Crazy All the Time: On The Psych Ward of Bellevue Hospital by Frederick L. Covan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dr. Covan is chief psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York (or was at the time of this book's publication) and with help from Carol Kahn, he has written a highly entertaining account of one year's crop of interns and some of the patients they encounter and try to help.
There is Kitty, whose paranoid schizophrenic patient spins tales of having slept with six presidents of the United States. This is perhaps not as challenging as Kitty's marriage, in which her husband expects her to come home and cook and clean for him.
We meet Nick, the son of artists, who wears an earring and a ponytail, who must try to convince a woman that there is still a reason to live after having contracted AIDS from her husband.
Then there is Garrison, the son of a famous psychiatrist, whose female patient, a dermatologist, complains of having panic attacks at the sight of skin, and then announces that she and her therapist are in love and that she is carrying their baby. Her swelling belly and starry eyes say so, but Garrison swears it's impossible.
Finally, there is Wayne, an academic nerd accepted for an internship primarily on his research skills. His first patient is a statuesque, raven-haired, traffic-stopping beauty who wants to drop out of college, where she has become aimless and depressed, and become a call girl. Wayne, who has fallen in love with his patient, has to first get a grip on himself, and then help her to reveal the devastating secret from her past that has been haunting her. This was my favorite part of the book.
Crazy All The Time is fast-paced, fascinating reading designed for a lay audience. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in medical subjects or simply human drama.
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