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The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness by [Hebald, Carol]

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The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness Kindle Edition


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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Synopsis

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 therapists who downplayed her acting talents, advised her to marry, and dismissed her conflicting emotions. After a breakdown, subsequent hospitalizations, and struggles with misdiagnoses, medications, and shock treatments, one thing became clear: Hebald still had an inner voice. Learning to trust and exercise that voice through writing became central to her recovery. Hebald's compelling memoir reads like a novel, with the painful experiences described in bold, even humorous, detail. From abortion to marriage to gender bias, Hebald engages with the social issues confronting late twentieth-century women and questions the treatment of mental illness. This is a disturbing yet inspiring tale of transcendence for anyone who has battled authority for authority for the control of one's mind.

About the Author

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1007 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Northeastern University Press; 1 edition (4 May 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007RH5QW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #875,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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