Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence : Personal and family accounts from mental health professionals

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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 causing mental 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 this book, 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 presents moving 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 experiences to 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 emanate from 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 mental illness 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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 27.94mm | 635.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195320263
  • 9780195320268
  • 1,984,814

Review quote

"Hinshaw's interesting and valuable collection of narratives will appeal to a variety of audiences, including academics who are interested in understanding the phenomenology of mental illness, its treatment, and its socio-institutional administration, government officials developing health care policy, and people who live close to mental illness."--Metapsychology Online Reviews"The sincere, personal accounts of mental illness disclosed in this book stand in stark contrast to the stereotypes so often depicted in other media, particularly the popular press. Told from the perspective of mental health professionals, who have had personal and family experiences with mental illness, these compelling stories shed light on the stigma that pervades our culture and shapes the attitudes of many, including some who work in the mental health field....This book carries with it the capacity for fostering a new culture of openness and disclosure in the mental health field, and should be read by veterans and newcomers alike."--Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journalshow more

About Stephen P. Hinshaw

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 more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. My Story is one of Loss ; 2. Finding my Mind ; 3. A Field Agent in our Midst ; 4. Laura's Story: Making Sense of and Deriving Meaning from her Life with Mental Illness ; 5. In My Voice: Speaking out about Mental Health and Stigma ; 6. Columbus Day, 1994: A New World ; 7. The Meaning of Mental Health (and Other LessonsLearned) ; 8. Memories of Parental Decompensation ; 9. Weeping Mother ; 10. The Game with No Rules: A Sibling Confronts Mental Illness ; 11. Reverberations ; 12. "He Just Can't Help It": My Struggle with My Father's Struggle with Bipolar Disorder ; 13. Performing Human ; 14. The Legacy of Loss: Depression as a Family Affair ; Closing Thoughtsshow more

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18 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 39% (7)
4 44% (8)
3 17% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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