✅ [PDF / Epub] ☉ Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen ⚣ – Golanvideoagency.info
I told her once I wasn t good at anything She told me survival is a talent.Insanity For most of us the idea of being insane is scary The harder question is the why why is insanity so scary Is it so scary because we have all, at one time or another I believe , doubted our own sanity I know I have Or is it so scary because it is so impossible to define, to categorize in absolutes When is the threshold at its thinnest In the moments when my brain launches like a freight train into a station, yet in about a dozen different ways, at 4 o clock in the morning when I have been exhausted and unable to sleep all day In the inner conversations I have with myself, or other people, inside my own head that never see the light of day What does it really mean to be crazy In the quiet nectar of a cup of coffee in the morning when the fog is tumbling lazily over my brain making everything just a little less real feeling Is it true what they say the you question your own sanity the less likely you are, in fact, to be insane If so Susanna Kaysen is definitely NOT insane She questions everything and has probably one of the most introspective voices I have ever read Her thoughts, expressed superbly in Girl, Interrupted, are well thought out and certainly sane sounding Was I ever crazy Maybe Or maybe life is Crazy isn t being broken or swallowing a dark secret It s you or me amplified If you ever told a lie and enjoyed it If you ever wished you could be a child forever They were not perfect, but they were my friends.What is insanity Is it a true state of being or is it a mind s reaction to an unnatural state of existence Fore how natural is it really to exist in a world constantly defining you for you, where it is important to seem something than truly BE it Perhaps we will never really know, certainly even now, far removed from the dates Kaysen found herself at home in an institution there are far questions than answers Category A Memoir I m sort of at a loss for how to describe this book and the emotions it provoked within me I guess the best word I could use is unsettled , but probably not for the reason you would imagine This quote might shed some light on what I meanThe less likely a terrible thing is to happen, the less frightening it is to look at or imagine A person who doesn t talk to herself or stare into nothingness is therefore alarming than a person who does Someone who acts normal raises the uncomfortable question, What s keeping me out of the loony binPrecisely This story is told not from the perspective of someone who sees creatures lurking in the shadows, or is convinced that she is the girlfriend of a Martian, or is blinded by homicidal rage, but by a young woman fully self aware of her own shortcomings It made me ask myself, which is the worse fate Descending blindly into madness, or being fully aware of your own dilemma and finding yourself helpless to prevent it I think the reason that so many people find this tale so haunting is that while reading it, one can t help but compare themselves to the narrator I certainly did And that s the very reason this book left me feeling so unnerved I was strikingly similar to this MC at the age of her institutionalization What if I had been unlucky enough to be diagnosed by a therapist like hers He spent all of fifteen minutes with her and came to the conclusion that she needed to be committed After reading about the interaction, I can t help but wonder WHY And disturbingly why not ME I dare you to read this and not ask yourself the same questions This review can also be found at The Book Eaters. In , After A Session With A Psychiatrist She D Never Seen Before, Eighteen Year Old Susanna Kaysen Was Put In 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 Documnet That Gives Lasting And Specific Dimension To Our Definitions Of Sane And Insane, Mental Illness And Recovery Find all of my reviews atPeople ask, how did you get in there What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up in there as well I can t answer the real question All I can tell them is, it s easyBoy was it ever easy for Susanna Kaysen to end up in a psychiatric hospital Now, Susanna was not normal per se She randomly obsessed about things as bizarre as whether or not she actually had bones in her body since she couldn t see them and was battling depression that at one point led her to down 50 aspirin She most definitely needed some help But in the 1960s the form of help provided to young girls like Susanna was a long term stay in the local looney bin where the Thorazine flowed like water and electric shock therapy was a sure fire cure for crazy Although compact and a very fast read, Girl Interrupted is a haunting story that I won t soon forget and will easily go down as one of the best memoirs I ve ever read Not only is the story fascinating and a bit horrifying , but Ms Kaysen s writing is some of the most truthful I ve seenSuicide is a form of murder premeditated murder It isn t something you do the first time you think of doing it It takes getting used to I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won t It was only part of myself I wanted to kill the part that wanted to kill herself Today, you seem puzzled about something Of course I was sad and puzzled, I was eighteen, it was spring, and I was behind barsHighly recommended. After reading novels like One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest or The Bell Jar, one could be forgiven for feeling skeptical about the treatment for the mentally ill during the 1960 s I m not sure Susanna Kaysen s memoir will change that much In 1967, after a short interview with a psychiatrist, she was admitted, committed may be a better word , to a mental hospital in Massachusetts, the same one that treated Sylvia Plath Her stay lasted about 2 years She was told she had a character disorder Twenty five years later, after reading her hospital records, she learned she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder This memoir is her recollection of the time she spent, the treatment she received, the doctors and nurses who treated her, and the other patients around her For those of us who are not personally familiar with these type of histories and institutions, this is an eye opening revelation and I can only hope things have improved since 1967.The book title was inspired by Vermeer s painting Girl Interruped at Her Music.http www.johannes vermeer.org girl Everything is made of language In the morning you hear those damned birdies tweedlydee tweedlydoo to each other or some damned cats meowing but that s not language It may be communication but it has no grammar and it can only describe the here and now the hear and know The birdies are tweebing about the cats, look there s a kitty cat watch out and the cats are meowing about the birdies I see a lot of edible things in trees and it doesn t get much interesting than that They will never write a novel Whereas humans are the opposite, they almost never talk about the here and now It s always I m sure this wasn t as expensive as last time we were here or you have to get your suit cleaned for next week Human language is a really dangerous device, it s explosive, because not only can you talk about things that aren t in the here and now, you can with very little effort talk about things that couldn t possibly exist ever The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat They took some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note Well, it s just nonsense, because you wouldn t wrap up honey in a five pound note, it would gunge up the five pound note, no retailer would accept it, and anyway, an owl and a pussycat would never be able to hire a boat They wouldn t have a clue about navigation how could they use oars Is this a motorised boat Was it a tidal estuary Anyway, I m getting distracted by language And this proves my point Language means that hardly anything we say is true I wish I was dead My mother s going to kill me The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain I am no longer in control of my own brain, something else is All commonly used phrases, a million of them, none of them literally true Well, we hope not We hope there are very few mothers who will kill their children, actually kill them, if they re an hour late The metaphorical aspect of language, which is its limitless joy and psychedelic legerdemain that we all are in love with, or why would we be readers, leads us humanish beings into some unhappy dark places All that beating of heads against walls about the Trinity in Christianity for instance It s a metaphor three aspects of God not three Gods it s a poetic way of expressing an ineffable reality if you re a Christian but the metaphor escaped and took on a life of its own and became a source of much befuddlement Susanna Kaysen artfully informs us how the madness gets in It s when you can t tell what is language describing something that is from language describing something that might be or could be or never could be She gives an example that bureau in the corner looks like a tiger simile No that bureau in the corner IS a tiger This whole book is about whether we are brains or minds Brains are very very very very very very very complex machines But minds are something else Drugs can fix brains like oil can fix an engine But drugs can t fix minds The only power they had was to dope us up Thorazine, Stelazine, Mellaril, Librium, Valium the therapists friends Once we were on it, it was hard to get off A bit like heroin, except it was the staff who got addicted to our taking it.This is a gigantic debate and may, of course, be another metaphor that has taken on an undeserved life of its own Is there a ghost in the machine Well, I don t believe in ghosts But if a thing walks like a ghost and quacks like a ghost, then maybe Language leads this memoir astray Susanna s account of her 18 month stay in the loony bin her jocular term, don t look at me like that is so wry, cool, elegant and unexpectedly funny Sunday Times , triumphantly funny NYT , darkly comic Newsweek , so mordant, so witty, that it without meaning to verges on presenting hospitalization for mental illness as a hip alternative to college The tag line on the back of my copy is Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy Hmmph, I should say not Like it s some kind of choice Like you re aligning mentally ill people with hipsters, beatniks, drop outs, Left Bank artistic sufferers, hey, Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath all those cool types That s the blurb writer getting carried away Like all of us Carried away by the onrushing ever tumbling surge of human language which is the ruin and the salvation of us all. Today, you seem puzzled about something Of course I was sad and puzzled, I was eighteen, it was spring, and I was behind barsKind of sheds light on the whole system of mental asylums, doesn t it Anyway how do you know if the treatment of a mentally disordered person is working You won t take their word for it, and if they question the institution, than you can claim and actually genuinely believe that you are suffering from persecution complex That is the trouble they have a big word for everything which makes you think of it as a disease If you are too moody, you have bipolar disease if you are too sad, you are depressed if you are too happy, you are suffering from euphoria You can t do anything out of proportion or rules in this world gets declared insane And once you are declared crazy, even things you do by the book of proportions is suspectedThey had a special language regression, acting out, hostility, withdrawal, indulging in behavior This last phrase could be attached to any activity and make it sound suspicious indulging in eating behavior, talking behavior, writing behavior In the outside world people ate and talked and wrote, but nothing we did was simpleAlso, with a race which seems to be at war with itself and rest of life on planet since begining of its so called intelligence and which has brought the planet to destruction, who, really can lay claim on sanity Still it is one of those chances where you can see things from point of view of an inmate.With people like author and her friends, part of problem is knowledge of their instablity How much lonely they must feel knowing that that they are alone in the world of things they are imagining And some were really teenagers, discovering the not so likeable realities of the world, so one can t help wondering whether they couldn t be helped with a good counseling and medicine rather than being locked in an asylum.I still do not agree with her complete disapproval of professional of psychologists, I think that as a field it still seems to be finding its feet and unfortunately has started on wrong foot also while being a psychologist may not be the hardest thing, being a good one must be terribly difficult requiring insight into human mind, a combination or compassion and disinterestedness, patience etc But except for that, it was beautiful all around.Parting thought it is a memoir, read it like that and not as a novel It is not supposed to be entertaining.More quotesWhen you re sad you need to hear your sorrow structured into sound Why did she do it Nobody knew Nobody dared to ask Because what courage Who had the courage to burn herself Twenty aspirin, a little slit alongside the veins of the arm, maybe even a bad half hour standing on a roof We ve all had those And somewhat dangerous things, like putting a gun in your mouth But you put it there, you taste it, it s cold and greasy, your finger is on the trigger, and you find that a whole world lies between this moment and the moment you ve been planning, when you ll pull the trigger That world defeats you You put the gun back in the drawer You ll have to find another way Suicide is a form of murder premeditated murder It isn t something you do the first time you think of doing it It takes getting used to And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won t It was only part of myself I wanted to kill the part that wanted to kill herself Our hospital was famous and housed many great poets and singers Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness While Susanna Keysen composes some very poetic essays offering alternative and sometimes beautiful perspectives in her autobiography, her general tone is very, very defensive Granted discussing whether or not one suffered from a mental illness can never be easy, but the book seems to be her manifesto for proving that she wasn t really borderline, as her therapist diagnosed I don t know enough about Borderline Personality Disorder to judge I agree that it seems women are disproportionately diagnosed with it, and a conservative environment could easily allow for any non conformist woman to be blamed for her own marginalization and labeled insane However, while Keysen seems to want to be seen as simply non conformist in an oppressive time, she was in some ways destructively so by her own admission She gave herself bruises, she attempted suicide, she tried to break into her own hand convinced it was a monkey s The early Sixties sounded like a terrible time to be a woman, and many of the mental institutions were anything but conducive to healing Nevertheless, I don t buy the defensive rebel s libertarian spiel that they should just be left alone to hurt themselves, uninterrupted Perhaps Susanna wanted to criticize her diagnosis or how she was treated, but claiming that her acts of self harm warranted no such interruption with treatment seems rather dramatic and ungrateful The adolescent glorification of the misunderstood, self harming Plath like waif is both dangerous and very selfish, and there are scores of books and songs and films to help this glorification along I hope girls who read this book are smart enough not to fall for it, but can still enjoy her moments of poetic greatness. Was insanity just a matter of dropping the actGood question, isn t it You may start asking yourself this after reading this book.I only spent a few months taking care of patients in psychiatric hospitals, but it made me really appreciate the nuances of Kaysen s story It is the viewpoint of someone who had to experience questioning her sanity the one thing most of us take for grantedEvery window in Alcatraz has a view of San FranciscoWhat some don t know about personality disorders is that they will not just go away You can learn how to cope with them, but you will not be cured The scary thing about them is that you can look at them as bits of your regular personality, just significantly amplified Some of borderline personality disorder symptoms include implusivity, uncertaintly about one s identity, rapid changes in interests and values, thinking in black or white terms, unstable or turbulent emotions, chaotic relationships, fear of being abandoned, and feelings of emptiness and boredom I am sure all of us have experienced some of these at one time or another The scary question then becomes what separates normal from crazy Where are we on that spectrum Is that what scares us about going crazy The same question seems to be troubling KaysenWas everybody seeing this stuff and acting as though they weren t Was insanity just a matter of dropping the actDoctors and nurses alike tend to be wary of patients with personality disorders, and borderline personality disorder in particular gets a bad rap It can be quite draining treating someone with BPD, that s true, but we don t always think about what the world must seem like through their eyes And that s where Girl, Interrupted brings this often overlooked perspective.This book does not have a defined plot or a linear narrative it is just a story of an unhappy young woman trying to find her place in a world that excludes her, and it is an enlightening and interesting read I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in medicine or psychology. 3 stars While I did enjoy this book, I don t feel I loved it as much as I expected to.CW borderline personality disorder, suicideI am not much of a non fiction reader, so the format and storytelling methods of memoirs and such are unfamiliar to me, and I typically do not enjoy them as much as fiction novels I did believe I would enjoy Girl, Interrupted than other non fiction works that I ve read because I am a big fan of the film adaptation I feel as if the book were to be chronological and follow a linear plot ARC as opposed to unanticipated time jumps, I would have enjoyed it as that as what I prefer to read I understand this fact is charming to many readers who love this book, but it s just not my cup of tea I also felt the chapters were too short and the novel as a whole I think I would have felt much from the stories and characters if I had time to learn their habits, their desires, and what makes them tick.On the positive side, I loved the subject matter of the story Borderline Personality Disorder is rarely discussed in media, so I feel the fact that Girl, Interrupted exists and has gained widespread attention is amazing There are many passages that I feel are thought provoking and insightful regarding what it is like, not only to live with an illness like BPD, but what it is like to have a mental illness in the 1960 s.Though I struggled with certain elements of the story and it left me a bit disappointed, I would still recommend it to anyone looking for non fiction books about psychology and specifically Borderline Personality Disorder.