Girl Interrupted

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In 1967 18 year old Susanna Kaysen was hustled into a taxicab and sent off to the MacLean psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts for a two week rest. In fact, she was confined for two years.

Twenty five years after her discharge she got access to her records and read her diagnosis: “Borderline personality ….profoundly depressed suicidal…promiscuous. Might kill self or get pregnant,” the paperwork said. Susanna Kaysen’s version today is that she was an unhappy, sensitive, underachieving daughter of eminent academics.

She may have been a typical teenager during the late 1960’s, except that she’d made a lame aspirin suicide attempt. Her therapist at MacLean told her she seemed sad or puzzled. “Of course I was,” she writes. “I was 18, it was spring, and I was behind bars.”
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Susanna Kaysen, author of “Girl Interrupted”