mmcornelius, August 9, 2009 (view all comments by mmcornelius)
I settled down to read a few chapters and read through the night to the last page until the sun came up. It's a poignant, heartbreaking, yet somehow humorous account of a teenager wrongly committed to a mental institution. She didn't enter the center with substance abuse issues; it's amazing she came out clean. It is also a scathing indictment of warehouse/psychiatric care where the prevailing treatment happens to coincide with what insurance will cover. It should send a warning signal to any parent considering seeking such for a child. It is also a story of triumph and redemption against incredible odds.
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siren, December 6, 2008 (view all comments by siren)
Scholinski's memoir is one that causes an irrepressible lump to form in one's throat and an emergence of a feeling that lingers between anger, sadness, empathy, and horror. It chronicles his 4 years confined within 3 different mental health facilities after being diagnosed with "Gender Identity Disorder" and "homosexual tendencies", essentially, not acting as a "normal heterosexual" girl.
His writing captures the confusion and rage of traumatically spending the majority of his teen years under the "care" of the American psychiatric medical community, surviving sexual, emotional, psychological, and physical abuse, and existing in the world as an ex-mental patient. He is able to create an exposé of the homophobic, transphobic, and violent nature of psychiatric wards without losing the raw individual experiences in the process. It is jarring to think that his experiences took place in the early 1980s in and around Chicago, Illinois.
This is a great read for those interested in Transgender and queer h[is/her/ze]tories and struggles, questioning what it means to be 'normal', the violence of the psychiatric system, and surviving.
This Book Can be Triggering!: Discusses sexual and physical abuse, rape, dysfunctional families, psychological abuse, eating disorders, and suicide.
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At 15, Daphne Scholinski was committed to a mental institution and awarded the dubious diagnosis of "Gender Identity Disorder". "The voice of Daphne's teenage self--bewildered, frank, aching, and defiant--is so vivid it's like hearing a confidence whispered across a dormitory room deep in the night".--"Harper's Bazaar".
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