Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family

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9781565847866: Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family
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One in five Americans has a mental illness. Nothing to Hide, a stunning tribute to the millions of families for whom mental illness is a part of everyday life, juxtaposes first-person accounts with beautifully reproduced duotone photographs of forty-four families who defy the stigma of mental illness to speak for themselves about their lives, their illnesses, and their struggles to get well.

Each family in the book is portrayed in two ways: Photographs capture the members together and, often, singly or in pairs. Individual statements—usually one from each person in the family—complete the family picture by telling the story from various points of view. The families, different in many ways, have in common an ongoing struggle with illnesses ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar illness to obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression. These open and candid stories show us that the mentally ill and their families have much in common with the rest of us. They can be found in every community of America, and represent the full range of our economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Only a small percentage of the mentally ill live with caretakers or in treatment centers.

In her foreword, MacArthur Award–winning author and psychologist Kay R. Jamison calculates the enormous costs of stigmatizing the mentally ill. And an introduction by Kenneth Duckworth, medical director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, details our current understanding of mental illness. The book concludes with a moving personal essay by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post journalist David Maraniss.


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About the Author:

Jean J. Beard, a licensed clinical social worker, lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Photographer Gigi Kaeser and author/social worker Peggy Gillespie are co-directors of Family Diversity Projects, Inc. in Amherst, Massachusetts.

From Library Journal:

The companion to a traveling photo-text exhibit mounted by the nonprofit agency Family Diversity Projects, this handsome album aims to dispel myths about mental illness and the accompanying stigma. Social workers Beard (retired) and Gillespie (codirector, Family Diversity Projects) compiled the stories of 44 self-selected families whose lives have been changed by mental illness, with Kaeser supplying the fine duotone photos. A range of disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression), ethnic groups, geographic regions, ages, and income levels are represented, and a brief introduction educates the reader about psychiatric disorders. Each story typically includes a narrative by the patient as well as sibling or parental views of the illness. Most of the clearly written essays reflect the view that mental illness is a chemically based brain disorder and that with medication and the support of families and mental health professionals, one can live happily. Each story is surprisingly original and moving, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss's tale of a boy and his impaired uncle is particularly poignant. The book concludes with a useful resource guide. The result is a well-conceived volume that should serve as a unique tool for raising public awareness, though its somewhat specialized and discursive nature probably makes it an optional purchase for most public libraries. [This book is published in conjunction with Family Diversity Projects.-Ed.]-Antoinette Brinkman, M.L.S., Evansville, I.
--Antoinette Brinkman, M.L.S., Evansville, IN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9781565847217: Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family

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ISBN 10:  1565847210 ISBN 13:  9781565847217
Publisher: The New Press, 2002
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