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Susanna Kaysen Quotes

21 of the best book quotes from Susanna Kaysen
  1. #1
    “Crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified. If you ever told a lie and enjoyed it. If you ever wished you could be a child forever.”
  2. #2
    “Was everybody seeing this stuff and acting as though they weren’t? Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
  3. #3
    “Our hospital was famous and housed many great poets and singers. Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness?”
  4. #4
    “The only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.”
  5. #5
    “Swish, click. Before you knew it, she’d be back. Click, swish, “Checks,” swish, click. It never stopped, even at night; it was our lullaby. It was our metronome, our pulse. It was our lives measured out in doses slightly larger than those famous coffee spoons. Soup spoons, maybe? Dented tin spoons brimming with what should have been sweet but was sour, gone off, gone by without our savoring it: our lives.”
  6. #6
    “Every window on Alcatraz has a view of San Francisco.”
  7. #7
    “It’s a fairly accurate portrait of me at eighteen, minus a few quirks like reckless driving and eating binges. It’s accurate but it isn’t profound.”
  1. #8
    “Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60’s. Or maybe I was just a girl… interrupted.”
  2. #9
    “People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up in there as well. I can’t answer the real question. All I can tell them is, it’s easy. And it is easy to slip into a parallel universe. Most people pass over incrementally, making a series of perforations in the membrane between here and there until an opening exists. And who can resist an opening?”
  3. #10
    “For many of us, the hospital was as much a refuge as it was a prison. Though we were cut off from the world and all the trouble we enjoyed stirring up out there, we were also cut off from the demands and expectations that had driven us crazy. What could be expected of us now that we were stowed away in a loony bin? The hospital shielded us from all sorts of things. We’d tell the staff to refuse phone calls or visits from anyone we didn’t want to talk to, including our parents.”
  4. #11
    “Cynthia was depressive; Polly and Georgina were schizophrenic; I had a character disorder. Sometimes they called it a personality disorder. When I got my diagnosis it didn’t sound serious, but after a while it sounded more ominous than other people’s. I imagined my character as a plate or shirt that had been manufactured incorrectly and was therefore useless.”
  5. #12
    “Freedom was the price of privacy.”
  6. #13
    “Hey man, it passes the time.”
  7. #14
    “Now I was safe, now I was really crazy, and nobody could take me out of there.”

Books about therapy

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A Terrible Thing Happened book
Picture book
3.5
  1. #15
    “Therapists had nothing to do with our everyday lives. ‘Don’t talk about the hospital,’ my therapist said if I complained about Daisy or a stupid nurse. ‘We’re not here to talk about the hospital.’ They couldn’t grant or rescind privileges, help us get rid of smelly roommates, stop aides from pestering us. The only power they had was the power to dope us up. Thorazine, Stelazine, Mellaril, Librium, Valium, the therapists’ friends. Once we were on it, it was hard to get off. A bit like heroin, except it was the staff who got addicted to our taking it. ‘You’re doing so well,’ they would say. That was because those things knocked the heart out of us.”
  2. #16
    “It’s a mean world...there’s nobody to take care of you out there.”
  3. #17
    “He started asking me, ‘What are you thinking?’ I never knew what to say. My head was empty and I liked it that way. Then he began to tell me what I might be thinking. ‘You seem sad today,’ he’d say, or ‘Today, you seem puzzled about something.’ Of course I was sad and puzzled. I was eighteen, it was spring, and I was behind bars.”
  4. #18
    “In the world’s terms, though, all of us were tainted.”
  5. #19
    “When I was supposed to be awake, I was asleep. When I was supposed to sleep, I was silent. When a pleasure offered itself to me, I avoided it.”
  6. #20
    “But I know what it’s like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can’t. You hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside.”
  7. #21
    “We had a lot of hairy legs in our ward. Early feminists.”
Book Topics › mental illness
Children's Books About Mental Illness

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