NonFiction Book Club Gracefully Insane by Alex Beam Buy book: $10.06
An entertaining and poignant social history of McLean Hospital--a temporary home to many of the troubled geniuses of our age--this book explores the evolution of the treatment of mental illness from the early 19th century to today. of photos.
Yes. Fascinating and particularly to an RN who trained in the 50`s and whose mental treatment affiliation took place in a cold public state institution. Quite a contrast in facilitites. However the grounds of that state institution were quite attractive but few patients ever got to view them except through barred windows.
It is amazing what the mentally ill were able to accomplish and even became famous for their creative genius. There was a great poet, mathemetician, several rock stars and writers too. And it is even more amazing, when you see some of the so called treatments that were given and they still accomplished so much. In the movie, A Beautiful Mind, the life story of the mathemetician John Nash, it showed him getting what they thought at the time was a good treatment, insulin shock therapy. He survived that and is still working on math problems and has his own web site too. You would think for the topic of this book that it would be so depressing, but so far the author has written it with hope and good outcome. Look forward to reading some more.
It is horrific to read about the treatments and the conditions that used to be inflicted on the mentally ill. The medicine that is available today, even with its side effects, is so much a better treatment. I do feel sorry for the people that suffered these inhumanities in the past.
This book is really great, considering the topic. I am sure I will be able to use this in my studies. I have ordered this book. This is the third for me, in about six months. I never used to read a lot of non fiction, as reading was one of my outlets to space out for a while.
There is another non fiction book that has Patty Hearst in the title and is about a woman, a nurse, who takes her daughters to live in the woods. The mother is afraid of what is going on in the world, paranoid, and behaves oddly. It isn't until later that the daughters discover that she is schizophrenic. The book is told from one of the daughter's viewpoint.
Congratulations on studying the course of Psychology Major! The mental health field sorely needs people compassionate as yourself. Also, to look forward to is God's Kingdom Government where "no resident will say I am sick." - Isaiah 33:24 We will have perfect health, physically and mentally.
Although I've been on the West Coast for the last ten years, I am also from (Western) Massachusetts. This is a wonderful book on a very rich topic. I volunteered as a case aide on a locked ward at Boston State Hospital in Mattapan for a year when I first moved to the Boston area 30 years ago. That was a transitional time when there was increased use of drugs to treat patients with mental disorders. Although Boston State was not nearly as comfortable as McLean's it had become a home of sorts for the patients who lived there. The patient I visited was not alone in experiencing a great deal of anxiety in contemplation a new life outside the walls - which even those on locked wards could tell was fast approaching. This book mentions the hospital stays of James Taylor and his sister. In my peer group during adolescence, it was not at all unusual for the highly intelligent and sensitive, or the high spirited and uncontrollable from comfortable families to spend some time at a facility like McLean's. I can think of several of my friends who were 'sent away' like this.