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One of the best methods of learning about sick people is to read their autobiographies, or their stories of the hell through which they went, with perhaps alcoholism or psychosis or addiction to heroin. I have over 500 such books in my library. One of the latest additions to my collection is this book, which is written by a woman who tells very well and very frankly how she traveled around the United States, drunk as a lord most of the time, and often sobering up in jail or perhaps in a hospital. Eventually she wound up in a Los Angeles institution, where she was kept for six months. For a while she realized that she was pretty close to insanity. As she says, during her stay in the institution she had her first period of sobriety in nine years. But even after this, she went out and bought a
Alvarez WC. From Hell to Here: The True Story of an Alcoholic.. Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):173. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070219048