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Top books set in psychiatric

Updated on August 4, 2017

Intro

Books with a plot that involves psychiatric or hospitals have always been controversial, depending on who reads it, these scenarios can cause fear or admiration. In addition, at the time of writing about mental illnesses, as physical, the authors must be very precise and at the same time sensitive, and this, in my opinion, has been achieved by the authors of this top.

The authors that I will mention cautiously describe the environment within the psychiatric, as well as the affectation of the mind after a severe traumatic fact or chemical disorders.

Trigger

Written by Wulf Dorn, a German author born in 1969. He has written several international bestsellers with topics related to psychiatry. His knowledge in this field is because he worked as a psychiatric therapist and clinical researcher, which makes him an expert when it comes to discussing this topic.

This novel is divided into two parts: The patient, which starts with quotes from David Bowie: "Scary monsters, super creeps, keep me running, running scared", and the second part, The monster with that starts with the next quote: " And the devil in a black dress watches over. My guardian angel walks away"

Plot
Ellen works at the Forest clinic. It is a recognized psychiatrist who is characterized by having some humanity with her patients, something that with the daily practice is lost in his work, not only by the doctors, even with nurses. One of the patients who just arrived was in charge of her boyfriend, Chris, who has gone on a trip, she had a disturbing diagnosis, brought her in an ambulance and showed signs of physical abuse. As soon as Ellen met her, she knew that something was really wrong, she wanted to be protected from a man, but not from anyone but from the bogeyman. It all got worse when he disappeared from the clinic without leaving a trace and with her all the evidence that she had been in there, apparently, someone took care to disappear. His colleague, Mark is the only one who believes him after the people around him begin to question his mental health and together start his quest without knowing that the past of some people can be really heartbreaking, making the mind look for a loophole, no matter what; on the other hand, Chris, his girlfriend takes days without appearing or giving signs of his existence, it's as if the earth had swallowed it, something unusual in it.

Source

Letters From The Looney Bin

Thatcher C. Nalley is the pen name of Heidi Thatcher-Nalley, her books personally gave me the goosebumps, not only because of her narrative, but because of the mental illness she describes and the way the patients were treated are almost out of reality, but yet, so real.

Plot

Emerson Rose Asylum was like any other institution that that takes care of the mind, except when the doctors and the patients disappeared without leaving any trace. How can so many people go missing? Years later, when this place was about to be demolished a bag of letters were found. The person that was supposed to receive them was some Dr. Quill, and they were all written by patients that describe the horrors they lived there and seen, such as doctors experiments in them, but that is not all... maybe a clue might be hidden between all that atrocity. Will you be able to read it to discover it?

The Madman´s tale

Written by John Katzenbach. He is an international American thriller author born in 1950; I was 19 years old when I read this novel, and I confess that this is my favorite Katzenbach's book. Not only the author invites you to understand madness, he also makes you think like one to resolve the mystery.

Plot

Francis was admitted to Western State Hospital, a psychiatric, that was outside of a small city of New England, since he was suffering from schizophrenia. His family interned him due to a crisis he had and that scared them. In there, a terrible murder was committed and the hospital had to close. Many years have passed since then but he is still struggling to control the voices inside his head. What do they want? Why is he listening to them again? They are telling him that he must speak about all the horrors that happened within the mental institution when he was young. This way, Francis brought to his memory the past.

Source

Asylum (Saga)

The author of this Saga is Madeleine Roux, a young American author. Her books include fantasy and horror mixed with mental problems and pictures of the clinic. In spite that these novels are written more for young adults, it can be enjoyed by any person.

Plot

Dan is a very clever teen that entered to a summer program for outstanding students, the fact that there was a psychiatric hospital with criminal patients interned years ago located near the residence where he was going to stay wasn´t supposed to be a problem, after all, it closed some time ago.

However, Dan his new friends, Abby and Jordan were curious about the place, someone said that the residence was connected to that mental institution by some corridors. When they found them, they discovered that the patients there were really dangerous and they were treated like animals, terrible "medical" experiments were applied to them. After they return, Dan started to have dreams, extremely vivid dreams where he was one of the patients and he could feel all the tortures that the medical staff did to that person, now him, but that was only the beginning of this nightmare.

Girl, Interrupted

It was written by Susanna Kaysen, an American author. This book is more autobiographical and does not contain a crime, however, it is worth it to mention not just because it took place in a mental hospital, but it contains a strong plot that can inspire people to go through a mental disease like the author had.

Plot

When Kaysen was 18-year-old she attempted suicide, due to that she was sent to a private psychiatric hospital where she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a mental condition in which a person has turbulent or unstable emotions that can affect or damage other people. In here, she met other women with severe mental disorders.

Within her stay here, Kaysen defies the medical authority, not just because of her young age, but because a part of her doesn´t recognize her illness, until she starts to getting worst: fears are becoming phobias; she thinks that her bones are lost, so she bites herself so strong and constantly to check that they are still there. Will she be able to accept her condition and look for help?

Source

Which one will you read?

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