I'm not sure why I picked up this book. It's depressing as I'm sure He-double hockey sticks must be. The book is, 'Voluntary Madness,' by Norah Vincent. Even though she does suffer from bouts of depression, especially after she posed as a man for eighteen months, then wrote a book about it, she voluntarily checked herself into three mental hospitals just to see what type of treatment they give, and of course, to write another book.
I'm not done with the book, and I haven't read any other reviews about it- but, she pisses me off, royally.
This isn't like the Dark Ages where mental institutions were used to get rid of mentally ill, to beat and harm and shock...
The medical profession still has a long way to go in understanding mental illness, and I'm sure (actually, I know) not every doctor or nurse or the staff that works in a psych ward have empathy, or care about the people who are ravaged by voices, or depression. I can understand that if you work in the places long enough, you have to close yourself to such sadness.
As for Vincent, she criticizes the staff whilst breaking almost every rule imaginable. She snuck in snacks to diabetics. Snuck in cigarettes and cigars and fast food crap to her fellow and genuine companions who needed real help.
She even admits the patients on her ward could tell she was a faker. How very sad and opportunistic.
No, I have no plans to read her other book, 'Self Made Man.'