by Susanna Kaysen
Quote: "She's completely blotto. Of course they're giving her something." ~ Georgina pg. 23
started: April 10, 2012
finished: April 12, 2012
From the cover:
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put into a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles- as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.
Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.
This is one that I wish, had I known of it years ago, I had read the book before seeing the movie. Honestly, the entire time I was reading it I kept seeing Wynonna, Angelina, Brittney, and Whoopi! With that said, it was still a good book. I can say that the movie is pretty much spot on the book. The only big difference is apparently, Valerie(Whoopi Golberg),the head nurse, was a tall, lean, blonde, twenty-something woman!
The book actually does give somewhat of an epilogue which was nice, but since it is non-fiction and Susanna doesn't have contact with any of the characters anymore, there isn't much detail into what happens next for them.
This is still a good read. It does make us question what makes a person sane or insane. By who's guidelines are we judged/labeled/diagnosed? If we are insane, do we ever truly "recover"? One of my biggest questions regarding medicating certain "insane" is if they aren't curable, what is the medicine for? Honestly, in SOME cases, I believe they are medicated more so that the caretakers can handle them easier, or not have to deal with them at all. I understand some may need it to protect themselves or others but it is so heartbreaking seeing people doped up into a comatose state...for what? How sedated to they need to be before they are "safe"? Which would be worse, believing that you see clowns and water running on the walls or being strapped to a bed drooling uncontrollably? Believing that you have 3, 4, more people in your head telling you what to do and not do or being wheeled around in a chair and spoon fed because you are too doped up to stand or feed yourself?
What are your thoughts? Any opinions on the book/movie or subject?