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Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family

Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family
Jean J. Beard and Peggy Gillespie
Photographs by Gigi Kaeser
The New Press, 2002

Everyone who is a member of a family in which someone has a mental illness should read this book. It tells the stories of forty-four families who live with the mental illnesses of their fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and the close friends who have become their family members. These family members have depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and anxiety disorders. They are children, young people, middle-aged, and older. They are from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. They live in rural areas, small towns and cities across the country.

But these families all have one thing in common: the burden of stigma that accompanies mental illness. They all live with the myths, stereotypes and misunderstandings society holds about people who have psychiatric disorders and their family members.

 

Each family profile includes a family portrait and interviews with various members of the family, including the member who has a mental illness. Some of the stories are touched with tragedy and struggle, courage and strength, hope and love.

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