Hidden Lives

Edited by Lenore Rowntree & Andrew Boden
Foreword by Gabor Mate

Hidden Lives
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A revised and updated edition of a collection of personal essays that illuminate what life is like for those who live with mental illness, and how it impacts their family members.

More than 4 million Canadians and 57 million Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, ... Read more


Overview

A revised and updated edition of a collection of personal essays that illuminate what life is like for those who live with mental illness, and how it impacts their family members.

More than 4 million Canadians and 57 million Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, and yet there are still considerable stigmas and a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding even the most common diagnoses—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder.

Rather than analyze the diagnoses and symptoms, these first-hand accounts focus on the very essence of a psycho-emotional breakdown, and respond to the mental, physical, and emotional turmoil it inevitably causes. What does a mother do when her teenage son's personality suddenly fractures? How does a police officer cope when his employer refuses to provide adequate care until he can prove his PTSD is work-related? How do children grow up under the care of a manic father whose illness lands him in and out of medical and social incarceration?

Raw, honest, and painful, these essays communicate disappointment and despair, but also courage and compassion. They offer a lifeline for sufferers and support for their friends and family, and promote new and improved attitudes toward those with mental illness.

With a foreword by respected physician, bestselling author, and renowned speaker Dr. Gabor Maté, Hidden Lives gives readers a place to turn, and provides a platform to share their struggle.

Lenore Rowntree

Lenore Rowntree's writing has appeared in several Canadian literary journals, including Geist, The Tyee, The New Quarterly, Room Magazine, and Other Voices. Her play The Woods at Tender Creek was produced in 2010 as part of the Walking Fish Festival in Vancouver, and her poetry was included in the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2010. She was shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award in 2009 for the essay "Flat Champagne," written about her sister's childhood schizophrenia. Lenore currently resides in Vancouver, BC. Please visit lenorerowntree.com.

Andrew Boden

Andrew Boden's articles on mental illness have appeared in Open Minds Quarterly and Other Voices. His stories and essays have appeared in The Journey Prize Stories: 22, Prairie Fire, Descant, Vancouver Review, and the anthology Nobody's Father: Life Without Kids. Andrew is vice-president and director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Exchange, a Canadian children’s literacy charity, and has helped build homes in Mexico. He enjoys cave exploration, especially on Vancouver Island and in the Chilliwack region. He currently resides in Burnaby, BC.

Reviews

"I was keenly aware of the privilege I was being afforded, each page allowing me to regard the details, the emotional pain that mental illness brings to otherwise everyday lives. The tribulations are sorrowful. The courage shines through. .. Each reader will understand in their own way, and will learn from this book. "

&quo;A privileged if uncomfortably close look at one of the most devastating a human tribulations. For all the raw honestly of its revelations, Hidden Lives communicates not despair but courage. &quo;

Gabor Maté, MD

"We’d all benefit from reading this book and gaining some insight and understanding into the lives of those who are experiencing it firsthand. "

"A highly poetic, intriguing tale of adventure, curiosity, passion, mountain wilderness, myth and mystery. "

"Shows the immense courage of the writers to speak out. .. A useful book for sufferers & carers. "

"I was keenly aware of the privilege I was being afforded, each page allowing me to regard the details, the emotional pain that mental illness brings to otherwise everyday lives. The tribulations are sorrowful. The courage shines through. .. Each reader will understand in their own way, and will learn from this book. "

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