Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Jenifer Mitchell

Second Advisor

Jordan Smith

Third Advisor



hybrid nonlinear story, creative writing, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, psychosis, psychiatric narrative, experimental writing, novella


Nymphettamine is a nonlinear creative narrative that combines poetry and prose to explore psychosis, grief, trauma, addiction, psychiatric asylum, and the healing properties of art and nature. This series of vignettes exists between the realms of fiction and nonfiction to translate the disorientation of navigating the dual realities that are characteristic of a manic episode to the reader. Nymphettamine is equal parts memoir, fictive depiction, and thought experiment, which, as a whole, becomes an echo of the processes that occur when one experiences psychosis. Told in scattered images to emulate intrusive thoughts, obtrusive hallucinations, shifting night terrors, and Rorschachian inkblots, Nymphettamine is carried by seemingly dissonant voices; spirits linked by ephemeral connecting threads mirroring the nature of the “looseness of associations” that informs the perceptions of psychotic individuals. This project was driven by a desire to explore queer identities, their relationships with psychiatric institutions, and the fictive visibility, or lack thereof, of individuals diagnosed with various psychiatric disorders. Nymphettamine attempts to confront and subvert archetypical characeristics of mentally ill women by delving into the infinite complexities of each character. The women in this collection are not defined by their psychiatric diagnoses, instead, they are characterized by the way that they interact with moments of dysfunction or function. They embark upon a lifelong pursuit of fulfillment, balance, and artistic creation while they rebel against the archaic psychiatric authorities that attempt to subdue or silence them. Instead of falling prey to the literary tropes of suicide or debilitating incompetence caused by “hysteria” that have been used for centuries to cut the fables of “madwomen” short, reducing their existence to cautionary tales or dramaticized plot twists, each woman outlives their psychotic breaks, sexual assaults, unpredictable erraticisms, and debilitating substance dependencies. Their lives are left ambiguous, given to the reader only in selective, vibrant, slivered glimpses that allow each woman to continue on even after the collection’s closing. Thus, they become ethereal victors to pay homage to the strength--presented in opposition to the weakness of the dismantled mind outlined by both fictive and psychiatric texts--required to overcome the severity and the longevity of each psychotic disorder.



Rights Statement

In Copyright