Private Terror/Public Life: Psychosis and the Politics of Community

James M. Glass, Author HarperCollins Publishers $37.5 (253p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2300-0
David, a mental patient, believes himself to be a particle zooming through the skies to war; Ruth's present reality on the ward is Auschwitz, 1943; Julia uses razor blades as tools of self-mutilation, also as teddy bears. The first-person narratives of these severely disturbed people--all patients at Sheppard-Pratt hospital in Towson, Md.--distill terror, anguish, loneliness. But even as delusions erode their human connections, these individuals, according to Glass, reveal an irrepressible drive for community and relations built on trust. In a remarkable, hope-giving study, Glass ( Delusion ), professor at the University of Maryland, examines the ``political self'' that survives in patients classified as beyond help as he visits a Vermont residential treatment center, Israeli kibbutzim and Geel, a Belgian town which attempts to integrate the chronically mentally ill into the community. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-8014-9769-8
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