Stigma In Girl Interrupted

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All mental illnesses all come with a certain stigma; A stigma that labels every person that is suffering as ‘retarded’ or ‘damaged’. The uneducated population often mistake a stigma for a stereotype, however, a stereotype has nothing to do with degrading the quality of a person, but rather judgements based off of physical features. Stigma literally means, “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person,” stigmas in today 's society are becoming more prevalent as more issues arise. This theme of stigmatized mental illness is highly prevalent in the autobiography, Girl Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen, the politics of today and in normal family life. The younger woman in the book offers a new perspective into the life of someone under the roof of a mental institution in 1967. The bestseller is from Susanna’s point of view and often Susanna is talking to herself. Susanna suffers from borderline personality disorder and in both the book and her real life, there are pieces missing that readers are encouraged to fill in. Readers have to infer that she is suffering from this disorder when reading this book because she could be switching personalities at times. There was one chapter in the novel that stuck out, it was called “Do you believe him or me?”. Within this chapter Susanna contemplates the amount of time she spent with her doctor before he shipped her to the institution. Susanna explains to herself and readers that “The doctor says he
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