Wade, Georgina’s boyfriend, embodies the recurrent motif of people discounting the words of the “crazy.” Wade’s stories about his father’s shadowy friends appear to be the conspiracy ravings of a troubled and angry boy. The nurses note that Wade “continues [to maintain the] fantasy” that his father is a CIA operative whose friends are involved in elaborate plots. The benefit of hindsight allows us to draw some very different conclusions when we learn that two of Wade Sr.’s friends are named Hunt and Liddy. In 1972, only a few years after Kaysen’s time at the hospital, these two men were at the heart of the Watergate burglary, in which Nixon operatives broke into Democratic election headquarters and stole documents. Revelations about the burglary brought down the Nixon presidency and would seem to support Wade’s contention that “[Hunt and Liddy] will do anything.” Kaysen includes the story to point out the danger of hastily discounting what “insane” people say. The anecdote underscores Kaysen’s belief that to approach mental illness with cookie-cutter solutions is shortsighted.
Daisy’s story highlights the wide range of illness grouped together on Kaysen’s hospital ward. Daisy is among the most severely ill of Kaysen’s fellow patients. When Lisa discovers the full extent of Daisy’s sickness, it is clear that Daisy and Kaysen occupy very different places on the spectrum of psychiatric disorders. This stark contrast leads us to question the nature of the approach to treatment pursued by McLean. Daisy would appear an appropriate candidate for hospitalization, yet she arrives at Thanksgiving each year and stays only until Christmas; Kaysen is a resident on the ward for two full years. The disparity here in both illness and treatment among a number of different patients instills doubts about Kaysen’s treatment.