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Book Review of Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted
Girl, Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Book Type: Paperback
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Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!

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