Week Eight Resource Blog Post

After finishing Girl, Interrupted, I googled Susanna Kaysen because I was curious about her life following her memoir’s publication and subsequent popularity, and I found this interview from this May, where Kaysen reflected on the book thirty years later. I was especially intrigued by her answer to the question of what positive changes she has seen in the field of mental health care, to which she asked if she had to have seen any. She elaborated that she felt that the decrease in stigma has led to the over-medicalization of what are rational emotional reactions to the stressors of modern life (she brought up covid at various other points as one such example) and expressed mixed feelings about reduced periods of hospitalization as it did prevent people from becoming disconnected from the “outside world” but also as a result the hospital no longer felt like a refuge. This was interesting to me because these so often are thought of as “advancements” and part of an overall improvement of mental health care, but Kaysen obviously felt otherwise and had clear reasons for doing so that made sense when she explained them.

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