A Common Struggle

A Common Struggle : A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction

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Description

Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman and youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, opens up about his personal and political battle with mental illness and addiction for the first time. This candid memoir focuses on the years from his 'coming out' about suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction to the present day, and examines his journey toward recovery while reflecting on America's treatment of mental health.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 426 pages
  • 158 x 235 x 30.23mm | 720g
  • Blue Rider Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • PHOTO INSERT
  • 0399173323
  • 9780399173325
  • 742,375

Review quote

"Searching and fearless." "--The Boston Globe" "A stunningly unvarnished portrait of one of America's most private public families..."
--People "Searching and fearless." --Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe

"I, am personally, really proud of Patrick. I think what he's doing is consistent with everything that my family has stood for...he needed to start that journey by telling his own story of mental illness. I think it's noble, and it's heroic, and I have nothing but admiration for him."
--Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on "Ring of Fire" radio

"[Patrick Kennedy] has undeniably turned his fame toward a good cause -- of raising understanding about the prevalence of mental illness and addiction in our society, and the need to help our brothers and sisters who cannot help themselves. There are easier ways to make money than speaking out honestly about one's own life, and we admire the courage Mr. Kennedy has shown in discussing these difficult issues."
--Editorial Board, Providence Journal

"Fascinating ... This book is a must-read, not only for those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, but also for the professionals who treat them and for those who pay for that treatment."
--Dr. George Koob, Director National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Clinical Psychiatry News

"Kennedy's eye-opening book is a public call for action. "A Common Struggle" also is a call for understanding, not only for those with mental illness, but for all those affected by the mostly misunderstood, and often devastating, illness. As Kennedy points out, no one is immune from mental illness." --Wichita Times

"His new memoir, which recounts the troubles he and his famous family experienced, will help move the needle when it comes to public policy regarding mental health and substance abuse.... it shine[s] a needed light on a serious problem."
--Editorial Board, The Oklahoman

"If your readers do nothing else today, they should buy or order this remarkable book ... I always admired Kennedy's passion and willingness to fight not only on mental illness issues but also such topics as gay rights and gun control. This book should enhance your understanding and appreciation of the work he did in Congress and the ambitious mental health initiatives he is leading now. And for the happiness of his marriage and fatherhood..."
--Charlie Bakst, on WPRI TV blog

"I think Patrick Kennedy is quite courageous for bringing this book out. ... What he is doing is really the equivalent of what Betty Ford did when she exposed her own alcoholism."
--Dr. Thomas McLelland, former deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, on MSNBC

"Patrick Kennedy should receive a profile in courage award for his book, A Common Struggle..."
-- Dan Rea, CBS-TV Boston A stunningly unvarnished portrait of one of America s most private public families..."
--People
"Searching and fearless."--Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe
I, am personally, really proud of Patrick. I think what he s doing is consistent with everything that my family has stood for...he needed to start that journey by telling his own story of mental illness. I think it s noble, and it s heroic, and I have nothing but admiration for him.
--Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Ring of Fire radio
"[Patrick Kennedy] has undeniably turned his fame toward a good cause of raising understanding about the prevalence of mental illness and addiction in our society, and the need to help our brothers and sisters who cannot help themselves. There are easier ways to make money than speaking out honestly about one s own life, and we admire the courage Mr. Kennedy has shown in discussing these difficult issues."
--Editorial Board, Providence Journal
"Fascinating ... This book is a must-read, not only for those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders, but also for the professionals who treat them and for those who pay for that treatment."
--Dr. George Koob, Director National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Clinical Psychiatry News
"Kennedy's eye-opening book is a public call for action. "A Common Struggle" also is a call for understanding, not only for those with mental illness, but for all those affected by the mostly misunderstood, and often devastating, illness. As Kennedy points out, no one is immune from mental illness." --Wichita Times
His new memoir, which recounts the troubles he and his famous family experienced, will help move the needle when it comes to public policy regarding mental health and substance abuse.... it shine[s] a needed light on a serious problem.
--Editorial Board, The Oklahoman

If your readers do nothing else today, they should buy or order this remarkable book ... I always admired Kennedy s passion and willingness to fight not only on mental illness issues but also such topics as gay rights and gun control. This book should enhance your understanding andappreciation of the work he did in Congress and the ambitious mental health initiatives he is leading now. And for the happiness of his marriage and fatherhood...
--Charlie Bakst, on WPRI TV blog
I think Patrick Kennedy is quite courageous for bringing this book out. ... What he is doing is really the equivalent of what Betty Ford did when she exposed her own alcoholism."
--Dr. Thomas McLelland, former deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, on MSNBC
"Patrick Kennedy should receive a profile in courage award for his book, A Common Struggle..."
-- Dan Rea, CBS-TV Boston
" [a] stunningly unvarnished portrait of one of America s most private public families...*"
--People magazine
"Searching and fearless.""--"Kevin Cullen," The Boston Globe"
Patrick Kennedy has shown great courage in telling his story. Althoughhis conclusions about some family members certainly are not the words ofa medical expert, he is telling us all that addiction and mental illnesscan touch any family -- even one of the country's most pre-eminent
political families -- and that silence often only prolongs the suffering.
--Michelle R. Smith, "Fitchburg Sentinel"
I, am personally, really proud of Patrick. I think what he s doing is consistent with everything that my family has stood for...he needed to start that journey by telling his own story of mental illness. I think it s noble, and it s heroic, and I have nothing but admiration for him.
--Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Ring of Fire radio
"[Patrick Kennedy] has undeniably turned his fame toward a good cause of raising
understanding about the prevalence of mental illness and addiction in our society, and the need to help our brothers and sisters who cannot help themselves. There are easier ways to make money than speaking out honestly about one s own life, and we admire the courage Mr. Kennedy has
shown in discussing these difficult issues."
--Editorial Board, "Providence Journal "
His new memoir, which recounts the troubles he and his famous family experienced, will help move the needle when it comes to public policy regarding mental health and substance abuse.... it shine[s] a needed light on a serious problem.
--Editorial Board, "The Oklahoman"
If your readers do nothing else today, they should buy or order this remarkable book ... I always admired Kennedy s passion and willingness to fight not only on mental illness issues but also such topics as gay rights and gun control. This book should enhance your understanding andappreciation of the work he did in Congress and the ambitious mental health initiatives he is leading now. And for the happiness of his marriage and fatherhood...
--Charlie Bakst, retired Providence Journal political columnist, on WPRI
TV blog
I think Patrick Kennedy is quite courageous for bringing this book out. ... What he is doing is really the equivalent of what Betty Ford did when she exposed her own alcoholism."
--Dr. Thomas McLelland, former deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, on MSNBC
"Patrick Kennedy should receive a profile in courage award for his book, A Common Struggle..."
-- Dan Rea, CBS Boston
" "Patrick Kennedy should receive a profile in courage award for his book,
A Common Struggle..."
-- Dan Rea, CBS Boston
I, am personally, really proud of Patrick. I think what he s doing is
consistent with everything that my family has stood for. He s fighting
for an issue that he s passionate about, which is civil rights for
people with mental illnesses, and trying to bring those people into
America s democratic fold. ... Under the law, people with mental
illnesses are entitled to health insurance. They re entitled to
treatment in hospitals, but the insurance companies systematically deny
them, believing that they ll be too ashamed or too fragile to stand up
for themselves. Patrick s effort is to say, We re coming out of the
darkness. People who have these illnesses have a right to treatment.
They are our brothers. They are our sisters. We need to take care of
them as Americans. Patrick has stood up to say, I have this illness
myself. He is giving other people the courage to do the same. I think
he needed to start that journey by telling his own story of mental
illness. I think it s noble, and it s heroic, and I have nothing but
admiration for him.
--Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Ring of Fire radio
"Talking openly now about his struggle with addiction, one day at a
time, he seems a happier and more fulfilled person. And he has
undeniably turned his fame toward a good cause of raising
understanding about the prevalence of mental illness and addiction in
our society, and the need to help our brothers and sisters who cannot
help themselves. There are easier ways to make money than speaking out
honestly about one s own life, and we admire the courage Mr. Kennedy has
shown in discussing these difficult issues."
--Editorial Board, "Providence Journal "
His new memoir, which recounts the troubles he and his famous family
experienced, will help move the needle when it comes to public policy
regarding mental health and substance abuse.... it shine[s] a needed
light on a serious problem. Needed most, though, are real and lasting
policy changes at the state and federal levels to provide help and hope
for those who seek it.
--Editorial Board, "The Oklahoman"
If your readers do nothing else today, they should buy or order this
remarkable book ... I always admired Kennedy s passion and willingness
to fight not only on mental illness issues but also such topics as gay
rights and gun control. This book should enhance your understanding and
appreciation of the work he did in Congress and the ambitious mental
health initiatives he is leading now. And for the happiness of his
marriage and fatherhood...
--Charlie Bakst, retired Providence Journal political columnist, on WPRI
TV blog
Patrick Kennedy has shown great courage in telling his story. Although
his conclusions about some family members certainly are not the words of
a medical expert, he is telling us all that addiction and mental illness
can touch any family -- even one of the country's most pre-eminent
political families -- and that silence often only prolongs the suffering.
--Michelle R. Smith, "Associated Press"
"Searching and fearless." "--"Kevin Cullen," The Boston Globe""
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About Patrick J. Kennedy

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation's leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008--and his brave openness about his own health challenges. The son of Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father's death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, which sponsors brain research and open science collaboration. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their four children.
www.patrickjkennedy.net Stephen Fried is an award-winning magazine journalist, a best-selling author and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of two books on healthcare, mental health and addiction--Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs and Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia--as well as The New Rabbi, Husbandry and his recent historical biography Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time, which was a New York Times bestseller. Fried lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.
www.stephenfried.com
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Rating details

1,497 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 25% (380)
4 38% (576)
3 27% (407)
2 7% (102)
1 2% (32)
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