Saturday Book Review: Norah Vincent’s “Voluntary Madness”

   I thought that for today’s book review, I would choose a book that is a little bit more informative about a very important issue in our society. Each year, the number of people who are placed in mental health facilities in our country grows steadily, and it has an affect on our society. What happens within these facilities though? Well, Norah Vincent addresses what exactly goes on within the walls of mental hospitals in her book “Voluntary Madness”.


   Having previously gone undercover as a man in one of her past books to get the clearest picture of modern manhood, Vincent decides that the best way to see what is going on in America’s mental health system is to put herself within the system itself. This causes her to fake mental illness and thoughts of suicide to gain access to the facilities that treat mentally ill patients.  Once in these facilities, she chronicles the treatments that she faced, the cruelty of the staff, and the insanity that surrounded her in the form of her fellow patients. By the end of the book, you will have a better view of the treatment of those who are considered mentally ill in our society, and it will have you questioning what can be done about the issue. 

      Throughout the book, Vincent will have you laughing, gasping aloud, and maybe, at points, shedding a tear as she also chronicles the emotional roller coaster ride she endured while coming to terms with her own sanity and insanity. She is real in her writing, and it will leave you feeling like this is one of the most real books you have ever experience.  After all, she it taking one of the most direct approaches in dealing with one of the biggest hot button issue of our time. It is a great book, and it will leave you with a whole new view on insanity, psychiatry, and the like.

May God Bless America,

The Generation X Conservative  


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