Life Inside: A Memoir

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Nov 4, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
The patient is an ascetically pretty 15-year-old white female. She is intelligent, fearful, extremely anxious, and depressed. Her rage is poorly controlled and inappropriately expressed.
Diagnostic Impression: Program for social recovery in a supportive and structured environment appears favorable.
Life Inside
In 1967, three months before her sixteenth birthday, Mindy Lewis was sent to a state psychiatric hospital by court order. She had been skipping school, smoking pot, and listening to too much Dylan. Her mother, at a loss for what else to do, decided that Mindy remain in state custody until she turned eighteen and became a legal, law-abiding, "healthy" adult.
Life Inside is Mindy's story about her coming-of-age during those tumultuous years. In honest, unflinching prose, she paints a richly textured portrait of her stay on a psychiatric ward -- the close bonds and rivalries among adolescent patients, the politics and routines of institutional life, the extensive use of medication, and the prevalence of life-altering misdiagnoses. But this memoir also takes readers on a journey of recovery as Lewis describes her emergence into adulthood and her struggle to transcend the stigma of institutionalization. Bracingly told, and often terrifying in its truths, Life Inside is a life-affirming memoir that informs as it inspires.
 

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User Review  - chrisblocker - LibraryThing

I had many mixed feelings about this book. I'm not much of a reader of "memoirs"; personally, I don't see the point to them. What is a memoir but an autobiography of a person no one knows? And it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - porchsitter55 - LibraryThing

A haunting true story of a young teenage girl who was "warehoused" in a psychiatric facility for 2 years, because her behavior was deemed unacceptable by her mother. The book takes the reader through ... Read full review

Contents

Testing
11
Life Before
28
Adolescents
46
Inappropriate Behavior
65
Outside Communication
86
Inside Out
101
Deep Dirt
108
Desperate Measures
124
Released
187
Roots
208
Crazy
226
A Member of My Tribe
235
Work
251
Personal Mythology
264
Forgiveness
279
Floating
303

Backlash
139
Celebrities
147
Procrustes in Coconut GroveThe BuddhaHic Phat
156
Parting Shots
173
Old Friends
316
For the Records
330
Appointment with the Past
343
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Mindy Lewis, a graphic artist, painter, and writer, has published essays in Lilith magazine and in two anthologies, Escaping the Yellow Wallpaper and Voices from the Couch. She lives in New York City.

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