Breaking the Silence: Mental Health Professionals Disclose Their Personal and Family Experiences of Mental Illness

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Stephen P. Hinshaw
Oxford University Press, USA, Jan 8, 2008 - Medical - 370 pages
People with mental illness are often stigmatized, both in the U.S. and around the world. Paradoxically, many in the mental health professions are themselves the source of a great deal of such stigma. Theoretical models in psychology and psychiatry have often blamed family members for causingmental illness, and too many practitioners and scientists hold to "us versus them" attitudes, showing extreme reluctance to admit personal and family experiences of mental illness.In Living with Mental Illness, mental health professionals and scientists, ranging from newly trained individuals to seasoned clinicians and researchers, tell their own and their families' stories of mental disorder, providing an unprecedented level of honesty and disclosure. The volume presentsmoving and inspiring narratives of serious mental disorder in individuals who have decided to focus their careers on mental illness in others. The editor, who has previously disclosed his own family's struggles with his father's lifelong, misdiagnosed bipolar disorder, utilizes his own experiencesto integrate, synthesize, and provide perspective on these revealing contributions. Through both personal narratives and accounts of parents, siblings, or offspring, the contributors convey the serious impairments that can accrue to those with mental illness, the strength and courage that emanatefrom such experiences, and the ways in which these experiences have contributed to their own decisions to enter the mental health field.Providing a humanizing portrayal of mental disorder, this volume will be indispensable reading for those in the mental health professions, trainees across many related fields, family members, persons contending with mental illness, and all those who wish to know more about the effects of mentalillness on our society. Its stark stories of pain and impairment, and its clear messages of hope and courage, will inspire those working in the mental health professions, as well as their clients, for years to come.

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1 My Story Is One of Loss
2 Finding My Mind
3 A Field Agent in Our Midst
Making Sense of and Deriving Meaning From Her Life With Mental Illness
Speaking Out About Mental Health and Stigma
A New World
7 The Meaning of Mental Health and Other Lessons Learned
9 Weeping Mother
A Sibling Confronts Mental Illness
11 Reverberations
My Struggle With My Fathers Struggle With Bipolar Disorder
13 Performing Human
Depression as a Family Affair
The Power of Narrative

8 Memories of Parental Decompensation

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About the author (2008)

Stephen P. Hinshaw is Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. An international expert in the field of developmental psychopathology, he has authored over 175 articles and chapters in the scientific literature as well as three prior books. He is Associate Editor of the journal Development and Psychopathology and is past president of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Kelly. They have three boys ranging in age from 4 through 20.

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