TOO MUCH ANGER, TOO MANY TEARS: A Personal Triumph Over Psychiatry by Janet & Paul Gotkin

TOO MUCH ANGER, TOO MANY TEARS: A Personal Triumph Over Psychiatry

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The I'II Cry Tomorrow title will to a degree indicate the ravaged, sometimes ravaging quality of this confessional in which the Gotkins, now four years away from the eleven years of Janet's acute mental illness, describe the ""quintessential psychiatric trip."" They were married for about half that time. Janet describes the years without Paul -- from the time at camp and then at college when the ""blackness"" overwhelmed her, sent her to one shrink and then another, found her institutionalized as she kept cutting her wrists again and again. Finally, after about three years of this, she went to Dr. Sternfield who had not succeeded too well with her brother but was devoted to salvaging her and found her ""more trouble than six patients. . .worth twelve."" Again she went on with continual therapy on the couch as well as drugs of all kinds and series of shock treatments -- toward the end (after her marriage) sixteen and then twelve in a row. In between she was ""fogged up,"" hallucinating, suicidal. After she was proclaimed well (for the second time) in 1971 they went to Paris where she had her great enlightenment: she'd been ""fucked over"" by Sternfield and all the others for the whole time. Now both Janet and Paul assume a totally Szaszian position reviling both the facilities and the psychiatrists who, they feel, promote illness without taking into account, any more than Szasz does, that mental illness usually stems from life and is not the product of needles, capsules and iron bars. Extortionate, on all grounds -- with, of course, the readability that quality promotes.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.