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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.
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