Published author Susanna Kaysen, wrote of her experience in a psychiatric institution in 1960`s America, in her book titled “Girl Interrupted”.
At the age of 18 Susanna spent almost 2 years in a psychiatric hospital, on a ward specifically for teen age girls. This frank memoir, illustrates how mental health was treated in 60`s America.
Susanna was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder, her perception, about what is sane, and what is insane, is very thought provoking, and poignant.
What I noticed.
What became clear to me within this autobiography were the varying historical methods of `treating` people with mental health issues.
Whilst some of the methods appeared at times experimental, and yet for some, had effective results, my belief that some of these successful and unsuccessful methods were quite disempowering to the recipient.
Susanna’s account also reflects on the bonds and attachments formed within the hospital environment, with other patients and staff, often tinged with humour and sadness.
This chronicle of events is honestly written, and illustrates a diverse account of self-awareness, from the author also including observation and experience of others.
Why I read this book.
I first saw the film adaptation quite a few years ago, and discovered that it was based on a book about true accounts of a personal recollection, which I found intriguing, and wanted to gain more insight about this experience.
I found this book to be incredibly captivating, and caused me to wonder about societal judgements and beliefs about mental health, historically and currently.
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Therapists who work with: Mental health issues.