Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Decent Essays

In the book Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, Susanna Kaysen was only 18 years old when she agreed to enter a medium security psychiatric facility in Boston, McLean hospital in April 1967, after a failed suicide attempt. She insisted that her over dose on aspirin was not a suicide attempt, but after a 20 minute interview the doctor decided she needed to be admitted to a hospital. During her prolonged two-year stay at the hospital Kaysen describes the issues that most of the patients in her ward have to deal with and how they all differently deal with the amount of time they must stay in the hospital for. While in the hospital Kaysen experienced a case of depersonalization where she tried to pull the skin of her hands to see if there were bones underneath, after a failed escape attempt. Soon, after going to therapy and analysis she was labeled as having recovered from borderline personality disorder. After her release she realizes that McLean Hospital provided patients with more freedom than the outside world, by being free responsibility of parental pressure, free from school and job responsibilities, and being free from the “social norms” that society comes up with. Ultimately, being in captivity gave the patients more freedom then in society and created a safe environment in which patients wanted to stay in.
Entering the medium security hospital would seem like a total surrender of freedom; all sharp objects were taken away, phone calls were limited, and leaving the

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