Behavior: Two Years Among the Crazies

An anthropologist joins a group of mental outpatients

For Sue Estroff, 28, it was the most troubling time of her life. Along with her "fellow" patients, she attended psychiatric clinics, took a powerful antipsychotic drug, joined in group therapy and even found herself distrusting the doctor. Indeed, at times she experienced all the misery of madness, including moments of almost suicidal depression. Yet Estroff is not at all insane. Rather, she has just spent two remarkable years studying certifiable "crazies" (their own term) by living among them.

Many behavioral scientists have explored the world...

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