8 Books That Take Place In Psychiatric Hospitals

8 Books That Take Place In Psychiatric Hospitals

Prepare to be intriguedand sometimes alarmed—by these 8 books that take place in psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, mental asylums, psychiatric wards, or behavioral health hospitals.

1. The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer

“Written while the author was working as a psychiatric nurse in Clifton Hospital in York, and drawing on his own experiences it is a first-person account of a speechless, catatonic patient in a hospital therapy unit.”

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies.”

3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

“Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.”

4. The Sun King by Allison Lee Palmer

“A mother, her son, and mania. In this fictionalized memoir, a mother recounts the emotional journey she and her son take when he becomes mentally ill.”

5. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green

“Enveloped in the dark inner kingdom of her schizophrenia, sixteen-year-old Deborah is haunted by private tormentors that isolate her from the outside world. With the reluctant and fearful consent of her parents, she enters a mental hospital where she will spend the next three years battling to regain her sanity with the help of a gifted psychiatrist.”

6. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

“U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to find an escaped murderer named Rachel Solando.”

7. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

“Dominick Birdsey’s identical twin, Thomas, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. With medication, he can function properly and work at a coffee stand, but occasionally he has severe episodes of his illness. Thinking he is making a sacrificial protest that will stop the war in the Middle East, Thomas cuts off his own hand in a public library. Dominick sees him through the ensuing decision not to attempt to reattach the hand, and makes efforts on his behalf to free him from what he knows to be an inadequate and depressing hospital for the dangerously mentally ill.”

8. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

“In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.”

 

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THE SUN KING by Allison Lee Palmer