The Loony-Bin Trip

The Loony-Bin Trip

3.47 (273 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"The Loony-Bin Trip" is the powerful, staggeringly personal story of Kate Millett's struggle to regain control of her life after falling under an ascription of manic depression. Compulsively readable, Millett's journey into 'that other region' traverses a fearful terrain of self-doubt, futility, and alienation. Beginning with the summer at her farm in Poughkeepsie, New York, when she decides to prove her sanity by going off the lithium prescribed to combat depression, Millett courses through a season of doubt about her own sanity and the loyalty of the people around her. Tormented by the fear that her own mind is 'too dangerous' to be left to its own devices, haunted by recollections of two brief, involuntary commitments to mental hospitals - the first by a doctor who mockingly commented, 'Your only mistake was in trusting the people who brought you here' - she becomes increasingly terrified of being 'captured' again. Millett's nightmares come true when she is forcibly confined to a mental hospital while traveling in Ireland. 'I am telling you what happened to me', Kate Millett says, 'in the hope that it may help all those who have been or are about to be in the same boat'. Her story illuminates not only the personal but also the social conditions - the 'general superstition' - of mental illness. A new preface comments on recent movements for patients' rights and notes touchstone books that have begun to tread the still-taboo ground of psychiatric confinement.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0252068882
  • 9780252068881
  • 2,056,322

Review quote

"Not since Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has the literature of madness emitted such a powerful anti-institutional cry." -- Washington Post ADVANCE PRAISE "The forced incarceration, the mental anguish, and the sheer humiliation of 'going mad' are made real in Millett's detailed and passionate narrative of her own experiences. This is a brave book. Once again, the pioneer of women's liberation in our century makes us consider the nature of freedom--what it is and who has a right to it." -- Andrea Dworkin, author of Letters from a War Zone "[Millett] takes you inside her mind in a way that no psychiatrist has ever done, and what you see there is not a mad woman, but another person, just like you, only a little bit more talented, and very, very sane (but damned mad). It is a magic book." -- Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Assault on Truth "Kate Millett is magnificent: a historical figure in her own lifetime, a truly exciting writer, a chronicler of our times... [Her] critique of institutional psychiatry and our well-meaning collusion with it is devastating and true... Millett's spirit is indomitable, her bravery thrilling, her return long awaited." -- Phyllis Chesler, author of Women and Madnessshow more

Rating details

273 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 21% (57)
4 30% (81)
3 32% (87)
2 11% (30)
1 7% (18)
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