Hidden Lives

True Stories from People Who Live with Mental Illness

Foreword by: Gabor Maté
ISBN 9781927366530
Softcover | Publication Date: June 8, 2017
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
288 Pages

About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

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.

Born in Budapest, Gabor Maté immigrated to Canada at the age of twelve. He spent some time working as a teacher before returning to university to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. He ran a popular family practice for many years, and spent twelve years working in Vancouver's downtown eastside, caring for patients suffering from mental illness, drug addiction, and HIV. In the 1990s, Dr. Maté was a regular medical columnist for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail. He is also the author of four works of non-fiction. His most recent book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, won a Hubert Evans Award in 2010. In addition to being a physician and bestselling author, Dr. Maté is a highly sought after public speaker. He has three grown children and currently resides in Vancouver, BC, with his wife. Please visit drgabormate.com.

Lenore Rowntree is the author of Cluck (Thistledown Press), and Dovetail Joint and Other Stories (Quadra Books). Her writing and poetry has appeared in several journals and anthologies including The Best of the Best of Canadian Poetry (Tightrope Books). She was shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award in 2009 for the essay "Flat Champagne," written about her sister's childhood schizophrenia, which was published in Hidden Lives, a collection of essays that she co-edited. Lenore currently resides in Vancouver, BC. Please visit lenorerowntree.com.

Reviews

“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.” —Gabor Maté, MD

“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.” —The Coastal Spectator

“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.” —The Huffington Post 

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

“Shows the immense courage of the writers to speak out… A useful book for sufferers & carers.” —Royal College of Psychiatrists

“A highly poetic, intriguing tale of adventure, curiosity, passion, mountain wilderness, myth and mystery.” —Rocky Mountain Outlook