Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in our Times


The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in our Times by Barbara Taylor

Here's the thing; I've fallen out of love with reading. I don't know whether it's because I've been so busy or whether I've been reading awful books, but either way, I've not been reading anywhere near as much as I used to.

I usually review books, but actually this isn't going to be for everyone and I won't try and tell you that it is worth reading because it's probably not. It's hard going and informative, and essentially is about one woman's experience with psychotherapy and how our attitudes towards psychiatric asylum's have changed over the years.

However, there was one extract which caught my attention and I wanted to mention it briefly on here.

'Accurately remembered madness is oxymoronic; if you can really remember it, you are still mad'

When people ask me how I recovered, I genuinely don't know any more. I can't really remember details of those years of my life, and until now, I always thought I was weird for forgetting. I remember odd, awful nights where I'd cried over an apple or cried down the phone to my best friend over gaining a pound in weight, but it's all very blurry now. I no longer relate to any of it.

And it's only now that I realise that it's probably a survival mechanism. I spoke to a friend of mine who was also ill, and can't even remember the flat in which she lived in. Perhaps it's true that our brains wipe that period of time to keep us safe from difficult memories? One's in which could potentially haunt us day in, day out.

Perhaps it's true, that to remember madness, you are still mad? It's certainly food for thought..

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