Bedlam: A Year In The Life Of A Mental Hospital
Format: Print Length
Publisher: Story Hill Books (April 2, 2014)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 8.4 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
"An eye-opening experience. A troubling book, difficult to put down...." --Library Journal
"Educational, uplifting, heartbreaking. What more could you want from a delicious read?" --S'Parks' 5-star Amazon review
"By the time I reached the final chapter I found myself wishing there was more. I didn't want the story to have ended." -- from the foreword by Katherine Broderick Anderson
Bedlam is the remarkable and true account of life in a mental hospital. It is a poignant story of love, courage, and humor in a place which is ordinarily hidden from view.
Bedlam follows the intersecting lives of Alex Greco, the medical director, whom fights for reform while his own schizophrenic daughter remains beyond his help. Doc Rush; a 72-year old maverick psychiatrist, whose patient, Lily Speere, a young suicidal poet, is mistakenly released from the hospital; Wendy, the no-nonsense psychiatric technician who is threatened by a homicidal patient and driven to doubt her own sanity; Fran Channing, an embattled woman with a schizophrenic son, Walter, who has been bounced in and out of the mental health care system; Steven Rose, an inexperienced young doctor who falls in love with a beautiful and provocative patient; and George Konopski, a psychiatrist forced to choose between his job and involvement in a titanic legal struggle over one of the most vicious mass murderers of all time.
These intimate stories are played out against a chorus of patients whose lives are sad and terrifying, but always riveting. Their stories break our hearts even as they fascinate us with the strange twistings of the human mind and the odd ways in which life can turn on us all.
In Bedlam we meet a gentle teacher who tried to commit a dangerous holdup with an unloaded gun, a nun who killed her mother with a crucifix, a war hero who is now exiled by madness to a world of terror, and a successful businessman who believes he has literally lost his head.
And there is the hospital itself, hell and haven. Bedloe State Hospital is the prize in a desperate battle between Alex Greco and Sam Akbar, the entrenched anti-reform superintendent.
Bedlam whips us back and forth between feelings of anger at inept and even cruel bureaucrats and administrators and immense admiration for the caring doctors and staff. But it makes us care especially for the patients themselves, who fight so hard and sometimes triumphantly against such difficult odds, but with such valor than their story is ultimately one of hope.
For more than two years Dominick Bosco researched this story with the doctors, parents, and patients of Bedloe, the witnesses and participants in the events and conversations recounted here.
Like the tales of institutional life in Mary Jane Ward's Snake Pit and Oliver Sack's books on neurological disorders and human behavior, Bedlam offers a rare and stirring view of an at-once terrible and astonishing world.