**spoiler alert** Synopsis In April 1967, 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen is admitted to McLean Hospital, in Belmont, Massachusetts, after attempting suicid...more**spoiler alert** Synopsis In April 1967, 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen is admitted to McLean Hospital, in Belmont, Massachusetts, after attempting suicide. She denies that it was a suicide attempt to a psychiatrist, who suggests she take time to regroup in McLean, a private mental hospital. Susanna is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and her stay extends to 18 months.
Fellow patients Polly, Cynthia, Lisa, Lisa Cody, Georgina and Daisy contribute to Susanna’s experiences at McLean as she describes their personal issues and how they come to cope with the time they must spend in the hospital. Susanna also introduces the reader to particular staff members, including Valerie, Dr. Wick and Mrs. McWeeney.
Susanna reflects on the nature of her illness, including difficulty making sense of visual patterns, and suggests that sanity is a falsehood constructed to help the "healthy" feel "normal." She also questions how doctors treat mental illness, and whether they are treating the brain or the mind.
During her stay, Susanna undergoes a period of depersonalization, where she bites open the flesh on her hand after she becomes terrified that she has "lost her bones." Also, during a trip to the dentist, Susanna becomes frantic after she wakes from the general anesthesia, when no one will tell her how long she was unconscious, and she fears that she has lost time.
After leaving McLean, Susanna mentions that she kept in touch with Georgina and saw Lisa, who was about to board the subway with her son.
My thoughts: I felt like this memoir lacked something. I was not pleased with it, although I thought some of the things she went through were interesting. I didn't particularly like the characters, real people or not, they were just...typical. There wasn't any surprising factors or feelings that I got from this book. It was more like a book to read to past the time. I have never seen the movie, but I doubt it is much better than the book. I did like that the author mentions some social questions on the treatment of mental health, and that is what I enjoyed the most. I liked that she was a non-conformist, and questioned what was going no rather than just taking it. (less)
A beautiful book. Lovely quotes and photographs describing France in an artistic way. Contains lovely excerpts that capture the true essence of France...moreA beautiful book. Lovely quotes and photographs describing France in an artistic way. Contains lovely excerpts that capture the true essence of France and the French people. (less)
An awesome book for any dog owner/lover of dogs. It has lots of great tips to try out to strengthen the bond between you and your dog(s). I first boug...moreAn awesome book for any dog owner/lover of dogs. It has lots of great tips to try out to strengthen the bond between you and your dog(s). I first bought this to find out ways to get closer to my best friend, Gracie, my soft coated wheaten terrier, and this book gave me great tips. This book also has lists of websites to go to, which is nice. I especially liked the health section because it taught me things I didn't know about dogs' health. Overall it was a nice, quick read filled with cute dog phrases and great tips. (less)
The back cover says that in this book there will be the rules to be on your way to a lifelong love and committment. These are rules that everyone shou...moreThe back cover says that in this book there will be the rules to be on your way to a lifelong love and committment. These are rules that everyone should follow to be the best person in love that they can be...except there is a problem with this. None of these things are unheard of, and none of these rules are surprising. It seemed like he was stating the obvious more often than bringing something new to the table. It seemed like common sense...I did not learn anything new from reading these rules. (less)