Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family

Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family

  • ISBN13: 9781565847866
  • Condition: New
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A compelling collection of family photographs and moving first-person narratives about people living with mental illness.

One in five Americans has a mental illness. Nothing to Hide, a stunning tribute to the millions of families for whom mental illness is a part of everyday life, juxtaposes first-person accounts with beautifully reproduced duotone photographs of 44 families who defy the stigma of mental illness to speak for themselves about their lives, their illnesses, and their struggles to get well.

Each family in the book is portrayed in two ways: Photographs capture the members together and, often, singly or in pairs. Individual statements—usually one from each person in the family—complete the family picture by telling the story from various points of view. The families, different in many ways, have in common an ongoing struggle with illnesses ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar illness to obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression. These open and candid stories show us that the mentally ill and their families have much in common with the rest of us. They can be found in every community of America, and represent the full range of our economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Only a small percentage of the mentally ill live with caretakers or in treatment centers.

In her foreword, MacArthur Award-winning author and psychologist Kay R. Jamison calculates the enormous costs of stigmatizing the mentally ill. And an introduction by Kenneth Duckworth, medical director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, details our current understanding of mental illness. The book concludes with a moving personal essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Dave Maraniss. 78 duotone photographs.

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1 Comment so far »

  1. J. Dosick said,

    Wrote on December 17, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    28 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Essential Reading, January 25, 2003
    By 
    J. Dosick (Cambridge, MA USA) –

    Nothing to Hide is one of the most important books I’ve read. As an advocate for people with mental illnesses (‘consumers’), and one myself, I believe this book is an essential tool for understanding mental illness: The firsthand experience, how it affects families and friends, the battles for justice and against stigma, and consumers’ pervasive courage, humor and grace in the face of despair. Who to speak better about these issues than those directly affected?

    The book profiles 44 families of every race, age, size, and background, from all over the U.S. The splendid black and white photos by Gigi Kaeser portray smiling, laughing, playful families. This lightens the mood, and book highlights the families’ dignity. All pictured family members talk about their experiences. I am blessed to know several of the families portrayed, and their stories are enlightening and inspiring, but I feel that I know all of the others, as well.

    There’s so much wisdom in these pages. Consumers detail the struggles and losses of mental illness, but they face it with heroic dignity and strength. The book is not a ‘sob story’ collection – it doesn’t take pity on consumers, which they don’t want. More importantly, the book dispels the age-old, tired stigmas surrounding mental illness: that those with it are lazy, violent, and/or stupid.

    Family members talk openly of frustration, grief, and moments of love and triumph. Different families deal with mental illness in different ways. Many initially deny the illness, some place blame, and some suffer guilt. Most stand by their loved ones and fight for them. In today’s dismal health care system, the families are often on the front lines of advocacy.

    The families in this book truly have Nothing to Hide. Beard, Gillespie, and Kaiser have created a powerful document – a treasury and a tool for understanding mental illnesses and becoming a more tolerant society. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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