Breaking the Silence
Mental Health Professionals Disclose Their Personal and Family Experiences of Mental Illness
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People with mental illness are far too often subjected to discrimination and unfair treatment. It is particularly unfortunate that much of this stigmatization comes from the very people they depend upon for help--those in the mental health professions. Too many practitioners and scientists maintain us-versus-them attitudes and are extremely reluctant to admit any personal or family experiences of mental illness. This culture of concealment must change, and this book will change it. A groundbreaking collection of moving and inspiring stories of serious mental disorder from trainees, clinicians, and scientists in the mental-health professionals, Breaking the Silence is the first book to reveal the deep commonalities between patients and professionals. With an unprecedented level of honesty and disclosure, the contributors tell their own and their families' stories of mental disorder. Renowned psychologist Steve Hinshaw--who previously disclosed his own family's struggles with misdiagnosed bipolar disorder and who has synthesized the world literature on the stigma of mental illness--integrates, synthesizes, and provides perspective on these revealing stories. As they relate their personal and family histories, the contributors also describe the serious impairments that can accrue, the strength and courage that can be derived, and the influence these experiences have had on their own decisions to enter the mental health field. Moving in its honesty, frank in its disclosures, and sensitive in its portrayals, Breaking the Silence will be a beacon for those in the mental health professions, trainees across the many related fields, family members, and anyone who is dealing with mental illness. Its stark stories of pain, denial, and impairment, along with its clear messages of hope, courage, and resilience, will inspire for years to come.
Oxford University Press, USA, 9780195320268, 370pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
About the Author
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.