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Publisher's Summary

Families are riddled with untold secrets. But Stephen Hinshaw never imagined that a profound secret was kept under lock and key for 18 years within his family - that his father's mysterious absences, for months at a time, resulted from serious mental illness and involuntary hospitalizations. From the moment his father revealed the truth, during Hinshaw's first spring break from college, he knew his life would change forever.

Hinshaw calls this revelation his "psychological birth". After years of experiencing the ups and downs of his father's illness without knowing it existed, Hinshaw began to piece together the silent, often terrifying history of his father's life - in great contrast to his father's presence and love during periods of wellness. This exploration led to larger discoveries about the family saga, to Hinshaw's correctly diagnosing his father with bipolar disorder, and to his full-fledged career as a clinical and developmental psychologist and professor.

©2017 Stephen P. Hinshaw (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This heartfelt memoir shares insights into the effects of mental illness on all involved." ( Booklist)

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Insightful, heartbreaking, and important

4.5 stars. Excellent blend of family history, medical history, and mental health history. Professor Hinshaw shines an unflinching light upon his family's history of mental illness, how the stigma attached to such mental illness shaped his family and his own life, and how it drove him into his profession in psychology and as a professor. Hinshaw explains evolving attitudes toward mental illness, the needless forced dichotomy between camps that believed it was either wholly biological or wholly environmental (when any treatment would have to admit dual if not various contributing factors), and the often horrible treatment that was the norm in the past. He explores how the stigma of mental illness meant his family hid the periodic disappearances of his own father, never explaining he was in mental health facilities and his mother never getting the support she needed to weather these absences. Hinshaw himself talks about his own struggles with a mind given to obsession and depression, and how learning about his family's history helped him evaluate his own situation and re-evaluate his father's diagnosis (eventually leading to much more effective treatment). A book that everyone should read as we seek to further demolish the stigma and deconstruct the forced silence that surrounds mental health.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Call to Arms for a Revolution in Mental Health

Another Kind of Madness - the name Dr. Hinshaw gives to the stigma surrounding mental illness - is an important and brave recounting of his father’s mysterious absences due to a misdiagnosed bipolar illness.

Hinshaw aptly criticizes the poor state of mental health treatment in the 50’s and the arrogance of psychiatrists, expressing anger with the psychiatric field who refused to even consider his mother’s account of her husband’s illness, leaving his father misdiagnosed and undergoing inhumane treatments, while advising his parents to never ever talk about his father’s mental illness with his children. This silence, in effect, is the essence of stigma, that permeated Hinshaw’s childhood, not knowing if he will ever see his father ever again during his absences.

This story is tragic because of the hundredths of thousands of others who underwent misdiagnosis, maltreatment, and perhaps never returned to the free society in the same time that Hinshaw’s father, with his eminence as a professor, did after each of his episodes. The pictures from those mental hospitals reminded Hinshaw of the pictures of concentration camps during WWII.

There is a stark contrast between his father’s ultra-logical, rational mind as a philosopher and his utter irrationality while in one of his manic states, when he was convinced that he was receiving messages from a TV performance to a point where he drove to the TV station in the middle of the night, risking his and his wife’s lives. This observation humbled and reminded me that mental illness afflicts even the brightest among us, that having a mental illness is not a failure of character or willpower, and that it is not the fault of the sufferer.

Hinshaw ends the book with a call to arms, saying that although mental health treatment has improved from the time his father was treated, there needs to be a revolution in mental health treatment. We need to change the way we preview those who have mental illness, the way we treat those with mental illness, and the way we talk about mental illness with each other. Mental illness is truly our generation’s greatest social issue that we must address

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empathetic<br />

authentic.personal balanced scientific and relatable.I am a schizophrenic and this book is comforting.
and consoling.