When I was first introduced to the movie, Girl Interrupted, I was interested in finding out what this film was all about. Normally, when someone suggests a movie to me I just watch it straight away without doing a bit of researching into it. But, with this movie when I watched the first ten minutes of it, I had this urge to find out the background of the movie and to find out who Susanna Kaysen is.
So here’s what I found out;
- Susanna was an author,
- Her hometown was Cambridge, Massachusetts,
- Her family were Jewish.
But, the question that I wanted answered was, ‘How did Susanna get the idea for Girl, Interrupted?’
Well, in 1967 after Susanna finished high school in Boston, she was sent to McLean Hospital. She was sent to this hospital to get psychiatric treatment for depression. But, when being treated for depression her therapist also diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder.
Living with mental health challenges myself, I knew quite a lot about mental illnesses and what causes they have to the person diagnosed. So with BPD, also known as Borderline Personality Disorder, the person will feel detached from reality. This can be caused by unstable relationships throughout life and the feeling of being empty or being alone.
I feel like after doing some research into Susanna that myself and her had a connection. Now, many will read that and think how? Well, growing up I experienced bullying, finding out that my dad was cheating on my mom and that all the responsibility of keeping that a secret was all on me. It felt like it was my duty to tell my mom that my dad was doing behind her back.
Looking back now I know full well it wasn’t my responsibility to. But, that was in the past and I can’t change that. But after all these negative events I kept to myself and I just built everything up inside of my head. I wouldn’t be open about what was going on in my life like I would do today. I felt alone, I felt like I was the only person to talk to. This is where I can relate to Susanna about feeling abandoned.
So, my review on Susanna Kaysen’s ‘Girl Interrupted’. It has got to be one of my most loved and favourite movies I have ever seen. Also, my favourite part in the movie is when Lisa ,played by Angelina Jolie, joins in on singing with Susanna, played by Winona Ryder, to another patient who was upset and they just try to cheer her up.
Simple scenes like this really make you think about the beautiful things in life.
I love how they focused on sharing the patient's view on life too. Normally in society they try to hide people who have mental illnesses or other types of health issues. Mental health is made to be seen as not normal and embarrassing to family members or society, so that’s why they are locked away from the world to suffer in silence.
But Girl, Interrupted shows the true side of what it’s like to be locked away from the world and made to feel ashamed of who you are. I believe this movie changed the ways of treatment for mental illnesses and improving the NHS and government's involvement too. Spreading more awareness and letting people be able to feel cared about.
Freedom is very hard to find, but beauty can be found within you just got to explore more!
Teenagers With Experience is an online platform ran by teenagers for teenagers. We provide support through sharing our own experiences and providing advice based from this. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media platforms. We will do our best to support you and if we feel we cannot we will direct you to more suited, professional support.