In a 2019 interview which was just published in the Argentine newspaper La Nacion on Feb. 27, 2021, Pope Francis said that when he was a younger priest at age 42, seeing a psychiatrist helped him with anxiety. It was when he served as the Jesuit provincial (having jurisdiction over all Jesuit priests) in Argentina. He explained that it was “in the terrible days of the dictatorship, in which I had to take people in hiding to get them out of the country and thus save their lives. I had to handle situations that I did not know how to deal with.” During that time he said he consulted with a psychiatrist once a week for about six months. He said “throughout those six months, she helped me position myself in terms of a way to handle the fears of that time. Imagine what it was like to take a person hidden in the car – only covered by a blanket – and go through three military checkpoints in the Campo de Mayo area. The tension it generated in me was enormous.” Francis said “the treatment with the psychiatrist also helped me to locate myself and learn to manage my anxiety and avoid being rushed when making decisions. The decision making process is always complex. The advice and observations that she gave me was very helpful… her teachings are still useful to me today.” He said he has learned different ways of dealing with anxiety. One way is to brake, cutting “short” the situation or problem causing the anxiety. Another way is to listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, which calms him down and helps him analyze problems in a better way. He said “I confess that over the years I have managed to put a barrier to the entrance of anxiety in my spirit. It would be dangerous and harmful for me to make decisions under a state of anxiety. It would be equally harmful to make decisions dominated by anguish and sadness. That is why I say that the person must be attentive to neurosis.” Pope Francis said that he believes that it is also important for priests to have an understanding of psychology for their pastoral ministry. He recalled reading the book “Be Glad You’re Neurotic” by the American psychiatrist Louis E. Bisch which was very interesting and “made me laugh out loud.” The last question in the interview with the Pope was how he imagines his own death. He said “being a pope, whether in office or emeritus. And in Rome. I am not going back to Argentina.” Some assumed incorrectly from this statement that he meant he would never return to Argentina. But the journalist and neurologist Nelson Castro who conducted the interview has since clarified that what Pope Francis said was “ I’m not going back to Argentina to die.”