The Last Asylum

The Last Asylum

A Memoir of Madness in Our Times

eBook - 2014
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In July 1988, Canadian-born historian Barbara Taylor was admitted to Friern Hospital, a once-notorious asylum for the insane. Her journey there began when, overwhelmed by anxiety as she completed her doctoral studies in London, England, she found relief by dosing herself with alcohol and tranquillizers. She then embarked on what would turn out to be a decades- long psychoanalysis.The analysis dredged up acutely painful memories of an unhappy and confusing childhood back in Saskatoon. As Taylor struggled to cope with these, she would twice be re-admitted to Friern. She took refuge in day-care institutions and a psychiatric hostel, all the while continuing her therapy, which eventually put her on the road to recovery.This searingly honest, beautifully written memoir is the narrative of the author's madness years, set inside the wider story of our treatment of psychiatric illness: from the great age of asylums to the current era of community care, 'Big Pharma', and...
Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton Canada, 2014
ISBN: 9780143193210
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Apr 12, 2016

The book Jacket says, "The Lived Past is never really past." Barbara Taylor has written the story of her past - 'a memoir of madness' as she calls it. One cannot but feel compassionate towards her; but is all her suffering really necessary? I would question her decision to undergo/continue with psychoanalysis. Given the progress in psychiatry and treatment of psychiatric condition there was absolutely no reason for Taylor to go through all that she did. Also, the title is misleading. The book deals not only with "The Last Asylum" but is also a history of Psychiatric Hospitals in London. Not all readers want to read about these. One also wonders if the sexual overtones present throughout are real or thrown in to perk readers' interest.

Apr 01, 2015

The book, in a form of a very candid memoir, is dense with historical facts and medical knowledge of mental illness.
Extremely eloquent writing.
"Madness touches us all in hidden places..."

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