I'M NOT CRAZY: The True Story of Frances Deitrick's Flight from a Psychiatric Snake Pit to Freedom by Frances I. Deitrick

I'M NOT CRAZY: The True Story of Frances Deitrick's Flight from a Psychiatric Snake Pit to Freedom

Email this review


A gripping inside-out view of one woman's psychosis and of her struggle to convince self-involved doctors that its origin is physical. In 1987, Deitrick, 25, was involved in a minor auto accident and was taken to a hospital for observation. When she cowered in terror at the doctor's questions and didn't remember the accident, she was placed in the psychiatric ward. After being released to her parents' custody, she went on a manic grocery-shopping binge, cutting ballerina twirls in the aisles and filling grocery carts for four hours. As a result, she was committed to another mental hospital where ""concerned"" doctors and nurses patted her on the shoulder, telling her not to worry when she persisted in asking what was wrong with her. An unauthorized glance at her file showed they had diagnosed her as having bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, but Deitrick tried desperately to convince the doctors that there was something wrong with her physically. Her conviction withstood even the delusions and hallucinations she was experiencing--when she asked her doctor why she had to be on Thorazine, he appeared to be encircled by clouds with his voice coming down a long tube. Looking about the ward, she constantly asked herself, ""What does this all mean?"" and ""What did I do?"" After five days of being shot up with huge doses of Thorazine in what her doctor called ""sleep therapy,"" she frantically appealed to a new physician--who listened. He discovered a small tumor on her brain stem that was causing her symptoms. Deitrick's plaintive voice draws us imperceptibly into a world of madness in which faces, conversations, and events loom up with an eerie fidelity, and the world lies behind heavy glass, frightening and bewildering. A painful and fascinating tale; film rights sold.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1992
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: New Horizon