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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family (2020)

de Robert Kolker

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6404527,146 (4.13)36
"Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shockingviolence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope"--… (mais)
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» Veja também 36 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Wow! what an ordeal this family has dealt with. I can't imagine... Interesting information about the research into schizophrenia and the drugs and therapies used to treat it, as well drug development. The writing by Kolker keeps the reader engaged; I cared about this family that dealt with so much mental illness. Excellent. ( )
  RobertaLea | Jun 5, 2021 |
This book provided a great deal of information, but it left out some of the progressive movements in psychiatry. I also was concerned that so much personal, private information was published about people with brain disorders who may not have been aware of how much they were revealing about themselves. I do hope this book helps us realize that there is worth in everyone. ( )
  suesbooks | May 27, 2021 |
Fascinating, horrifying, tragic...
This book is a thoroughly researched narrative of the Galvin family which consisted of two parents and 12 children, six of whom had schizophrenia. Woven through the family drama are chapters dedicated to examining the prevailing treatment theories of the time. The author had full access to primary sources and was meticulous in labeling the source in the narrative. I consistently resist the urge to comment on the content of a memoir which this resembles. Everyone is entitled to their own story so I simply follow the story where it leads. I appreciate Kolker's journalistic style combined with a strong storytelling ability. The strength of this book is perhaps its weakness as well. With a few exceptions he stays totally focused on one family-thus the memoir reference. To discover how other families coped in similar circumstances would require more reading. I believe this was Kolker’s charge when the family approached him to tell their story. For their cooperation he owed them exclusivity.

Highly recommend. ( )
  beebeereads | May 20, 2021 |
I was fascinated with this book from the beginning. I learned alot about mental illness and the consequences of a mental illness diagnosis. The pain and turmoil this family lived though is unbelievable. Hopefully by sharing this story, more research can go in to finding a medication for mental illness that will not cause irreparable harm on the victims. Recommended. ( )
  janismack | May 4, 2021 |
Kolker provides a harrowing and insightful look into the lives of a family of 12 kids, six of whom battle severe mental illness. The book is thoroughly researched and skillfully organized in a way that allows readers to fully grasp the magnitude of the Galvin family’s excruciating ordeal. “Hidden Valley Road” certainly isn’t a joyous, feel-good read. But in the end, it’s a riveting tale about determination and perseverance. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Mar 30, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Kolker’s telling of the Galvin trials is at once deeply compassionate and chilling. ... Interwoven with the harrowing familial story is the history of how the science on schizophrenia has fitfully evolved, from the eras of institutionalization and shock therapy, to the profound disagreements about the cause and origins of the illness, to the search for genetic markers for the disease.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarWashington Post, Karen Iris Tucker (Web site pago) (Apr 9, 2020)
 
Kolker carefully reconstructs the story of the household falling into bedlam as the strong, athletic brothers warred with their demons and one another in flights of violent rage, each one slipping further away. ... Kolker is a restrained and unshowy writer who is able to effectively set a mood. As the walls begin closing in for the Galvins, he subtly recreates their feeling of claustrophobia, erasing the outside world that has offered so little help.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarThe New York Times, Sam Dolnick (Web site pago) (Apr 3, 2020)
 
Hidden Valley Road blends two stories in alternating chapters. The first is about the overwhelmed Galvin parents, Don and Mimi, and how raising a boisterous Catholic family of 10 sons from the 1950s to the ’70s may have allowed mental illness to hide in plain sight. ... The second story in Hidden Valley Road details the thankless psychiatric research that has gone into defining schizophrenia and establishing treatments. ... Kolker is a compassionate storyteller who underscores how inadequate medical treatment and an overreliance on “tough love” and incarceration underpin so much of the trauma this family experienced.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarBookPage, Jessica Wakeman (Apr 1, 2020)
 
Best-selling, award-winning journalist Kolker (Lost Girls, 2013) takes a bracing look at the history of the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia by exploring the staggering tragedies of the Galvin family. ... he weaves the larger history of schizophrenia research and how the family eventually came to the attention of scientists striving to find a cure. Kolker tackles this extraordinarily complex story so brilliantly and effectively that readers will be swept away. An exceptional, unforgettable, and significant work that must not be missed.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarBooklist, Colleen Mondor (Feb 15, 2020)
 
Journalist Kolker (Lost Girls) delivers a powerful look at schizophrenia and the quest to understand it. He focuses on a much-studied case: that of Colorado couple Don and Mimi Galvin’s 12 children, born between 1945 and 1965, six of whom were diagnosed with the illness. ... This is a haunting and memorable look at the impact of mental illness on multiple generations.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarPublishers Weekly (Feb 4, 2020)
 
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Prologue: A brother and sister walk out of their house together, through the patio door that opens out from the family kitchen and into their backyard.
Chapter 1: Every so often, in the middle of doing yet another thing she'd never imagined doing, Mimi Galvin would pause and take a breath and consider what, exactly, had brought her to that moment.
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For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted in the direction of the sick family member.
But one thing seemed true: If they admitted Donald to anything resembling a mental hospital, the only certainties were shame and disgrace, and the end of Donald’s college education, and the tainting of Don’s career, and a stain on the family’s position in the community, and finally the end of the chance for their other eleven children to have respectable, normal lives.
...schizophrenia itself remained ragingly mysterious, and the drugs themselves could be physically damaging? The drugs made some patients obese, others stiff and ungainly, others practically catatonic—this from drugs that had been hailed as miracles. For the chronically mentally ill, success had been defined down to a point where it was starting to look a lot like failure. The only real, unambiguous beneficiary of drugs, of course, were pharmaceutical companies—all of which were still developing variations of the same original drug, Thorazine, that had been developed back in the 1950s. Then again, their very efficacy had seemed to stifle innovation. Why was it that every new drug brought to market had been either a version of neuroleptics like Thorazine or atypical neuroleptics like clozapine—with no disrupting third class of drug to spur forward progress?
“One of the things that has characterized psychiatry research forever is the old saying of, ‘Looking for the lost keys where the light is.’ Everything has been, ‘Well, we have this tool. We have a hammer, so we’re going to look for nails.’ And we would find things, because this is the nature of phenomenology—you find things.” Whether they were promising leads or red herrings, no one knew for sure.
The schizophrenia researcher Rue L. Cromwell described this dilemma in the 1970s: “Like riding the merry-go-round, one chooses his horse. One can make believe his horse leads the rest. Then when a particular ride is finished, one must step off only to observe that the horse has really gone nowhere. Yet, it has been a thrilling experience. There may even be the yen to go again.”
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"Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shockingviolence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope"--

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