The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness

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After a Psychiatrist spitefully told Carol Hebald that she would someday commit suicide, that it was simply a question of when, something inside her clicked. Thirteen years later, in a move that would have panicked the dozens of doctors and friends who had witnessed her mental problems over three decades, the forty-four-year-old writer and former actress threw her medication into the ocean. It was an act symbolic of her rupture with therapy and a step that may very well have saved her life. In this beautifully crafted memoir, Hebald tells of her spiral into mental illness from the late 1930s into the 1970s and of the role played by therapists and hospitals in that descent. She describes the frightening blur between reality and fantasy that fueled her childhood imagination and recounts the times of sexual and emotional abuse. By adolescence, acting had become her life's ambition. It was a defense mechanism and a way of creating emotions she otherwise could not feel. As she pursued a promising career on the New York City stage in the 1950s and 1960s, Hebald went from one therapist to the next. Wanting to trust someone with her story, she found herself in power struggles with therapis

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THE HEART TOO LONG SUPPRESSED: A History of Mental Illness

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A disjointed memoir of a descent into mental illness and an eventual return and emergence as a professor of literature.Hebald (Three Blind Mice, 1989) here maps out her journey through a variety of ... Read full review

The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The rocky road from childhood victimization in the 1940s to self-acceptance and recovery in middle age is documented in this stirring memoir. Self-destructive impulses and a desire to expand her ... Read full review


Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Five
Chapter Seven
Chapter Nine
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen 215
Chapter Nineteen

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About the author (2001)

Carol Hebald was an actress for twelve years both on and off Broadway. A former Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas, she is the author of Three Blind Mice: Two Short Novels and the play Martha. Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and literary reviews. She lives in New York City. Thomas S. Szasz, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, at Syracuse University. He is the author of The Myth of Mental Illness.

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