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Girl, Interrupted vs. An Actual Hospital

Book: Since Girl, Interrupted was based of of Susanna Kaysen’s (the author) stay in a long-term psychiatric hospital, it was probably pretty accurate. Kaysen went to a hospital in the 1960’s, so hospitals today are very different compared to the ones back then. Most hospitals then were long-term and there were few acute inpatient places where patients would only stay three to nine days on average. McLean, the hospital Kaysen stayed at, was built like most older hospitals in which there were many separate buildings as opposed to one big one. The only thing I found interesting is that one of the patients, Lisa, had a belt that she could wear. The belt got taken away from her every time she did something bad. Belts are never allowed in hospitals today. Lisa also escaped a lot, which is near to impossible today in a lockdown psychiatric facility. I can imagine that it would be easier to escape a hospital in the 1960’s though, since there probably weren’t too many high-tech security systems for hospitals back then.

Movie: The movie was less believable than the book, mainly because the movie had almost a completely different plot than the book. Like the book, some residents easily escaped. Other patients were allowed in each others’ rooms, which they may have allowed in the 1960’s but is basically forbidden today. Other than these aspects, the movie was fairly accurate.

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