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Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin

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Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The journalist who famously lived as a man commits herself- literally

Norah Vincent's New York Times bestselling book, Self-Made Man, ended on a harrowing note. Suffering from severe depression after her eighteen months living disguised as a man, Vincent felt she was a danger to herself. On the advice of her psychologist she committed herself to a mental institution. Out of this raw and overwhelming experience came the idea for her next book. She decided to get healthy and to study the effect of treatment on the depressed and insane "in the bin," as she calls it.

Vincent's journey takes her from a big city hospital to a facility in the Midwest and finally to an upscale retreat down south, as she analyzes the impact of institutionalization on the unwell, the tyranny of drugs-as-treatment, and the dysfunctional dynamic between caregivers and patients. Vincent applies brilliant insight as she exposes her personal struggle with depression and explores the range of people, caregivers, and methodologies that guide these strange, often scary, and bizarre environments. Eye opening, emotionally wrenching, and at times very funny, Voluntary Madness is a riveting work that exposes the state of mental healthcare in America from the inside out.

Review:

"Vincent's first trip to a mental institution — to which the writing of Self-Made Man drove her — convinced her that further immersion would give her great material for a follow-up. The grand tour consists of voluntary commitments to a hospital mental ward, a small private facility and a boutique facility; but Vincent's efforts to make a big statement about the state of mental health treatment quickly give way to a more personal journey. An attempt to wean herself off Prozac, for example, adds a greater sense of urgency to her second research trip, while the therapists overseeing her final treatment lead her to a major emotional breakthrough. Meanwhile, her fellow patients are easily able to peg her as an 'emotional parasite,' though this rarely stops them from interacting with her — and though their neediness sometimes frustrates her, she is less judgmental of them than of the doctors and nurses. The conclusions Vincent draws from her experiences tend toward the obvious (the better the facilities, the better chance for recovery) and the banal: 'No one can heal you except you.' Though keenly observed, her account never fully transcends its central gimmick." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Norah Vincent, a self-styled "immersion journalist" who achieved success with "Self-Made Man," an account of the 18 months she spent in disguise as a man, has now followed that accomplishment with "Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin." The subtitle here is important, I think. During a four-day stay in a lockdown facility because of the mental stress she suffered researching her... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Self-Made Man" comes this eye-opening, emotionally wrenching, and at time very funny work that exposes the state of mental healthcare in America from the inside out.

Synopsis:

From the author of The New York Times bestseller Self- Made Man, a captivating expose of depression and mental illness in America

Revelatory, deeply personal, and utterly relevant, Voluntary Madness is a controversial work that unveils the state of mental healthcare in the United States from the inside out. At the conclusion of her celebrated first book--Self-Made Man, in which she soent eighteen months disguised as a man-Norah Vincent found herself emotionally drained and severely depressed.

Determined but uncertain about maintaining her own equilibrium, she boldly committed herself to three different facilities-a big-city hospital, a private clinic in the Midwest, and finally an upscale retreat in the South. Voluntary Madness is the chronicle of Vincent's journey through the world of the mentally ill as she struggles to find her own health and happiness.

About the Author

Norah Vincent is the author of the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man. Previously, she wrote a nationally syndicated op-ed column for the Los Angeles Times. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670019717
Subtitle:
Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System
Author:
Vincent, Norah
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Mental health
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Psychiatric hospital patients
Subject:
Mental Illness
Subject:
Journalists -- United States.
Subject:
Psychiatric hospital patients -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20091229
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.26x6.48x1.00 in. 1.17 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General Disorders
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » History and Politics

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin Used Hardcover
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$6.25 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Viking Books - English 9780670019717 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Vincent's first trip to a mental institution — to which the writing of Self-Made Man drove her — convinced her that further immersion would give her great material for a follow-up. The grand tour consists of voluntary commitments to a hospital mental ward, a small private facility and a boutique facility; but Vincent's efforts to make a big statement about the state of mental health treatment quickly give way to a more personal journey. An attempt to wean herself off Prozac, for example, adds a greater sense of urgency to her second research trip, while the therapists overseeing her final treatment lead her to a major emotional breakthrough. Meanwhile, her fellow patients are easily able to peg her as an 'emotional parasite,' though this rarely stops them from interacting with her — and though their neediness sometimes frustrates her, she is less judgmental of them than of the doctors and nurses. The conclusions Vincent draws from her experiences tend toward the obvious (the better the facilities, the better chance for recovery) and the banal: 'No one can heal you except you.' Though keenly observed, her account never fully transcends its central gimmick." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Self-Made Man" comes this eye-opening, emotionally wrenching, and at time very funny work that exposes the state of mental healthcare in America from the inside out.
"Synopsis" by ,
From the author of The New York Times bestseller Self- Made Man, a captivating expose of depression and mental illness in America

Revelatory, deeply personal, and utterly relevant, Voluntary Madness is a controversial work that unveils the state of mental healthcare in the United States from the inside out. At the conclusion of her celebrated first book--Self-Made Man, in which she soent eighteen months disguised as a man-Norah Vincent found herself emotionally drained and severely depressed.

Determined but uncertain about maintaining her own equilibrium, she boldly committed herself to three different facilities-a big-city hospital, a private clinic in the Midwest, and finally an upscale retreat in the South. Voluntary Madness is the chronicle of Vincent's journey through the world of the mentally ill as she struggles to find her own health and happiness.

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