Mental Illness In Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen

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In the book Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen, one of the biggest focal points is mental illness. Mental illness can be tough to talk about, simply because the phrase “mental illness” encompasses such a wide range of conditions and conjures up images of deranged people, but it is very important, especially in this book. There is a certain stigma that people who are put into mental hospitals because they have medical problems or are insane and a possible danger to society. While this is sometimes true, it is far more common for patients to need help for a disorder, but just don’t know where to go or what to do, and can end up putting themselves or someone else in danger. This is the case with Susanna, who is the autobiographical main character of the book. She provides a perfect reason as to why it is important that mental illness must be talked about more. Susanna is admitted to the McLean Hospital after she attempts suicide and is then diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She is at first convinced that there is nothing wrong for her, which is something that many patients go through, and is one of the important reasons that mental illness should be discussed more. Susanna says “I was trying to explain my situation to myself. My situation was that I was in pain and nobody knew it, even I had trouble knowing it.” (153) This quote is very effective at demonstrating what goes through Susanna’s head, and the minds of many others. Many people who have existing
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