  


We have combat veterans of all nationalities from WWII through the current Middle East including North Texas that suffer from traumatic experiences due to combat but are affected in different ways.  Some are heroes like Audie Murphy and Roy Benavidez (RIP) both Medal of Honor Recipients.  They lived with PTSD but could deal with it.  Others are devastated caused by the terror they experienced and need psychological counseling.  Historical native cures are not sufficient to cure PTSD.  It is much more in-depth than just “I’m afraid”!


Marshall (Marcelo) Araujo is uncle to my wife Rita Herrera via Rita’s mother Christine Araujo Herrera.  Marshall was a 17-year-old Hispanic male in the prime of his life, vibrant, athletic, and a very good guitar player when he enlisted in the Army for the Korean War (Conflict).  In combat he suffered near death experiences and one in particular where he saw his best friend blown to pieces as he stood next to him; Marcelo was untouched.  Marcelo was discharged 100% disabled (mental) and sent home to Fort Worth.  He was well-known in the south side of Fort Worth.  Family relatives Asencion Carrillo and Albert Carrillo cared for him ending with Bertha Mojica.  We bought him a guitar to play.  He had to be told when to eat, when to bathe, when to change clothes, and when to go to bed.  Many times, his caretakers had to bathe him.  Marcelo would have his shirt sleeve rolled up.  When someone came in the room or close to him, he would roll it down and say, “Top Secret”.  It is true that he used to chase kids but was playing, meant no harm, never touched them.  When he was told to stop, he understood and never did it again.  He was often seen in bars throwing money into the air and people diving for it only to be told to return it because he did not know what he was doing, and they did.  Other times he would frequent restaurants in the south side and would pay with rocks, which were accepted because they knew he had returned from the war completed disabled mentally.  His grandmother and his cousins took, turns caring for him but eventually Bertha Mojica was the final caretaker.  My wife, Bertha and I would take him to the Veteran’s Hospital in Dallas for checkups.  Many times, we had to trick him into going otherwise he would not go.  Marcelo Araujo was not whisked away and never seen again.  He was in good hands and received excellent care.


Marcello (Marshall) Araujo was born in January 1931 and died in June 27, 2002 in Fort Worth hospital.  His obituary was published on June on June 30, 2002.  He received the Rosary and was given a Roman Catholic Mass for burial.  He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.

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