The hospital always wins A memoir

Issa Ibrahim

eBook - 2016

Issa Ibrahim's memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to the accidental killing of his mother, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly 20 years. Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches his family's descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father's death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, develops a drug h...abit. Within two years he is addicted, psychosis prompting his belief that his mother is possessed and he must exorcise her. Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom. Written with great verve and immediacy, The Hospital Always Wins paints a detailed picture of a broken mental health system, but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to provide a resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds.

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Published
[United States] : Chicago Review Press 2016.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 online resource
Format
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
ISBN
9781613735152
1613735154
Access
AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY IOWA CITY AND RESIDENTS OF THE CONTRACTING GOVERNMENTS OF JOHNSON COUNTY, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, HILLS, AND LONE TREE (IA).
Main Author
Issa Ibrahim (author)
Corporate Author
hoopla digital (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Artist Ibrahim's desperate memoir feels as though it was carved from his heart. In his early twenties and overtaken by the onset of mental illness, this son of freethinking, creative parents killed the mother whom he both adored and emulated. Years of substance abuse had taken its toll and Ibrahim had imagined she was possessed of demonic powers. When he was arrested and tried, he pleaded insanity and was remanded to Creedmoor, a New York state mental hospital for the criminally insane in Queens. Over decades of incarceration, Ibrahim suffered nearly every mental, physical, and emotional abuse that could be conceived by a racist, sexist, fatally flawed mental-health system designed to favor authority, right or dead wrong, over care and compassion. That the man held himself together enough to become an accomplished artist and writer speaks to unimaginable personal strength and spirit. Indeed, art may have saved him. The palpable frustration, futility, and desperation Ibrahim expresses in his moving and important book demands occasional breaks to confirm that the sun still shines and people can still be kind. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

New York artist Ibrahim's first book is the story of his life and the crime he committed that led to him spending 19 years at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, NY, following his insanity defense for the murder of his mother. In this memoir, the author takes the extensive and necessary road of retelling his upbringing in order to comprehend and contextualize this horrible act of violence. At the same time, he recounts his years as an inpatient in the psychiatric hospital, unveiling the interior life of the hospital's microsociety. Relationships among patients and with staff are charged emotionally but also sexually. In this atmosphere, where limits are easily transgressed, Ibrahim's art, which first gives him an outlet, ultimately provides the discipline he needs to survive and to embark on the road to redemption and freedom. VERDICT Insightful, troubling, touching, poetic, and at times humorous, this book will please readers of offbeat biographies.—Maryse Breton, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec [Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Issa Ibrahim's memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to a horrific family tragedy, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly twenty years. Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches his family's descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father's death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, travels down a road that leads to psychosis--and to one of the most nightmarish scenarios conceivable. Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom. Written with great verve and immediacy,The Hospital Always Winspaints a detailed picture of a broken mental health system but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to providea resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Issa Ibrahim's memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to the accidental killing of his mother, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly twenty years"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This compelling memoir is the true account of Issa Ibrahim, detailing in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to the accidental killing of his mother, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly 20 years.Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches the family’s recreational marijuana use become a full-blown descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father’s death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, develops a marijuana habit. Within two years he is addicted and insane, psychosis prompting his belief that his mother is possessed and he must exorcise her.Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom.Written with great verve and immediacy, The Hospital Always Wins paints a detailed picture of a broken mental health system, but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to provide a resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Issa Ibrahim's memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to the accidental killing of his mother, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly 20 years. Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches his family's descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father's death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, develops a drug habit. Within two years he is addicted, psychosis prompting his belief that his mother is possessed and he must exorcise her. Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom. Written with great verve and immediacy, The Hospital Always Wins paints a detailed picture of a broken mental health system, but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to provide a resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds.