Girl Interrupted

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In this stimulating true story, Kaysen speaks of her experience as an eighteen-year-old patient in a psychiatric hospital in the late 1960's. "People 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 easy" (pg. 5). The doctor who referred her diagnosed her with a borderline personality disorder within twenty minutes of interviewing her. The doctor also perceived her as extremely depressed with a pattern-less life. Recent activities included having a relationship with her English teacher, attempted suicide, running away from her parent's home and having a troublesome boyfriend. Kaysen wrote, "I had an inspiration once. I woke up one morning and I knew that today I had to swallow fifty aspirin. It was my task: my job for the day" (pg. 17). The doctor explained she just needed a "rest" for a few weeks, but Kaysen ended up spending nearly two years at McLean Hospital. During that time, she developed many friendships with quite a few of the other teenage girls. Among the patients admitted to her ward, Kaysen describes Polly, a kind patient with disfiguring, self-inflicted burns to her face and body. Lisa, another patient, entertains Kaysen with her flee attempts and embellished hatred for hospital authorities. Kaysen's roommate, Georgina, struggles to keep a relationship with Wade, a vicious and unstable boyfriend from another ward, who tells the girls apparently strange stories about his father with the CIA. The obsessions of roasted chicken and laxatives make a newly arrived patient named Daisy the object of attention. Daisy eventually leaves the hospital and commits suicide on her birthday. In addition, Torrey, who is an ex-drug addict, was placed in McLean by her parents because of her promiscuity. Her parents eventually remove her against her own will and bring her back to Mexico where she believes she may return to her...
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