December 29, 2013
Published: December 8, 1999
April of 1967, 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) checks herself into Claymoore Hospital after taking an overdose of aspirin. Susanna eventually meets the head psychiatrist, Dr. Sonia Wick and attempts to shut her out with a nasty attitude. In response, Wick decides to take Susanna as her patient. She is later diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Twenty-five years later she chronicled her experience as a psychiatric patient in her autobiographical book, Girl, Interrupted. Like Kaysen, many people who attempt or commit suicide have hesitant feelings about taking their own lives. Kaysen called her boyfriend, giving him the opportunity to interfere as well. But she survived, was able to get on with her life, and eventually wrote two novels and her memoir, which later became the subject of a motion picture of the same name. Unfortunately, many people who attempt suicide fail to get a second chance on life.
The story mainly focuses on ways of helping the patient (Susanna), who is struggling with psychological problems. Some forms of help involve outpatient treatment, such as psychotherapy or drug therapy. In more serious cases, such as with people who make suicide attempts or are suffering acute episodes of schizophrenia. Treatment typically involves a period of inpatient care. The treatment an individual receives depends not only on the particular problem but also on the therapeutic orientation and training of the helping professional. Consider someone suffering from depression. A psychiatrist might recommend a course of antidepressant medication, perhaps in combination with psychotherapy. A cognitively oriented psychologist might suggest cognitive therapy to help identify faulty thinking patterns that