At once a classic account of the ravages of mental illness and a major American autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself tells the story of a young man who is gradually enveloped by a psychosis. His well-meaning family commits him to a series of mental hospitals, but he is brutalized by the treatment, and his moments of fleeting sanity become fewer and fewer. His ultimate recovery is a triumph of the human spirit. Clifford Whittingham Beers, 1876-1943, was the American founder of the mental hygiene movement, born in New Haven, Conn., grad. Sheffield Scientific School, Yale, 1897. After the publication of this book, A Mind That Found Itself (1908), which is an autobiographical account of his confinement in a mental institution, he had the support of the medical profession and others in the work to prevent mental disorders. He was a leader in the field until his retirement in 1939. This book is an amazing account of what it was like to be institutionalized at a time when mental illness received little attention or respect. A groundbreaking effort towards the acceptance of mental health as a serious disease.
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About the Author
Clifford Whittingham Beers (1876-1943) was the founder of the American mental hygiene movement. Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Ida and Robert Beers on March 30, 1876. He was one of five children, all of whom would suffer from psychological distress and would die in mental institutions, including Beers himself (see "Clifford W. Beers, Advocate for the Insane"). He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale in 1897. In 1900 he was first confined to a private mental institution for depression and paranoia. He would later be confined to another private hospital as well as a state institution. During these periods he experienced and witnessed serious maltreatment at the hands of the staff. After the publication of A Mind That Found Itself (1908), an autobiographical account of his hospitalization and the abuses he suffered during, he gained the support of the medical profession and others in the work to reform the treatment of the mentally ill. In 1909 Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, now named Mental Health America, in order to continue the reform for the treatment of the mentally ill. He also started the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven in 1913, the first outpatient mental health clinic in the United States. He was a leader in the field until his retirement in 1939.
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