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Every year, one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder. In these true stories, writers and their loved ones struggle as their worlds are upended. What do you do when your father kills himself, or your mother is committed to a psych ward, or your daughter starts hearing voices telling her to harm herselfor when you yourself hear such voices? Addressing bipolar disorder, OCD, trichillomania, self-harm, PTSD, and other diagnoses, these stories vividly depict the difficulties and sorrowsand sometimes, too, the unexpected and surprising rewardsof living with mental illness.
Lee Gutkind has been exploring the world of medicine through writing for over 20 years. He is the author of Many Sleepless Nights: The World of Organ Transplantation, and the editor of four anthologies about health and medicine: Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives; Rage and Reconciliation: Inspiring a Health Care Revolution; Healing; and Becoming a Doctor. He is the founder and editor of the magazine Creative Nonfiction, the first and largest literary journal to exclusively publish nonfiction, and has also published the essay collection Forever Fat and two books on writing, The Art of Creative Nonfiction and Keep It Real, among other titles. Gutkind currently teaches creative writing at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes.