Author: Susanna Kaysen
Keywords: borderline personality disorder, depression, suicidality, non-suicidal self-injury, sexual promiscuity, McLean Hospital, 1960’s, stigma, inpatient psychiatry, depersonalization, thorazine, chlorpromazine
Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed at eighteen with borderline personality disorder. She spent two years on and off the inpatient psychiatric ward at McLean Hospital. This memoir chronicles her time on the ward and describes the personalities and psychological make-up of the other patients she lived with in the hospital. It serves as an excellent psychoeducational tool for learning about borderline personality disorder and what psychiatric treatment was like in the 1960s at one of the most famous mental hospitals in the country. Girl, Interrupted is an excellent first-hand account of one young woman’s mental health struggles and a fascinating example of how borderline personality disorder was conceptualized some 40 years ago.
Audience: Adult, Older adolescent