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What I Learned About Life on a Locked, Inpatient Unit of a Psychiatric Hospital

The summer after my freshman year in college, I landed my first job in mental health care. It was at a psychiatric hospital in western Connecticut, and, at the risk of sounding strange, I was really excited about it. I’d been studying psychology informally since I was in the 7th grade (no joke: I was like the Doogie Howser of mental health), and I was the kind of kid who…

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Is This Normal?

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me whether their thoughts, feelings, or behaviors were “normal,” I would be a very rich woman and I could afford to give away all of my services for free. To be honest though, I don’t even know what that word means anymore. To assume that there’s such a thing as normal, we need to first accept the underlying premise that…

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