Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin By Norah Vincent

A non-fiction novel where Norah Vincent, an immersion journalist, admits herself to three different styles of mental health facilities in America.

Although I am UK based I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in mental health issues and psychiatry. The mental health service does differ between the UK and the US  but there is much that can be learned about what is ‘good’ treatment and ‘bad’ treatment when it comes to mental health.

Norah, who has had mental health issues in the past admits herself in three mental health facilities – firstly a state run facility, secondly a private facility, and thirdly a ‘new age’ retreat program.

Although this is non-fiction there is a story in there. Norah has issues with depression and throughout her immersion she begins to benefit from some of the treatments. It shows where there are good and bad practice, and the other constant problem of health insurance within the US and mental health treatment.

A very formative and interesting view of the treatment in the US coinciding with the authors journey to greater mental well-being.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone!


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