Monday, February 9, 2009
Being of sound mind and body, author Norah Vincent feigned depression, checked herself in to the psychiatric ward of a large, public, city hospital and started taking notes with a blunt-tipped Crayola marker. (Her ballpoint pen had been confiscated during admission - too pointy.) The result is Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin. Throughout the course of Voluntary Madness, Vincent samples three mental health facilities from the inside - the public hospital, a private, suburban clinic and an alternative treatment center which touts exercise and intensive talk therapy over medication. The author shares her blunt observations along with her strong opinions on the pharmacuetical industry and its cozy relationship with psychiatry.