The Real Madness of Mental Illness

Harvard freshman Stephen Hinshaw was back home in Columbus, Ohio for spring break. His father, prominent Ohio State philosopher Virgil Hinshaw Jr., called him into his study for a talk. Within minutes, the son’s life changed forever.

For Stephen, the ensuing talks with his father answered questions he had kept buried for a lifetime. Why did Dad disappear all those times? Where did he go?

In Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness Stephen Hinshaw brilliantly shares his family’s story.

Now an eminent psychology professor at UC Berkeley, the author relates his father’s story. He tells how his family’s silence left its marks that he sees in himself every day.

Where did his dad go all those times? To various institutions for what was diagnosed at the time as schizophrenia. The treatments were extreme and included electric shock therapy.

Why did his father have to go away? His highs and lows were so extreme that he was unable to function in his job, in his family. Later came the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or manic depression.

Stephen Hinshaw describes how ending the silence and stigma attached to mental illness can heal and even prevent scars in patients and their families. The book will help some readers recognize scars in themselves.

Another Kind of Madness envisions a world in which stigma is no longer attached to any condition of human life.

The Accidental President

How did a virtually unknown Missouri man ascend to the White House in a matter of months?

How did a man who never wanted to be president hold up as he guided the United States to the end of World War II and into the Cold War?

What did he think when he learned about a secret that would end the war and change the world forever?

A.J. Baime uncovered answers to many mysteries about the early months of Harry S. Truman’s presidency in The Accidental President. This is one of the most gripping presidential biographies I have read. Baime brings readers into the White House for critical moments and into momentus talks with Churchill and Stalin.

This book made me feel like I was living the times with one of our most unique leaders.

Seneca Says: Get on With Your Life!

“Life is short.”

Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life is likely to transform your thoughts about those three words.

The Roman stoic philosopher’s vision of human existence viewed life as plenty long enough, if you use it.

“Just do it! What are you waiting for?” he would say if he were writing a self-help book in the 21st Century. Time is your ally if you don’t put things off.

Here are a few from a wealth of jewels from the English translation available on Amazon:

“Let us turn to private possessions, the greatest source of human misery. For if you compare all the other things from which we suffer, deaths, illnesses, fears, desires, endurance of pains and toils, with the evils which money brings us, the latter will far outweigh the others.”

“…it is easier to bear and simpler not to acquire than to lose, so you will notice that those people are more cheerful whom Fortune has never favoured than those whom she has deserted.”

“So we should make light of all things and endure them with tolerance: it is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.”

“Fortune hands out such unfair rewards.”

“…there is a healthy moderation in wine, as in liberty.”

Seneca, an advisor to Nero, accumulated great wealth and was a controversial figure two thousand years ago. His words may make you wonder about the originality of current self-help writing.

Camino Sunrise: Now It’s Your Turn

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My wife Sue’s ink-and-watercolor paintings highlight each chapter of Camino Sunrise.

Why did I write an adventure memoir about the Camino de Santiago?

I wrote to touch readers’ hearts, tickle funny bones, and pique curiosity.

I wrote for people who have tried long-distance trekking and for those who are considering their first hiking adventure. I wrote for armchair adventurers as well.

I wrote for people who have struggled with self-doubt, childhood bullying, and poverty.

Many readers have shared their reactions to Camino Sunrise. Many wrote that my book resonated in several of the areas I mentioned above. They found a message of hope.

I would love to hear what you think.