Girl, Interrupted

A Real Life Experience in Mental Hospital.

Girl, Interrupted (1999) tells a true story based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.  This movie “chronicles the trials of female residents in a mental hospital as they receive treatment for depression, drug addiction, personality disorders, suicidality, and self-mutilation” (Oltmanns & Emery, 2012, p. 52).  If you’ve never been in a mental hospital, you’ll see how it looks like from this movie.  You also see how mental problems from common depression to extreme schizophrenia are assessed, diagnosed treated, and managed by mental care professionals.

As further discussed in Oltmanns and Emery (2012), many people seek psychological help when battling bulimia, depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems. Others consult a professional when struggling with relationships, or searching for a happier, more meaningful life. Can treatment help? Does it matter if you see a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, social worker, or counselor? Should you look for someone who specializes in your particular problem? Should you try medication? What should you expect a therapist to do and say? How can “talking” help?


Oltmanns, T. F. & Emery, R. E. (2012). Abnormal psychology (7th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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