Now Prozac Battles Dark Dreams That Khmer Rouge Left

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It is a quarter century since the Khmer Rouge was driven from power after causing the deaths of 1.7 million people from 1975 to 1979 through execution, starvation or overwork. "Until today, most people don't realize they have psychological problems," Dr. Ka Sunbunaut said in an interview. "They don't understand about trauma. Mostly, they believe it is all related to karma."

Now, though, people here are increasingly turning to drugs like Prozac and Valium, which are expensive but available without a prescription. Dr. Ka Sunbunaut said most of the medicines he prescribed were generic drugs manufactured in Asia.

"He gave me holy medicine," said Preap Phal Theary, 52, a wholesale rice dealer and former French teacher. "It is a holy medicine. It has changed my life. I've become a normal person instead of a sick person."

She said that before being treated, she had blackouts and intestinal problems. She had convulsions, and passed out whenever she went to the bathroom, she said.

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