From Yale to Jail

A thirty something Ivy Leaguer keeps the public aware of her opinions on things topical and struggles with multiple demons: alcohol, the law and remaining effortlessly hip in a changing world.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Before Winona was a thief

Watching Girl Interrupted. Reminds me of psych wards before insurance companies ruined the therapeutic milieu! When I was forced into my first psych ward as a freshman at Yale, the average stay was a month. Now insurance companies only want to authorize 4 days or so. Before, the patients had time to bond and form the wonderful camaraderie of mentally ill people further possessed of an "us versus them" mentality. In short, it put the "fun" in the funny farm! I have been hospitalized 20 times or so and only the first 8 times provided any entertainment of the kind in "Girl Interrupted". As a patient, you need a few days to get comfortable in your surroundings before you start manipulating the staff , fellow patients and their visitors. I was never really mean spirited...ok maybe I was. I convinced one schizophrenic male patient who for smelled of rotting eggs that I wanted to be his girlfriend and when his actual significant other visited, I taunted her with this information. I forget his name, but I remember Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. In the smoking lounge, one adolescent playing tough was telling everyone she would hurt herself if she could. I sniffed and said, "Well, when I need to cut myself at this hospital, I always use the light bulbs." She escaped with minor scratches. I was just trying to help.


  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger Jonas Diego said…

    Hello! Got here from Just reading through. :)

  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger Texas Biscuit said…

    Fascinating. As a counseling student, I'm curious about the diagnosis (es) that could land you in the hospital so many times... I hope you'll be interested in sharing even more!

  • At 4:00 AM, Blogger bikipatra said…

    Oh biscuit, I will get around to summarize: bulimia, self injury, borderline personality, bipolar disorder, suicide attempts, suicidal and homicidal ideation and substance abuse. I considered it a compliment when someone told me that being with me was like what they imagined partying with Jim Morrison would have been like. Its been a tumultuous 32 years. Actually things have calmed down lately! (fingers crossed)


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